In the three-year saga over anticipated changes to the minimum salary threshold for overtime exemptions under the Fair Labour Standards Act, the latest – and probably final – development occurred on 24 September 2019, when the US Department of Labour issued its new final rule updating the regulations in this regard. The new regulations will become effective on 1 January 2020. As such, employers must evaluate their workforces to identify positions that will need to be reclassified or modified.
Assembly Bill (AB) 5 has finally been signed into law, making it more difficult for California businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. AB 5 codifies and expands the California Supreme Court's holding in Dynamex and applies the 'ABC' test to most independent contractor questions under California employment law. Now that it has been signed into law and its retroactive effect codified, employers must audit their independent contractor arrangements and pay close attention to the exemptions.
The National Labour Relations Board recently issued a decision that expands the Supreme Court's decision in Epic Systems Corp v Lewis and further authorises employers to limit employees' ability to file or opt in to a class or collective action against their employer. In light of the decision, employers may not only require employees to enter an arbitration agreement that requires one-on-one arbitration, but also impose such an agreement after, and in response to, employees filing or opting in to a class or collective action.
For US employers with 100 or more employees, extensive new information relating to their prior Equal Employment Opportunity-1 filings must soon be submitted. Specifically, in addition to categorising employees by race or ethnicity, gender and job type, employers must now assemble and submit aggregated employee data regarding compensation and annualised hours worked. Assembling the required data may be much more complicated than many employers are expecting, so it is important to begin planning now.
This article reviews the impact of the #MeToo movement, and other corporate culture concerns, on employers and its connection with the Supreme Court's decision in Epic Systems. There is concern that the court's decision will, in many cases, deprive women and men who have been victims of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace of their right to bring collective or class actions, as Epic Systems has forced employees to bring their claims through one-on-one arbitration.