Latest Articles

In July, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., holding that the federal wage laws that excuse companies from paying workers for de minimis work, i.e. small amounts of time that are difficult to record, do not apply under the California wage and hour standards. The de minimis rule has been applied by the federal courts for more than 70 years. The doctrine excuses the payment of wages for small…
AB 3080, a bill inspired by the #MeToo movement that would bar employers from inserting binding arbitration clauses into contracts as a condition of employment, passed the California State Assembly on May 31, 2018. The bill is not the law yet – it still must get through the Senate and be signed by Governor Brown, who vetoed a similar bill in 2015. Further, its future may already be in jeopardy as it comes on the…
The IRS recently released guidance providing that taxpayers may, for 2018, treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible health savings account (“HSA”) contribution for family coverage under a high deductible health plan. This change is relevant to employers who sponsor a high deductible health plan and individuals who have contributed or have had contributions made on their behalf to an HSA for 2018. As you may recall, the maximum had been abruptly reduced earlier this year…
As mentioned in our January 2018 Client Advisory, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), signed into law at the end of 2017, contains a temporary employer tax credit, ranging from 12.5 percent to 25 percent, that may be claimed by eligible employers for certain wages paid to qualifying employees during family and medical leave, pursuant to a written policy and subject to certain maximums and other limitations. This advisory explores some of…
Employers, even with the most robust and well-intentioned human resources departments, can still face the dreaded misclassification lawsuit for their salaried employers. In many cases, exempt employees are properly classified as executive or administrative employees. A misclassification lawsuit, however, is difficult to dismiss early because plaintiffs are afforded great latitude in crafting factual disputes that can only be resolved at trial. On top of that, plaintiffs generally bring such claims as class or collective actions…
As we previously posted, gender discrimination issues have been a hot topic at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Now, it seems the NLRB is even more on board the #metoo movement – but with a twist, sexual harassment by unions. On February 20, 2018, the NLRB in ILA Local 28 (Ceres Gulf, Inc.) (NLRB 2018) issued a very concise, but biting decision that vacated an administrative trial court’s decision dismissing a breach of duty…
While President Donald Trump is not known for a deliberate approach, the long-anticipated shifts in labor law and policy is starting to take shape in an efficient and measured form. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) closed out 2017 with several key decisions overturning significant pro-unions policies. These decisions came on the heels of newly minted NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb’s “Mandatory Submissions to Advice” Memo (the “Memo”) directing regional offices to…
As we communicated in our previous advisory, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued new Disability Claims Procedures rules. The original effective date of these rules was extended with the result that the new rules are now effective April 1, 2018. The new rules are not limited to disability plans. They also apply to any retirement plans, medical plans, and other welfare plans where a participant’s disability has an impact under the plan and…
This Advisory supplements our previous advisories dated December 2016, December 2015 (as supplemented in January 2016), October 2014, October 2013, November 2012, November 2011, and October 2010, addressing certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Below is a summary of recent developments impacting some of those requirements. Cadillac Tax The budget deal recently struck by Democrats and Republicans further delays, until 2022, the Cadillac Tax. As you…
At the end of 2017, President Trump signed into law The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) that includes significant changes in the employee benefits area, most of which became effective on January 1, 2018. The following is a brief description of some of the notable changes, and we expect additional guidance on many of the Act’s provisions. Executive Compensation IRC §162(m) Changes for Public Companies. The Act repeals the performance-based compensation exception to…