Unpaid Wages

News & Analysis as of

Court of Appeals Rejects Mandatory Treble Damages Under Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last week, in the case of Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., the Court of Appeals had another opportunity to reflect on the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) and specifically discuss the application of...more

D.C. Council Seeks To Amend Wage Theft Prevention Act

Executive Summary: The D.C. Council is seeking to amend the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Act less than one year after the last amendment. If passed, the amended law would substantially increase penalties...more

When Mediation Makes Sense: A Win for Employers and Employees

A recent article in the New York Times discussed a new law giving unpaid interns in New York the right to sue if they are harassed or discriminated against by an employer. The legislation takes effect in June, a time of year...more

QUIRKY QUESTION # 224, The De Minimis Defense to Off the Clock Work Claims

We have an employee who is claiming that he should be paid for time cleaning up his work station after logging out of our electronic time keeping system each night. Literally, he spends one or two minutes straightening his...more

Bill Would Authorize Pre-Judgment Wage Liens On Real And Personal Property Of Employers And Third Parties

I often say that to be an employer in California is to be sued. California is litigious and its labor (and other) laws are maddingly complex. Last spring, Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal submitted a bill, AB 1164, that...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - November 2013

Flurry of New California Employment Statutes Continues - The California Legislature passed and Governor Brown approved the following new statutes impacting California employment law that shortly take effect in 2014....more

Payments Upon Termination Of Employment: Is Anyone Still Confused?

Most California employers know that an employee who is fired must be paid all of his or her wages, including accrued but unused vacation, immediately at the time of termination. Labor Code sections 201 and 227.3. However, I...more

Zombies, Ghouls, and Unpaid Wage Claims: The Top 5 HR Horrors This Season

As the group that shepherds employees from the application stage through the end of the employment relationship, human resources (HR) departments administer programs and policies that could greatly impact a company if a...more

How the New California Laws Will Impact Your Business in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Wage and Hour Legislation

In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law approximately 9 out of 10 bills presented to him. This three-part blog series summarizes the new legislation and captures the key employment law related bills that are likely to...more

The CA Supreme Court Issues a Confusing Opinion on the Question of Whether Employees can be forced to Arbitrate Unpaid Wage Claims...

We have written regularly regarding the enforceability of arbitration clauses contained in standard employment agreements. Understandably, most employers would love to avoid the uncertainty of appearing before a judge or jury...more

Employer Exposure in Unpaid Wage Lawsuits May Decrease as Second Circuit Refuse to Apply New York Wage Theft Prevention Act's...

In 2010, New York enacted the Wage Theft Prevention Act, which in part amended its Labor Law to require courts to impose a liquidated damages award of 100% of the total unpaid wages owed to the employee. The law previously...more

Employment Law Advisory for August 30, 2013: No Help for Employers from the Legislature in the Battle against Wage and Hour Claims

Perfect compliance with the California Labor Code, California Wage Orders and the Fair Labor Standards Act, is a constant challenge for every employer. An innocent and seemingly minor error can result in significant potential...more

SJC Holds that Massachusetts Wage Act Is Not Intended to be Sole Remedy for Recovery of Unpaid Wages Under State Law

On August 12, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Lipsitt v. Plaud that the Massachusetts Wage Act is not intended to be the sole remedy for the recovery of unpaid wages under state law. The Court concluded that...more

Massachusetts SJC Holds That Wage Act Does Not Preempt Common Law and Equitable Claims for Unpaid Wages

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has overruled a Superior Court decision holding that a state statute requiring payment of wages preempts common law and equitable causes of action for recovery of unpaid wages....more

Unauthorized Alien Workers Recover FLSA Wages

Two federal appellate courts have ruled this year that, as one of them put it, "aliens, authorized to work or not, may recover unpaid and underpaid wages under the [federal Fair Labor Standards Act]."...more

Quick Tips on Dealing with Employment Termination Issues in China

On June 21, 2013, a United States medical supplies company executive was taken captive by Chinese employees in his Beijing factory. The employees have stated that the owner owes them two months’ back pay and expressed concern...more

Massachusetts Employers May Be Liable to Out-of-State Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors

Massachusetts employers have long labored under the strictures of the Massachusetts independent contractor statute, General Laws c. 149, §148B, which makes it exceptionally difficult to engage workers in Massachusetts as...more

Unpaid Internships may be more costly than you think: follow-up to recent post

On June 11, in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.., the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that unpaid interns who worked for on the movie “Black Swan” had been improperly classified, and were...more

Employers Are Provided Additional Ammunition To Defend FLSA Collective Actions

We have understood for many years that early assessment and action can help resolve claims by current and former employees. The Supreme Court recently provided employers with additional ammunition with which to derail, or...more

The Wage & Hour Perils of Employing Personal Assistants

No one would ever accuse Lady Gaga of being boring. Case in point: her current legal woes, which make an excellent and entertaining cautionary tale for employers....more

Go Directly to Jail - Directors & Unpaid Wages

The liability of officers and directors of corporations for unpaid wages to employees is not a new concept. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in Ontario also provides for fines that can certainly drive the intended...more

Three California Contractors Fined a Total of $1.8 Million For Willful Violation of CA Wage, Apprenticeship Laws

As reported in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, three contractors were found by the California Labor Commissioner to have “willfully” violated state wage and apprenticeship laws. The contractors were ordered to pay over...more

Legislation Roundup: Maryland General Assembly Mandates that Employers Provide "Light Duty" to Pregnant Disabled Women, Leave for...

In May 2013, Governor Martin O'Malley signed three noteworthy statutes that will affect virtually every Maryland employer. Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees must provide their pregnant...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2013: Unreimbursed Expense May Result in Minimum Wage Violation, But Not a Labor Code § 450 Private...

In Sanchez v. Aerogroup, the plaintiff alleged that as a condition of her employment she was required to purchase at least eight pairs of shoes from her employer without reimbursement. She asserted violations of both minimum...more

Man-to-Man Defense Clears Court: Early Judgment Offers Will Satisfy Named Plaintiff's Claims…For Now

In its recent decision in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, the U.S. Supreme Court aided employer efforts to "pick off" named plaintiffs in collective actions for unpaid wages brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act...more

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