DC Circuit Decides Browning-Ferris, sort of

On December 28th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited Browning-Ferris Industries appeal decision – nearly two years after oral arguments were presented in the case. In a 2-1 split decision, the court found that BFI should not be considered a joint employer, but at the same time found that the analytical structure with which the…

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Court Struck Obamacare, But It’s Still Law

A word of caution . . . despite the fact that a federal district court in Texas ruled two weeks ago that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) was unconstitutional, it remains the law of the land. President Trump’s signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law last December,…

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Dodging the Joint Employer Bullet, Again

If the questions and skepticism of two judges for the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals are any indication, McDonalds does not meet the definition of a joint employer under California law. 9th Circuit Judges Susan Graber and Andrew Kleinfeld indicated their belief that McDonald’s relationship with its franchisees did not give it control over…

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Federal Court Weighs In On Overtime Exemption

Speaking of the overtime threshold exemption, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri weighed in recently when it granted conditional class certification under the FLSA to some overtime exempted employees. The Steak ‘n Shake employees were restaurant managers who the company had exempted from overtime under the executive and administrative exemptions. The…

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Appeals Court Upholds Pro-Union Pins on QSR Uniforms

The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an NLRB ruling that allowed QSR employees to wear pro-union pins and buttons on company uniforms during working hours. The case stems from an In-N-Out Burger policy that prohibited employees from wearing any pins or buttons on their work uniforms. Two employees of an In-N-Out store…

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Persuader Rule “Officially” Rescinded

The Trump Department of Labor, at long last, officially rescinded on Tuesday of this week, the persuader rule, which triggered certain reporting requirements on employers in the face of union organizing efforts. Under the Obama-era rule, employers were required to disclose information and advice that outside consultants and attorneys were giving relative to means by…

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Industry Sues over Tipped Wage Regulation

Speaking of the tipped wage and tip credits, the restaurant industry has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Labor challenging to the Obama-era regulation implementing the so-called 80-20 standard for tipped work and prohibiting the tip credit. The lawsuit was filed with the US District Court for Western Texas in Austin by the…

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Court Tosses Salary History Ban

Although perhaps somewhat limited in its application, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the city of Philadelphia from implementing a ban on inquiries into a job applicant’s salary history. In a lawsuit brought by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, US District Court Judge Michael Goldberg gave a win to both the Chamber…

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Tiptoe Through the Tip Pool

It would appear that legislative proposals governing tipped wages are becoming more commonplace, and more restrictive. As we know, the Omnibus Spending Bill signed into law a week ago by the President contained a compromise provision that specifically prohibits employers from taking money from the tips left for their workers. Further, that provision also seems…

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Omnibus Bill Muddies Tip Pools; Hikes DOL, NLRB Budgets

The Omnibus spending bill, unveiled by Congressional negotiators Wednesday and passed by the House yesterday, includes a number of provisions relevant to pending labor issues. Of primary concern is a so-called compromise provision on the tip pooling issue that in actuality is potentially devastating to small businesses. The compromise, which was authored by Senator Patty…

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