Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released the final version of its new joint employer rule, which limits the circumstances in which franchisors and businesses that use employees hired by third parties can be required to bargain with employees of those third parties and held jointly liable for violations of federal labor law. The new rule – the result of a larger effort by the Trump administration to limit joint employer liability under federal employment law – rolls back a more expansive Obama-era standard established by the NLRB in 2015.… More
In Massachusetts, a commission is a wage subject to the Wage Act when the amount of the commission “has been definitely determined and has become due and payable.” Accordingly, an employer’s failure to pay a commission which had not yet become due and payable generally does not implicate the Wage Act, and employers cannot be held liable for treble damages stemming from the failure to pay such a future commission.… More
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its new “joint employer” rule. The rule limits the scenarios in which businesses will be treated as joint employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and, therefore, reduces their potential liability for FLSA violations committed by their business partners.
The final rule, which goes into effect on March 16, 2020, requires that a business exercise control over workers in order to be considered their joint employer.… More
Last week, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a rule clarifying the types of compensation that should be included when determining an employee’s “regular rate” of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The new rule permits employers to exclude certain fringe benefits provided to employees when calculating the employee’s regular rate of pay. The rule is the first update to the relevant regulations in half a century,… More
In 2014, the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board made over two dozen changes to the union election rules that effectively shortened the time period between the filing of the petition and the election and limited the types of issues that could be resolved in a pre-election hearing. On December 13, 2019, the Board, now controlled by a Republican majority, announced a new rule scaling back the 2014 changes. The new rule is anticipated to slow down the election process and give parties and the Board time to resolve key issues prior to an election.… More
In November 2019, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) became the first union to organize employees at a Massachusetts cannabis company. According to the Boston Globe, two-thirds of Sira Naturals, Inc.’s employees, who work at its cultivation and manufacturing facility and its dispensaries, voted to join UFCW. Sira issued its own announcement indicating that in advance of the vote it entered a labor peace agreement with UFCW allowing union representatives to come onsite and talk with employees about unionizing. Now that Sira’s workforce is unionized, it will negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with UFCW that will cover the workers’ terms and conditions of employment.
UFCW says that is currently represents tens of thousands of cannabis workers across the country, and it has a dedicated campaign to build its presence wherever cannabis is legal. Based on its recent win at Sira, other Massachusetts cannabis businesses can expect to hear from UFCW about similar access to their workers. They can also expect UFCW to reach out to their workers directly about joining its ranks. If you have questions about these developments or would like to speak with our labor team, please contact us.
The new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) came into effect on October 1, 2019, requiring employers to begin collecting payroll deductions and matching contributions to be submitted to the state Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) by the end of January. These contributions, as we have described in previous alerts, will fund family and medical leave pay benefits that will be available to most Massachusetts employees beginning on January 1,… More
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled the final version of its new overtime salary basis rule. The new rule increases the minimum salary threshold for salary-based overtime exemptions from $455 per week (or $23,600 annually) to $684 per week (or $35,568 annually). In addition to increasing the salary basis for administrative, executive and professional employees, the new rule allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (such as commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary basis level,… More
On September 9, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) clarified its standard for reviewing the appropriateness of small bargaining units within larger workforces, sometimes referred to as “micro units.” The ruling gives employers guidance on how the NLRB will apply the so-called “community of interest” standard in such cases and gives the NLRB significant leeway to reject such units.
The NLRB’s decision concerned a bargaining unit at a Boeing Co.… More
As we reported in previous alerts (April 26, 2019 and May 9, 2019), all employers with 100 or more employees must submit employee pay data for 2017 and 2018 to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on an updated Employer Information Report Form (EEO-1) by September 30, 2019. However, this may end up being a one-time requirement. On September 12, 2019, the EEOC announced that it will not be requiring EEO-1 filers to submit pay data for 2019,… More