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Employment Archives

Connecticut DOL investigation reveals that 92 percent of nail salons engage in wage theft

A May 7 New York Times expose last spring shed light on activities of rampant wage theft within the U.S. nail salon industry. Almost exclusively, the workers who are exploited are immigrants from Asian countries who speak little to no English and have little to no understanding about U.S. labor laws, especially those pertaining to wages.

How the DOL's Overtime Rule Update Could Affect You

Following up on, "Helping Employees Address Wage and Hour Violations," posted here on August 13, 2015, we wish to examine the potential effects of the controversial update on the rule proposal to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). On September 4, 2015, the Department of Labor ("DOL") closed comments on its proposed update on overtime regulations. With thousands of comments ranging from enthusiastic encouragement to desperate pleads for the DOL to reconsider, people expect the rule to dramatically change the workforce and the business world.

Helping Employees Address Wage and Hour Violations

An employee's wages generally make up a very big part of their financial lifeblood. How much in wages they receive can impact a variety of aspects of their life such as what sorts of expenses they can take on, what sorts of things they are able to do for their family and what sorts of long-term financial goals they can realistically pursue. Thus, one of the things employees generally care greatly about is getting paid fairly for the hard work that they do. Consequently, an employee can feel very troubled when they come across things that make them suspect that their employer may be violating wage and hour laws and not paying employees as much as they should. 

Attorney for plaintiffs in Uber employment misclassification suit seeks class-action status

Previously, an individual who was in need of transportation had to look up and call the number of a cab service who then dispatched a taxi driver to a customer's location. Today, ride-share car services like Uber and Lyft are taking the place of traditional taxi services and drivers by connecting people in need of transportation with motor vehicle owners in their area via an app-based system.

Pizza Delivery Proving FLSA Kickback Has Broad Reach

Many employees, regardless of industry or location, incur regular expenses related to their jobs - i.e. purchasing tools, cleaning uniforms, and for travel. Employers and employees alike often take expenses like these for granted; however, major employers around the country are learning the consequences of leaving such expenses in the charge of employees. As elaborated below, pizza titans Domino's and Pizza Hut are each facing litigation brought by classes of delivery drivers who incur expenses that reduce their take home pay to levels below the minimum wage, in alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").

SCOTUS to Decide on Use of Statistics in Determining Class Action Liability and Damages

The landscape of class action litigation in the United States has been shaped by evolving judicial interpretations of class certification requirements, and the Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") is once again primed to interpret these requirements. SCOTUS has granted certiorari in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, in order to address the use of representative samples - also referred to as the "trial by formula" method - in calculating liability and damages with respect to an entire class, and whether a class may include members who were not actually injured by the controversy at issue in a litigation.

Are You Being Paid for Answering Those Work emails and Calls Outside of Work?

In the workplace, technology has been credited with improving efficiency and in general making it easier for employees to communicate with superiors, colleagues and customers. Increasingly, however, many workplaces are using technologies like laptops, email and smartphones to exploit workers who are expected to essentially be on call and respond to work-related matters during the evenings and on the weekends.

Supreme Court Increases Employers' Fiduciary Responsibilities in 401(k) Plans

In 2007, a lawsuit was filed against energy giant Edison International, alleging that the company violated the Employees Retirement Income Securities Act of 1974 (ERISA) by offering employees higher-priced retail class mutual funds as retirement plan investments when what were basically the same funds could be had under lower-cost institutional shares. The class action against Edison was brought on behalf of about 20,000 employees and retirees.

Whistleblower Given Large Award in SEC's First Retaliation Action

In its first settlement regarding a claim of retaliation against a whistleblower, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") awarded whistleblower James Nordgaard ("Nordgaard") $600,000, which was 30 percent of the commission's settlement with Nordgaard's former firm, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc.1 After blowing the whistle on Paradigm in 2014 for engaging in prohibited transactions, Nordgaard, who was the former head of trading at the hedge fund, experienced retaliatory actions such as demotion, rescinding of his responsibilities, and being "otherwise marginalized" until he eventually resigned from the firm. Paradigm and its owner, Candace King Weir ("Paradigm"), paid $2.2 million in total to settle the case with the SEC.2

Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Pension Law

On May 8, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a pension law which cut government workers' benefits was unconstitutional pursuant to a clause in the Illinois Constitution. The law was passed in 2013 with the intention of reducing the state's $105 billion debt from the retirement system. Specifically, the law "stopped automatic, compounded yearly cost-of-living increase for retirees, extended retirement ages for current state workers and limited the amount of salary used to calculate pension benefits."1 The Constitution states that pension benefits cannot be "diminished or impaired" once they are agreed upon and are settled as part of a contract between the government and employees.