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The In-House Advisor Published by Shepard Davidson & Renee Inomata

Category Archives: Wage & Hour

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December 1 Overtime Final Rule on Hold

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

On November 22, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted the request of 21 states to temporarily halt the effective date the U.S. Department of Labor’s Final Rule (“Final Rule”) raising the salary threshold to qualify for the white collar exemptions from minimum wage and overtime requirements from taking effect. Accordingly,… Continue Reading

Beware: Individual Liability for Equityholders Under MA Wage Act

Posted in Wage & Hour

Under the Massachusetts Weekly Payment of Wages Act (“Wage Act”), the President, Treasurer and “any officers or agents having the management of such corporation” are considered to be employers and are subject to individual liability for failing to comply with its requirement. In a previous blog post, Managers of LLCs Can Be Personally Liable Under… Continue Reading

Reliance on MA Case Finding That Compensation Contingent on Funding is Not Owed is Risky

Posted in Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Historically, Massachusetts courts routinely ruled that it was a violation of  the Massachusetts Wage Act to fail to pay an employee who had been promised payment for her work only after the employer received sufficient funding. For example, in Stanton v. Lighthouse Financial Services, Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner found not only once, but… Continue Reading

Don’t Let a “Bonus” Become a “Wage” (Under the MA Wage Act)

Posted in Wage & Hour

As I have previously warned in prior blog posts here and here, the Massachusetts Wage Act exposes a company and individuals having management responsibility for the company to mandatory treble damages and attorneys’ fees for failing to pay wages.  Because the statute, however, does not define the term “wages,” employees have attempted to apply the… Continue Reading

Hiring/On-boarding Checklist

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Wage & Hour

For entrepreneurs starting a new business, the focus often is on developing the products or services being offered by the business and, maybe, financing for getting (and keeping) the business off the ground. Yet, regardless of whether the business offers products or services, no business can succeed without people. Therefore, setting up proper intake systems for… Continue Reading

Holiday Tips for Employers

Posted in Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination, Harassment, Supervisor Training, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Because ’tis the season to give, The In-House Advisor would like to give in-house counsel the following reminders so as to limit their companies’ holiday exposure: Tip 1:  Religious discrimination and accommodations As we all know, while the “holiday” season in December often refers to Christmas, there are many other religious holidays celebrated by workers,… Continue Reading

Managers of LLCs Can be Personally Liable Under the Massachusetts Wage Act

Posted in Separations, Layoffs & Terminations, Wage & Hour

In a June 13, 2013 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court clarified that managers of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) can be individually liable for violations of the Massachusetts Weekly Payment of Wages Act, and, thus, be personally responsible for treble damages and attorneys’ fees. In Cook v. Patient Edu, LLC, the lower court had originally… Continue Reading

Using Unpaid Interns May be Illegal

Posted in Uncategorized, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

As summer approaches, many companies will face the tempting invitation from students to work “for free” as interns.  While some companies may consider jumping at the chance to enhance their workforce without incurring the costs of compensation, health insurance and other benefits of being an employee, as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District… Continue Reading

Selection of Forum Other Than Massachusetts May Not Avoid Wage Act Enforcement

Posted in Jurisdiction, Venue and Choice of Law, Miscellaneous Employment, Wage & Hour

Before last week, a non-Massachusetts employer could insulate itself from employee claims under the Massachusetts Weekly Payment of Wages Act (“Wage Act”) simply by having its employees agree that all employment disputes be litigated in the employer’s home state.  That all changed with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Melia v. Zenhire, Inc.   … Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns: When Are They Permitted?

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

As summer internship season approaches, employers should carefully institute internship programs which comply with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The Test. In the case of “for-profit” companies, unpaid internships must meet the strict criteria of the FLSA.  Specifically, as stated in U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) FLSA Fact Sheet #71 unpaid… Continue Reading

Three Myths About Who is “Exempt” and Who is “Non-Exempt”

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Miscellaneous Employment, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Even the most sophisticated employer in the most intellectually demanding industry may misclassify its workers as “exempt” when they are, in fact “non-exempt.”  The increasing number of misclassification litigation is a sure sign that no one is completely immune from inadvertently misclassifying workers.  What exactly are the workers “exempt” from anyway?  The federal Fair Labor Standards… Continue Reading

Three Employment Claims to Avoid in 2012

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Labor Relations, Miscellaneous Employment, Separations, Layoffs & Terminations, Supervisor Training, Wage & Hour

Most employment claims can be avoided by simply being aware of what the law requires.  Here are three recurring issues which plaintiffs’ class action attorneys and government agencies are targeting across the country and which can be easily avoided by taking action now. 1.  Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)… Continue Reading