Illinois and Nevada to Up Minimum Wage Rates on July 1

While most states are staying pat and one–Colorado–has actually lowered its minimum wage rate in 2010, Nevada and Illinois are bucking the trend with upticks coming July 1. Acting in accord with an amendment to the Nevada Constitution added in 2006, Labor Commissioner Michael Tanchek announced that his department is increasing the state minimum wage […]

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Reclassifying Employees as Non-Exempt a Proven Red Flag

If you find yourself reclassifying your employees as non-exempt (from previously being exempt), then you could end up in deep legal doo-doo like the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. Reason? It doesn’t take employees long to figure out that, if they’re doing the same jobs as exempt as when they were non-exempt, then they were probably […]

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Wal-Mart Hit With Huge Class-Action Gender Bias Suit

No stranger to labor disputes or the courtroom, Wal-Mart has now been hit with a class-action gender bias lawsuit affecting as many as 1.5 million female employees. In a close ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco voted 6 to 5 to certify class-action status. Wal-Mart immediately said it would appeal to […]

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California Adopts Federal Standard on Unpaid Interns

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) had long made life complicated for employers in the state who wanted to bring on board unpaid interns, adding an extra five criteria to those spelled out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). But all that has changed now that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) […]

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A Billion-Year Contract for 100-Hour Work Weeks and No Pay

A federal judge has dismissed claims against the Church of Scientology by a (former?) member who alleges she was forced to work 100-hour weeks for no pay under a billion-year contract for the religion’s elite Sea Organization, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun. U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer issued a written order saying […]

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Got Interns? Then Maybe You’ll Get a Knock on the Door

The Department of Labor (DOL) and its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) are not only targeting independent contractor misclassification, but they’re also now coming after the misclassification–and misuse–of interns. M. Patricia Smith, who went after New York employers for the misclassification of interns when she was that state’s labor secretary, is now heading up the […]

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Denver Restaurants Targeted by DOL for FLSA Compliance

The Department of Labor (DOL) is launching a Wage and Hour (WHD) investigation of Denver area restaurants for compliance with overtime pay, working hours, and child labor, according to the local DOL office. Chad Frasier, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Denver, says that the restaurant industry has been targeted because of […]

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DOL Targets New York Health Care Industry for Misclassification Audits

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), operating on information from its Albany field office, has targeted the health care industry in New York state for investigation into the misclassification of workers and subsequent under-payment of overtime wages. Underlying this effort is a finding by the department’s Albany district office that, during the past five years, […]

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Maine Legislature to Consider Tying Minimum Wage to Inflation

On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Labor Committee of the Maine legislature will hold hearings on a proposed law to tie the state’s minimum wage into the cost-of-living index. The Maine minimum wage currently rests at $7.50 an hour, 25 cents higher than the federal rate. The indexing law was introduced in 2009 by Representative John Tuttle, […]

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In DOL/IRS Crosshairs: Independent Contractor Misclassifications

The Obama Administration’s fiscal 2011 budget earmarks $25 million for a joint project by the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ferret out employers who abuse the tax code and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by misclassifying as independent contractors those who actually qualify as employees. One of the tests […]

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