Five Things That Did Not Happen to Employers in 2013

It seems that the EEOC, the DOL, the NLRB, the unions and plaintiffs’ lawyers are always on the verge of doing something that causes headaches or worse for employers.  There were things employers feared or hoped for in 2013.  Here are five to think about and plan for in 2014.

#1       The pace of wage-hour claims did not slow down

We saw continued aggressive enforcement of minimum wage and overtime laws by the Nevada Labor Commission and the US DOL during 2013.  The following issues were the most troublesome for employers:

  • Which Nevada Minimum Wage applies?  See this for help.
  • When is daily overtime due under Nevada law?  See this for help.
  • Can an employer force a tip sharing arrangement on employees?  The answer in Nevada is generally yes.  Despite the 9th Circuit’s clear holding that the federal tip sharing rules do not apply to non-tip credit states like Nevada, you can expect the DOL to continue to try and meddle in tip-sharing programs.  The most fertile area for litigation in Nevada involves who can particpage in a tip pool.  For now Steve Wynn has cleared the way for certain employees who look like supervisors to participate in a tip pool.

The US DOL has set out its priorities in its 2014 budget justification document:

 

At the FY 2014 Request Level, WHD requests $243,254,000 and 1,872 FTE. These resources will support a continued shift to greater directed and complaint enforcement activity in priority industries and will offer an improved customer service approach to complaint handling in lower priority industries. WHD will continue to increase its number of compliance actions, but anticipates that continued gains in compliance actions concluded will be incremental as WHD maintains its emphasis on conducting quality case work and concentrates on no-violation cases through effective compliance screening and investigation targeting. At the request level, WHD is increasing its percentage of directed investigations. WHD data show a higher number of employees affected and greater back wages on average for directed investigations.

 The agency will continue to use its directed investigations to increase WHD presence in high risk industries, i.e., those industries with high minimum wage and overtime violations and among vulnerable worker populations where complaints are not common.

For more good information follow the Fisher & Phillips Wage and Hour Blog.

 

#2       The scrutiny of employers who use independent contractors did not stop

While state coffers continue to hurt, various agencies continue to aggressively audit employers who use independent contractors.  See this for assistance.

The US DOL also aggressively investigates misclassification issues.  In fact, in its budget justification document, the DOL requested $3.8 million in its FY 2014 budget to, among other things, hire 35 FTEs for increased enforcement related to misclassified workers.  In an effort to help out the states and put employers under further pressure the DOL also promised to “leverage its relationships with other federal, state, and local agencies and with worker, employer, and community organizations.”

For more good information follow the Fisher & Phillips Wage and Hour Blog.

 

#3       The NLRB did not formally issue its “quickie election” rules

 After a federal court quickly struck down the NLRB’s proposed quickie election rules nothing much happened.  However the proposed rule is still on the NLRB’s official agenda.  With a full and legally appointed and confirmed NLRB you can count on this rule be officially reissued during 2014.  Here (see Step #3) is how to start getting ready.

 

#4       A number of public sector unions in Nevada did not get the memo that local government budgets are in still in horrible shape

Some local governments are seeing their way to modest COLAs and some unions are getting them in arbitration.  But as for the long term structural changes that must be made to public sector compensation many unions just don’t get it.  Look for upcoming fact-finding and interest arbitration proceedings made necessary by unions who refuse to give up the kinds of benefits which are disappearing across the state and the country:

  •  Longevity
  • Automatic (“springing”) raises to pay the employees’ portion of PERS increases
  • Employer payment of retiree health benefits

 

#5       The EEOC did not shrivel up and blow away

The EEOC did not stray much from its previously stated enforcement priorities.  It did have a setback in court when it tried to challenge an employer’s right to use criminal conviction information in hiring.  While the EEOC’s broad attack was unsuccessful in that particular case, you must exercise care not to make hiring decisions based solely on a criminal conviction without looking at the specifics of the situation.  See this for assistance.

This entry was posted in Discrimination, General, hiring, Independent Contractors, Interest Arbitration, Labor Law, Minimum wage, NLRB, Overtime, Public Sector Unions, Union avoidance, Wage-hour. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>