Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts for: Wage and Hour

Photo of Karen Davis
Jul 03 2018
Wage and Hour  

Penalty for missed rest periods in California includes all compensation

A federal district court in California has ruled that when calculating the additional one hour of pay at the regular rate for missed rest periods under California Labor Code 226.7, an employer must include not only base pay, but also commissions, incentives, and bonuses. A group of 4,481 home mortgage…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Jun 19 2018
Wage and Hour  

Pay Washington agricultural piece-rate workers for nonproductive time

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that employers are required to compensate agricultural piece-rate workers on a separate hourly basis for all nonproductive time spent performing activities outside of piece-rate picking work. This nonproductive time must be paid at the applicable minimum wage or a contractually agreed rate, whichever is…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Jun 19 2018
Q&ALeave LawsWage and Hour  

Q&A: FMLA-required rest breaks generally not compensable under FLSA

Question: We have a non-exempt employee who has a medically certified serious health condition that requires a 10-minute rest break every hour. Our current schedule allows one 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked, so most non-exempt employees only receive two rest breaks each shift and not the eight this employee requires. Do we have to pay the employee for all eight rest breaks?

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 29 2018
Harassment & DiscriminationWage and Hour  

Brace for impact of pay equity laws

With Starbucks’ recent announcement that the company has achieved 100 percent pay equity by race and gender for U.S. workers performing similar jobs, most employers are left wondering how Starbucks got there—and how they can get there, too. The topic of equal pay continues to make headlines, and California, Oregon, and Washington are at the…

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 11 2018
Wage and Hour  

California employers can’t rely on federal law to pay OT on flat bonus

The California Supreme Court has rejected federal law on overtime calculations for flat sum bonuses, ruling that state law requires a more worker-friendly calculation. An employer offered a flat bonus of $15 per day of weekend work for employees who worked a full shift on a Saturday or Sunday. Because…

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 08 2018
Wage and Hour  

9th Circuit says prior salary doesn’t justify pay differences under EPA

When setting wages for new hires, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) doesn’t allow consideration of prior salary, ruled the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A female math consultant hired by a county school district sued when she discovered her male colleagues in the same position were earning more than she was.…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Mar 29 2018
Q&AWage and Hour  

Q&A: Be realistic when promising employee bonuses

Question: Our employee handbook states that all new employees will receive a $3,000 bonus on their three-year anniversary. Five employees will be eligible this year. Business is down and we really can’t afford this anymore. Do we have to pay them?

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Photo of Jodi Slavik
Mar 28 2018
Wage and Hour  

Washington Governor signs pay equity reform bill

On March 21, 2018, Washington officially joined the multitude of states tackling pay disparity as Governor Jay Inslee signed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act (Second Substitute House Bill 1506). The Act significantly expands Washington’s existing pay equity law for the first time since its adoption in 1943. Applying to all employers with…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Mar 27 2018
Q&AWage and Hour  

Q&A: Be careful when considering a settlement for back wages

Question: We recently conducted a self-audit and discovered that we underpaid one employee for wages earned. If we pay her the past wages owed and ask her to sign something releasing us from liability, are we covered?

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Photo of Karen Davis
Mar 13 2018
Termination & ResignationWage and Hour  

No extra OT owed for bonus based on % of earnings in California

An employer’s award of a bonus based on a percentage of overtime earnings didn’t require any extra overtime payments, ruled a federal district court in California. The decision illustrates how a dispute over 12 cents can literally turn into a federal case. During one particular workweek, an employee earned $4.745 in overtime.…

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