Published: October 28, 2019

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") revised the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") exemptions. The change could cause millions of Americans to be reclassified as non-exempt.

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Published: October 24, 2019

On October 8, 2019, the Department of Labor ("DOL") issued long awaited rules that could have a significant impact in the restaurant industry. The proposed rules would broaden employers' abilities pay tip credit wages for non-tipped work and to include both front and back of the house employees in certain tip pooling programs. 

Background

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Published: October 17, 2019

Employers frequently face a rash of absences and call-offs in the wake of a natural disaster. Generally, whether a business is required to pay an employee who misses work depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). If an exempt employee misses work for personal reasons, but the business remains open, the employer may deduct a full day’s salary. This includes absences due to transportation problems caused by weather. Likewise, a business is not required to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked. If a business is closed due to a storm, the employer is obligated to pay exempt employees their normal salary, as long as the shutdown lasts less than a week.

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Published: October 14, 2019

Following on the heels of a much publicized incident in high school athletics, the New Jersey Division of Rights ("DCR") issued enforcement guidance ("Guidance") clarifying and explaining discrimination based on hairstyles, "with a particular focus on hairstyles closely associated with Black people." The Guidance follows an incident where a high school African-American wrestler was told by a referee that he must choose between cutting his dreadlocks or forfeiting the match.

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Published: October 11, 2019

On September 20, 2019, the Tenth Circuit held that cannabis industry employers are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Defendant contended that because the employer’s employment activities are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, the FLSA’s protections to do not apply to its workers.  This argument was soundly rejected by the Tenth Circuit – putting cannabis industry employers on notice that the FLSA and most likely other federal workplace protections apply to workers in the cannabis space.    

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Published: October 9, 2019

On October 2, 2019, the Supreme Court declined to review a 9th Circuit decision in a website accessibility lawsuit, Robles v. Domino’s. The 9th Circuit decision had reversed a grant of summary judgment and held that ADA Title III did potentially require that services of a place of public accommodations offered through websites and mobile apps, such as ordering pizza for delivery, be accessible, and remanded the case. Domino’s, supported by many major business groups, asked the Supreme Court to take the case and to provide direction on the application of the ADA to websites and other digital platforms. Many major news outlets are reporting this as a major victory for disability rights. That is overstated. There was no opinion, only a denial of a cert. petition. The 9th Circuit decision stands (for now) and lower courts will continue to struggle with these issues, as they have for years. The publicity may do more to increase litigation than the decision. The Supreme Court will eventually need to weigh in on this issue, but not now. Read a full analysis of this decision, here. 

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