Monday, January 27, 2020

Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld the City of Minneapolis’s $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance. Graco, Inc. sued the City over the ordinance back in 2017, arguing that the state of Minnesota’s lower minimum wage law preempted the Minneapolis ordinance and seeking a permanent injunction against the ordinance’s enforcement. In a unanimous decision issued last Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that the state legislature did not intend to occupy the field of minimum-wage rates. The Court also held that the City ordinance was valid, because it does not prevent employers from also complying with the lower state minimum wage. In other words, the state law sets a minimum wage floor for employers, but does not set a ceiling on the hourly rate that employers might be required to pay.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

U.S. DOL Publishes Final Rule on Joint Employer Liability Under the FLSA

On January 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule regarding joint-employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal wage and hour law. This final rule provides a more employer-friendly joint employer liability standard than previous guidance issued by the DOL under the Obama administration.

In recent years, many employment lawsuits have been brought against entities that do not technically employ the workers bringing the employment-related claims, but may exert some level of control or influence over their employment (such as staffing companies, franchisors, and general contractors). For example, franchisee employees have tried to make franchisors responsible as “joint employers” for wage and hour violations committed by franchisees. The final rule is meant to provide some clarity on how these claims should be analyzed. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Welcome to the New Year — Required Changes to Wage and Hour Laws

Employers should be aware that the start of the New Year ushered in changes to federal, state and local government wage and hour laws. Some of those changes include the following:
  • The minimum salary for executive, administrative and professional employees who are exempt from the overtime requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has increased from $455 to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). 
  • The annual compensation now required to meet the exemption under the FLSA for highly compensated employees has been raised to $107,432.