Welcome to the latest edition of AlphaStaff's Monthly Compliance Updates!
We are pleased to provide you with a recap of National and State Legal Updates and highlight resources provided by some of AlphaStaff’s trusted legal partners to help guide and keep you in compliance.
DOL Issues Guidance on Tracking Hours Worked by Teleworkers Who Take Breaks
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to employers on how to track hours worked by teleworkers who take breaks. The guidance published in a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2023-1, clarifies that employers must track all hours worked by teleworkers, including short breaks of 20 minutes or less. The key takeaway from the bulletin is that there is no one-size-fits all approach. Employers should set clear expectations for their remote workforce about when nonexempt employees are expected to work and how they should manage and track their breaks. Employers should consider what approach best suits their specific business needs. For more information, visit this link from our trusted legal partner, Littler Mendelson P.C.
Hospitality Employers - Beware of the Dangers of Comingling Employees Between Locations
A recent ruling by the Department of Labor (DOL) reminds employers of the dangers of comingling employees between multiple locations as it relates to compliance with wage and hour law. The DOL found, among other things, that two Florida restaurants with common ownership failed to properly calculate overtime pay when their employees worked at both locations in the same workweek and also failed to pay tipped workers for all hours worked. In total, the DOL recovered nearly $200,000 in back pay and liquidated damages for employees. Follow this link from our trusted legal partner, Fisher Phillips, to read four lessons hospitality employers can learn from this case to avoid the same fate.
Tip Credit - The Turmoil Continues
The tip credit system allows employers to pay employees a direct cash wage of less than the federal (or applicable state) minimum wage and to rely upon tips provided by customers to make up the required minimum wage payment to employees. Over the last few years, the DOL has issued rules that include expanding the agency’s authority to assess penalties against employers who violate the tip provisions of the Fair labor Standards Act (FSLA). In early March 2023, the DOL issued two new fact sheets on the tipping practice. Follow this link from Fisher Phillips for five steps you should consider taking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the increasing challenge of complying with tipping laws.
COVID-19 Leave - What is left?
Most state and local COVID-19 paid leave mandates have expired or will soon expire. Which leave laws went away? Which are expiring soon? Which could return? If you operate in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Washington, follow this link from Littler to find out.
California/OSHA Issues Non-Emergency Regulation (NER) on COVID-19
Overall, the NER is somewhat less burdensome for employers than prior COVID-19 regulations. Among other things, employers are no longer obligated to provide COVID-19 testing at no cost (and during paid time) for employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but did not have a close contact in the workplace. Additionally, the NER permits employers to address COVID-19 workplace control measures as part of their existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program, as opposed to requiring a separate stand-alone COVID-19-specific program. For more information on the contents of the NER and for a list of FAQs issued by Cal/OSHA related to the NER, click on this link.
Chicago Employers: Deadline Fast Approaching to Complete Training on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Bystander Intervention
Employers have until June 30, 2023, to train employees working in Chicago on sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention. A minimum of one hour of sexual harassment prevention training is required for employees, and a minimum of two hours of such training is required for managers and supervisors. One hour of bystander intervention training is required for all employees. To find out more, including how to satisfy these requirements and to review additional obligations, follow this link from Fisher Phillips.
Iowa Passes Consumer Privacy Law - 5 Things Employers Must Know
Iowa will soon be the sixth state in the nation with a comprehensive consumer privacy law. The law, which will take effect January 1, 2025, does not apply to data collected in the employment context and does not include a private right of action. Click here to read five things Iowa employers need to know about this new legislation.
Lawmakers Amend New York State Pay Transparency Law to Address Remote Work Questions
New York became the most recent state to pass wage transparency legislation. On March 3, 2023, Governor Hochul signed into effect an amendment that changes a few key aspects of the law. This new legislation becomes effective September 17, 2023. The amendment eliminated the requirement for employers to post salary ranges for jobs that can be performed in the state of New York, which was understood to mean the law covered remote positions. As a result of the amendment, postings for jobs that will be physically performed in the state must comply with the wage transparency legislation, which is a win for employers. However, the statute also expanded the scope of the law to cover jobs that may be performed outside of New York but that report to a supervisor or work site in New York. As previously highlighted in the AlphaAdvisor for September 2022, New York City’s wage transparency legislation became effective November 2022. Employers within the city limits will need to ensure their policies comply with both the state and city wage transparency requirements. Click here for additional information from Littler.
Washington Releases Draft Policy on Tips, Gratuities, and Service Charges
In an effort to help employers comply with the Washington Minimum Wage Act, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) released a draft administrative policy addressing tips, gratuities, and service charge requirements for employers. The new policy provides examples to address questions that employees may have regarding their wages. L&I is requesting feedback on the policy draft by May 26, 2023, via online submission or emailing ESRules@Lni.wa.gov. Click here for additional information from Jackson Lewis.