Independent Joe #59 December 2019/January 2020

Each year at the turn of the calendar, we see an abundance of stories recapping the year that was. The Year in Review gives us a chance to review what has happened, what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve failed to reach our objectives over the past 12 months. Though generally vanilla and predictable, the Year…

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Independent Joe #58 October/November

Each of us makes commitments that help define the direction of our lives. These include personal commitments to our spouse, family members and friends, and professional commitments to our employer, co-workers and partners. Webster’s defines commitment as, “The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.,” and Matt Light, our featured speaker…

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DOL Submits Fluctuating Workweek Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) last week submitted a proposal to the White House Office of management and Budget (OMB) that would alter how employers must calculate overtime for certain employees. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, overtime-eligible employees must be paid time and a half for any hours over 40 in a workweek.…

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Wage Theft Law Now Much Tougher in NJ

With Governor Phil Murphy still on vacation last week, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation into law that significantly strengthens the penalties for wage theft in New Jersey. S.1790, which Oliver signed last Friday with much fanfare, updates the New Jersey Wage Payment and Wage Hour laws by increasing penalties and enforcement activities. Under the…

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Colorado Ups Wage Theft to Felony

One week ago yesterday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB 1267, An Act Concerning Penalties for Failure to Pay Wages, into law. The law provides that employers who refuse to pay a wage claim, falsely deny a wage claim with an intent to not pay, or underpay a claim as a means to harass or…

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DOL Rules on Joint Employer, Tweaks OT Again

The US Department of Labor came out with its long awaited proposed joint employer rulemaking this week and once again tweaked its regulations on overtime calculations. The proposed joint employer regulation uses a four-part test to determine when a business should be held jointly libel for minimum wage and overtime law violations. Specifically, it proposes…

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Overtime Comments Welcome

As we advised a few weeks ago, the Department of Labor has published its proposed new regulation on the overtime threshold, increasing the amount below which all employees must be eligible for overtime pay. DOL has proposed that the threshold salary be set at $35,308 and publication of the rule in the Federal Register (March…

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Back in Play, Again

In many ways, the validity of various federal regulations could be described as a roller coaster of sorts as well, as evidenced by action last week by the Department of Labor. Recall that during the final days of the George W. Bush administration, the Wage & Hour Division issued a number of opinion letters interpreting…

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House Backs Comp Time Option

As you now know, the US House yesterday afternoon passed the American Health Care Act of 2017 that repeals and replaces Obamacare, but the major media outlets will provide you with all the details on that issue. Perhaps equally important to you, it also passed the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (HB1180) by a…

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What’s Brewing: Overtime rules, Wage Hikes, Salt

It would be an understatement to say these are challenging times for the restaurant business, and, in particular, for the quick service sector. In fact, Dunkin’ franchise owners find themselves in the midst of a veritable superstorm of new government-mandated overtime rules, minimum wage hikes, family-leave requirements and now “voluntary” sodium disclosures as well. Possibly…

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