Category Archives: Wage & Hour

Supreme Court Delivers Major Blow to Public Sector Unions

On June 27, 2018, in a 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the United States Supreme Court overruled longstanding precedent and held that public employees who are not members of a union elected to be their collective bargaining agent could not be required to pay so-called “agency fees” to that union.  The decision is expected to have significant impact on organized labor, which relies on such fees to fund their activities.… More

Supreme Court Adopts More Expansive View of FLSA Exemptions

Since the 1950s, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken the view that the exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which exempt employees from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements, should be interpreted narrowly. In its April 2, 2018 decision in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, however, the Supreme Court reversed course and rejected this principle. As a result, the decision allows courts to give broader interpretations to the FLSA exemptions,… More

Massachusetts Attorney General Releases Guidance on Equal Pay Act

The Massachusetts Attorney General (the “AG”) recently released her long-awaited guidance regarding the 2016 overhaul of the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which takes effect on July 1, 2018. (For a summary of the Act’s key provisions, click here.) The Act, which, among other things, prohibits employers from paying employees of different genders differently for comparable work, has left employers with many questions as to how its provisions would be interpreted and enforced.… More

Sick Time Not Subject to Massachusetts Wage Act

On January 29, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that accrued, unused sick time does not qualify as “wages” under the Massachusetts Wage Act. As a result, employees cannot maintain Wage Act claims against their employers based on the failure to pay employees for unused sick time.

The Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law does not require that employers pay employees for their accrued,… More

EEOC’s Collection of Pay Data Delayed

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated a review of the EEOC’s pay data collection rule. As a result, the EEOC’s collection of pay data, which was to have begun on March 31, 2018, has been stayed indefinitely.

The EEOC adopted the pay data collection rule in September 2016. Under the rule, employers with 100 or more employees would be required to report employee pay data to the EEOC annually on updated Employer Information Report forms (EEO-1s),… More

SJC Rules Wage Act Plaintiffs Are Entitled to Prejudgment Interest, But Not on Treble Damages

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) resolved a contested issue under the Massachusetts Wage Act, ruling that successful Wage Act plaintiffs are entitled to prejudgment interest on the unpaid wages and other benefits they are awarded. However, the SJC held that employees cannot recover interest on the liquidated damages they are awarded for Wage Act violations.

The SJC’s decision in George, et al.… More

What NYC Employers Need to Know about New Salary History Law

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their salary history. The new law will go into effect on October 31, 2017.

Beginning on October 31, 2017, questions about a job applicant’s previous compensation, and an employer’s reliance on that information in determining an applicant’s compensation, will constitute unlawful discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law.… More

Another Executive Order on Immigration Expected

Within the next week, President Trump is expected to issue another Executive Order (“EO”) concerning high-skilled workers and foreign students, most likely to be titled “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Workers Visa Programs.” Unlike the EO that was signed last Friday, which imposed an immediate travel ban on foreign nationals from seven countries, it appears that this new EO is not expected to immediately terminate any individual’s work authorization or visa status,… More

Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2017

A reminder for Massachusetts employers: effective January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is increasing from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour.

The minimum rate for tipped service employees is also increasing, from $3.35 to $3.75 per hour.  This “service rate” only applies to workers who provide services to customers and regularly receive more than $20 in tips per month.  Additionally, their average hourly tips plus the minimum service rate must equal or exceed the $11.00 per hour minimum wage.  … More

Federal Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its new overtime rule. The rule – which would have raised the salary threshold below which employees must be paid overtime to $47,476/year – was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. (The firm’s previous client alert on the rule can be found here.) As a result,… More

Massachusetts Enacts New Pay Equity Law

Decorative Scales of JusticeOn August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Pay Equity Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, is designed to close the wage gap between men and women. Although Massachusetts already had a pay parity law that prohibits wage discrimination, the Act provides greater clarity on what constitutes unlawful pay discrimination and imposes new rules and restrictions on employers.… More

Watch: Labor & Employment Webinar

The past year has been busy in the labor and employment law field. Foley Hoag recently presented a webinar detailing the latest legal developments.

Watch the recording:

:

Topics discussed include:

  • Upcoming changes to the overtime regulations
  • The expansion of the “joint employer” doctrine
  • The increasingly aggressive EEOC
  • Legislative initiatives to change non-compete law
  • Pay equity laws
  • Current issues in immigration laws

Speakers:

Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2016

A reminder for Massachusetts employers: effective tomorrow, January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is increasing from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour.

The minimum rate for tipped service employees is also increasing, from $3.00 to $3.35 per hour. However, employers may only rely on this lesser minimum rate for service employees if they regularly receive more than $20 in tips per month and their average hourly tips plus the minimum service rate equals or exceeds the $10.00 per hour minimum wage.… More

Welcome, and Happy Birthday to Earned Sick Time in Massachusetts

Thank you for reading the inaugural post of the Massachusetts Labor and Employment blog. Our goal is to create a forum for informal discussion regarding the latest legal trends and issues facing employers operating in Massachusetts. We are blessed to live and work in the Commonwealth, but we also recognize that running a business in Massachusetts creates a unique set of legal challenges. We hope to talk about these challenges in a practical way and to help employers navigate them.… More