News & Analysis

Congress pins down tip-pooling requirements

When Congress passed another spending bill in March 2018, few people were expecting it to resolve a somewhat obscure and highly technical dispute over how employers allocate tips among their workers. Nevertheless, that's exactly what the law does, and the result is much-needed clarity on the topic. Let's take a closer look at tip pools, their history, and what the new law accomplishes.

New DOL program offers self-reporting of wage and hour violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in March 2018 that it is launching a program to allow employers a chance to self-audit their wage and hour practices ― and report any violations they find ― in exchange for limited protection from additional liabilities and claims. The program, dubbed the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (or PAID) program, will start as a six-month pilot, after which the DOL will decide whether to offer it on a permanent basis.

5 reasonable accommodation pitfalls to avoid

Litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been on the rise in recent years and will likely continue to increase in 2018. One area of ADA compliance fueling the increase is the duty to reasonably accommodate employees' disabilities. While most employers are aware they have a duty to accommodate the disabilities of qualified individuals, many struggle with the specifics of when an accommodation is required and how the accommodation process should work from a legal perspective. To help you avoid ending up on the wrong side of an ADA lawsuit, here is a list of the five most common pitfalls employers face when dealing with the ADA's reasonable accommodation requirements.

Best practices for employer investigations

A poorly conducted investigation into alleged workplace misconduct can cost your company financially and cause damage to its reputation. A properly conducted investigation, on the other hand, will help you defend your company in the event of a lawsuit and build confidence and trust among your employees. Here are best practices that apply to most investigations.

Agency Action

DOJ sues California over immigration. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in March 2018 that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a lawsuit against California based on the state's enactment of laws seen as creating "sanctuary" jurisdictions. The DOJ says three different state laws "intentionally obstruct and discriminate against the enforcement of federal immigration law." The department contends that the laws are preempted by federal law and "impermissibly target the Federal Government, and therefore violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution."

Workplace Trends

Survey finds global engagement levels at all-time high. Global employee engagement levels hit an all-time high in 2017, according to research from Aon, a global professional services firm. The 2017 figures follow a dip in engagement levels the previous year. Aon's analysis of more than five million employees at more than 1,000 organizations around the world found that global employee engagement levels reached 65% in 2017, up from 63% in 2016. The percentage of employees who were highly engaged increased from 24% in 2016 to 27% in 2017. Aon research shows that a five-point increase in employee engagement is linked to a three-point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year.

The battle over tip pools: what California employers need to know

There has been a battle raging over tip pooling, which ultimately resulted in an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on March 23, 2018. The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided some welcome clarification regarding the new federal law on April 6. This article addresses what California employers need to know about that federal legislation and California's tip-pooling rules.

California legislators seek to address sexual harassment in the #MeToo era

California legislators returned to Sacramento in January and set to work addressing issues surrounding sexual harassment. Below we summarize nine proposed bills related to sexual harassment.

CA's rule on violence against healthcare workers serves as model for federal law

Since 2014, the incident rate for violence against healthcare workers has been more than triple that of the overall rate for all private industry workers. The disproportionate rate of violence against employees of healthcare organizations has necessitated legislation to protect healthcare workers across the nation. California is leading the way in preventing such violence, with its rule addressing violence against healthcare workers serving as a model for a proposed federal law. That federal legislation, titled the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act, was proposed by U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-California) in March 2018.

California's got talent: Musician's creative FTSL claim falls flat

California's Fee-Related Talent Services Law (FTSL) covers business interactions between talent services and artists in the entertainment industry. Talent services covered by the FTSL include talent listing services that provide artists audition and employment opportunities. The California Court of Appeal recently held that an artist must actually suffer an injury to bring a claim against a talent services company under the FTSL.