May 2012

Lawsuits under the minimum wage and overtime laws have become a cottage industry. Filings of these lawsuits have increased 400% from 2000 to 2011. Why? While some reasons may depend upon whom you ask (and their political leanings), there are clearly some trends, as noted in a recent article here.

A few reasons:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938 and the substance of its provisions has remained constant since then. But, our economy has changed dramatically – from a primarily manufacturing-based economy then, to a primarily service-based economy now. This leads to some “square peg/round hole” problems as employers try to apply concepts from a bygone era to a new economic reality.
    Continue Reading Wage and Hour: Why So Many Lawsuits?

The National Labor Relations Board’s recent attempt to change its union election rules has been halted by a federal district court in Washington, D.C. The Court ruled that the attempted changes were not valid because the vote to approve the rules occurred when the Board did not have a quorum (Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, D.D.C., No. 11-cv-2262, 5/14/12).

Interestingly, the decision hinged on what is sufficient “participation” in an electronic vote to satisfy quorum requirements. Board member Brian E. Hayes did not vote or take any action in the December 16, 2011 electronic vote. Is that like being present but abstaining, and thus counting toward a quorum? No, said the Court. Hayes was only sent the notification calling for a vote; he did not vote or even abstain. His silence was as if he was not in attendance at an in-person meeting, and thus, no quorum was present for the election rules to have been properly adopted.

Continue Reading Federal Court Halts Board’s Changes in Election Rules

The passage of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 has led certain retail sellers and manufacturers to take a closer look at their supply chains for potential human trafficking violations.  And as of January 1, 2012, those retail sellers and manufacturers are required by the Act to make certain disclosures to the public regarding their efforts toward eradicating human trafficking and slavery in their supply chains.

Which entities are covered?

The Act applies to every retail seller and manufacturer doing business in California and having annual worldwide gross receipts that exceed $100,000,000.  An entity is doing business in California for the purposes of this Act if it: Continue Reading Compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010