Colorado wage theft protection law takes effect in January

December 08, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

Most provisions of Colorado’s new Wage Protection Act, which establishes an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims under state law, will take effect January 1.

The law means that for wages and compensation earned on or after January 1, 2015, the Colorado Division of Labor may receive complaints and adjudicate claims for nonpayment of wages or compensation of $7,500 or less. A written demand for unpaid wages may come from or on behalf of an employee and is satisfied if a notice of complaint filed with the division is sent to the employer.

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New Jersey vote puts minimum wage hikes in state constitution

November 07, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The ballot question making changes to New Jersey’s minimum wage was presented to voters in the November 5 election and passed easily, but many business leaders are uneasy about the change.

By a 60-40 percent vote, voters passed Public Question 2, which will raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014. In addition to the $1 increase, the ballot question will amend the New Jersey constitution to ensure that the state minimum wage will automatically rise with inflation.

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Most homecare workers entitled to minimum wage, overtime under new rule

September 19, 2013 0 COMMENTS

A new rule taking effect January 1, 2015, means most direct-care workers employed by agencies and other third-party employers will be entitled to at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says the change will affect nearly two million direct-care workers, such as home health aides, personal care aides, and certified nursing assistants. The rule extends minimum wage and overtime protections to all direct-care workers employed by homecare agencies and other third parties.

Individual workers who are employed only by the person receiving services or that person’s family or household and engaged primarily in fellowship and protection (providing company, visiting, or engaging in hobbies) and care incidental to such activities still will be considered exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime protections, according to a DOL fact sheet.

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Big changes to Kansas Wage Payment Act take effect July 1

June 13, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Boyd Byers and Lindsey Smith

Significant revisions to the Kansas Wage Payment Act (KWPA) go into effect July 1, changes that give employers more latitude to make payroll deductions to recoup overpayments, loans, and property provided to employees.

Under old law, employers could withhold wages only in limited circumstances, such as (1) when specifically required by law (withholdings for payroll taxes or garnishments, for example), (2) for health care, (3) deposits into a retirement plan, and (4) when the employer had a signed authorization from the employee for a lawful purpose “accruing to the employee’s benefit.”

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Minimum wage going up in 10 states

December 10, 2012 0 COMMENTS

The 2013 minimum hourly wage is set to go up in 10 states.

  • Arizona. The rate goes from $7.65 to $7.80. The state’s minimum wage is adjusted annually based on a cost-of-living formula.
  • Colorado. The rate is going from $7.64 an hour to $7.78 based on an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Florida. The rate goes from $7.67 to $7.79 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Missouri. The rate goes from $7.25 to $7.35 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Montana. The rate rises from $7.65 to $7.80 based on a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Ohio. The rate goes from $7.70 to $7.85.
  • Oregon. The minimum hourly rate goes from $8.80 to $8.95 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Rhode Island. Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law the state’s first minimum wage hike since 2007, raising the rate from $7.40 to $7.75 per hour.
  • Vermont. The rate goes from $8.46 to $8.60 based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index.
  • Washington. The rate goes from $9.04 to $9.19 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Federal law requires employers in states that set their own minimum wage to pay whichever rate is higher.

Weather, power outages stir up pay issues

October 30, 2012 0 COMMENTS

The latest reports coming out of the northeast say that there are at least 7 million people without power because of Hurricane Sandy, and that number is expected to grow before it gets better. So when you close your business because of bad weather or power outages, are you required to pay employees? Here are the answers in a few common scenarios.

Q When a company closes because of inclement weather, must you pay an hourly nonexempt employee for the days the business was closed?

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Weather Wreaking Havoc on Employers

February 02, 2011 0 COMMENTS

As winter weary eyes eagerly watched to see if the groundhog would see his shadow, a large swath of the United States was paralyzed by record snow and ice forcing business closures, stranding traveling employees, knocking out power, and damaging buildings. This week, we’ve collected several articles we thought might help you deal with the current situation and prepare for future acts of Mother Nature. In the meantime, we all hope that Punxsutawney Phil is an accurate weatherman since he did not see his shadow, which legend says means spring will be early.

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Employees Must Be Paid for Donning, Doffing Required Protective Gear

June 17, 2010 0 COMMENTS

Continuing the recently established practice of issuing broadly applicable “Administrator Interpretations” in lieu of wage and hour opinion letters, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Deputy Administrator Nancy Leppink has released the second Administrator Interpretation of 2010. The interpretation, issued June 16, clarifies the definition of “clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), addressing some inconsistency among prior opinion letters and case law on the topic of donning and doffing protective equipment.

Specifically, the FLSA provides that time spent “changing clothes” at the beginning of the workday isn’t considered compensable time; however, there had been a difference of opinion as to whether “clothes” also included mandatory protective equipment required in some industries — for example, meatpacking and processing. In Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2010-2, Deputy Administrator Leppink examined the FLSA’s statutory language and legislative history to determine that “clothes” refers to apparel, not to mandatory protective equipment such as face shields, sanitary and safety equipment, protective gloves, and arm and belly guards. That means employees who are required by safety laws to don and doff protective gear must be compensated for the time it takes to do so.

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Wal-Mart Settles Another Wage and Hour Class Action

December 04, 2009 3 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has kicked off the holiday shopping season with a costly expense. The company has agreed to pay $40 million in the most recent of a string of wage and hour class-action settlements that have challenged the retailer over the past 12 months.

Last December, the company agreed to pay up to $640 million to settle 63 outstanding federal and state class-action wage and hour suits. This most recent settlement, which will benefit more than 87,000 current and former employees in Massachusetts, was based on allegations similar to those of that landmark December 2009 settlement, but it is not a part of that group of cases.

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