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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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03 Mar 2017 By the Numbers: Women in the Workforce

  In honor of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Department of Labor posted some thought-provoking statistics about working women.  While employers already know women play an important role in the U.S. job market, these figures demonstrate just how significant female workers are in our economy.  Below are some of the fascinating numbers about working women:   Nearly half of the U.S. workforce is comprised of women, with more than 74.6 million women employed in civilian jobs Almost 10 million women are business owners and account…

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15 Jan 2015 Hope For Employers: Some Courts Are Requiring The EEOC To Thoroughly Investigate Allegations Before Siding With Employees

The EEOC, in theory, is supposed to be neutral. It is supposed to collect complaints from individuals who believe that their employers have wronged them, provide the employers with an opportunity to respond, investigate the complaints further if the circumstances warrant it, and provide the parties with an opportunity to conciliate their disputes short of litigation. Many employers feel that the EEOC is hardly neutral, however. They say that, rather than acting as an unbiased third party, the EEOC sees itself as a pro-employee agency…

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07 Jan 2015 The Interns Strike Back: An Update – Court Approves $5.85 Million Conde Nast Settlement, While Appeals Remain Pending in Other Cases

Major magazine publisher Conde Nast closed out the year with preliminary court approval of its $5.85 million settlement of a lawsuit that alleged that thousands of  individuals should have been paid at least the minimum wage for time they spent as interns for magazines such as The New Yorker.  The settlement is expected to cover more than 7,000 former interns. Thus, the parties are able to resolve their dispute without additional time, expense and uncertainty of litigation. The settlement, which will be subject to a…

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14 Nov 2014 New Jersey Employers: Remember Your Notice Requirements

As we near the end of the year, employers doing business in New Jersey should remember some key notice requirements. First, by no later than January 1, 2015, New Jersey employers will need to post the updated Wage and Hour Law Abstract poster (which is on the second page). The poster must be conspicuously displayed and include the new minimum wage increase, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015. The new minimum wage will be $8.38 per hour.   Second, on or before December…

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22 Aug 2014 California Governor Signs Bills Impacting California Wage Suits

  California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills earlier this week intended to clarify California’s wage laws. The first of these bills, A.B. 2074, clarifies the statute of limitations to file suit for liquidated damages in relation to a violation of California’s minimum wage payment law. Specifically, existing law allows an employee to bring a civil lawsuit against an employer for the unpaid balance of wages/compensation owed to that individual, as well as to recover liquidated damages equal to unpaid wages plus interest in an…

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07 Aug 2014 Illinois Governor Signs Payroll Card Law

  Governor Quinn has signed HB 5622, which amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act by recognizing payment of wages via payroll card.   As we previously reported, the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2015. At that time, payment of wages via payroll card will be recognized by Illinois law, subject to a number of requirements.  The requirements include the following: Employers must offer employees the option of receiving wages via cash, check or direct deposit and obtain employees’ voluntary…

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11 Jul 2014 A “Bit” of a Challenge to Employers: Bitcoin and Other Alternative Payroll Methods LETTER OF THE LAW: CURRENT EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES A-Z

The rise of alternative payroll methods such as prepaid debit cards and Bitcoin is likely to present both opportunities and challenges for employers in the very near future.  In 2013, nearly 4.5 million employees received wages on a payroll card. Major retailers, such as Lord & Taylor and Overstock.com, began accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment. Some employees express a preference for alternative payroll methods.   This growing popularity in unconventional payment methods is no surprise, as the alternatives provide value to both employers…

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04 Jun 2014 Illinois legislature recognizes payroll cards as method of wage payment

  The Illinois legislature has passed House Bill 5622, which amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) to expressly recognize payroll cards as a method of wage payment in Illinois. HB 5622 is currently awaiting signature by Governor Quinn.  Once signed, the new law will take effect on January 1, 2015.   At present, the IWPCA only expressly recognizes cash, check, or direct deposit as valid methods of wage payment in Illinois; the Act is silent regarding payroll cards.  Last year, however, the…

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08 May 2014 Are You Paying Your Employees Frequently Enough?

  One of the biggest challenges for multi-state employers is keeping up to date with the myriad patchwork of laws across the 50 states. What is acceptable in one jurisdiction may get you in trouble in another, or worse yet – could be illegal and result in a lawsuit. One of those minefields is the assorted wage-payment laws regulating how often employees should be paid.   As veteran HR professionals know, there are steep consequences for not timely paying employees in accordance with the local…

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27 Nov 2013 2nd Circuit to Decide Unpaid Interns’ Class Status

  As I discussed in a prior post, there have been numerous lawsuits filed on behalf of unpaid interns suing their former companies for unpaid minimum wages and overtime. These are even more significant based on the number of potential plaintiffs as these have been brought as collective or class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or state law. Recently, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has accepted appeals in two different cases from the Southern District of New York which had diametrically opposed holdings. In the Fox…

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