Monthly Archives: September 2020

Fifth Circuit Concludes Employees Must Prove That a Bonus Payment Should Be Included in FLSA Regular Rate

In a case of first impression for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Fifth Circuit panel has ruled that it is the employee, not the employer, who has the burden to establish that bonus payments are non-discretionary and, therefore, must be included in the regular rate of pay for computation of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Joshua Edwards, et al. v. 4JLJ LLC, et al., Case Number 19-40553 (5th Cir. September 3, 2020).

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Court Invalidates Portion of U.S. DOL’S Business-Friendly Joint Employer Final Rule

On September 8, 2020, a federal district court struck down the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule on joint employer liability, concluding that the Rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) by impermissibly narrowing the definition of joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), departing from the DOL’s prior interpretations on joint employment without adequate explanation, and otherwise being arbitrary and capricious.  We previously blogged about the details of the Final Rule here.  The DOL published the Final Rule in the Federal Register on January 16, 2020 with an effective date of March 16, 2020.

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EEOC Issues Updates and Additions to COVID-19 Guidance, With a Focus on Return-to-Work

On September 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updates to its What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers (“FAQs”), addressing questions largely focused on return-to-work questions and concerns such as permissible and impermissible inquiries, reasonable accommodation and confidentiality of employee health information.

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Data Privacy and E-Commerce: Considerations for the Food and Beverage Industry

The global food and beverage e-commerce market is expected to grow to $22.4 billion in 2020, possibly reaching $36.4 billion in 2023. That’s up from $14.9 billion in 2019.  Food and beverage e-commerce revenue in the United States alone is projected to exceed $15.2 billion this year and $19 billion by 2022.

It’s no surprise that much of this recent uptick is due, in large part, to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  With most people now working from home and limiting in-person interactions, consumers have flocked online to purchase food, beverages and other essential goods.  And it’s not only online grocery and delivery services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh that are reaping the benefits of this increased consumer demand. Many food and beverage brands themselves have also added or shifted to direct-to-consumer e-commerce offerings. Where supply chain, shipping, and payment processing, among other things, previously made direct sales logistically unattainable and unprofitable, e-commerce became one of the most powerful tools for some in the food and beverage industry to stay relevant and accessible to their customers during the pandemic.

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Ninth Circuit Concludes That Apple Retail Employees Are Entitled to Summary Judgment on Exit Search Claim Continue Reading…

Many employers with operations in California may already be familiar with Frlekin v. Apple, Inc.  The heavily litigated case, first filed in 2013, involves claims that Apple retail employees are entitled to compensation for time spent waiting for and undergoing mandatory exit searches.

The Ninth Circuit has now concluded that those employees are entitled to be paid for that time, holding that they are entitled to an award of summary judgment in their favor.  That is a far cry from the original 2015 ruling in the case in which United States District Court Judge William Alsup denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to Apple, concluding that such time did not qualify as “hours worked” under California law because the searches were peripheral to the employees’ job duties, and could be avoided if the employees chose not to bring bags to work.

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Webinar Video: Wage & Hour – Returning to Work – Class Action Avoidance Series

In this installment of Epstein Becker Green’s “Class Action Avoidance” webinar series, attorney Paul DeCamp discusses wage and hour issues that could arise from transitioning out of the work-from-home reality so many businesses have faced and into the return-to-work phase.

Employers across the country should focus on creating a safe working environment. Certain states and localities have required that employers bringing employees back to the workspace provide or pay for any mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE), including thermometers, gloves, and masks. Additionally, employers should be aware of the time employees take for self-screening and employer-provided screening, such as temperature checks, questionnaires, and handwashing upon arrival.

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: What Fears are Keeping You from Becoming a Rainmaker?

In the latest post from rainmaking expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, she delves into the fears that may be keeping you from becoming a rainmaker.

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Fear.

We all have fears.

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ILN Today Post

DEEMED IDEL EXTENDED TO JANUARY 2, 2021

What is IDEL?

The acronym “IDEL” refers to the Ontario government’s Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, which was added to the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA“) in March, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IDEL is a job-protected leave under the ESA, which means that employees cannot be terminated, penalized or reprised against for requesting or taking an IDEL. The IDEL is an unpaid leave of absence.

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Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast| Episode 15: Olga Torres | Torres Law, International Trade & National Security

Olga Torres is the founding partner of Torres Law, International Trade & National Security, a boutique law firm with offices in Dallas, Texas and an appointment-only office in Washington, DC, and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, we delve into pivoting an in-person marketing and business development plan to a virtual one, the long-term effects of the pandemic on the way firms will do business, and how working virtually can bring a firm closer. Tune in below!

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COVID-19 Trend Watch: Employers Respond to Employees’ Voting Concerns with New PTO and Other Election-Related Policies

As has been true for so many issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, growing concerns about safely voting in the 2020 elections are beginning to permeate the workplace, prompting employers nationwide to create or revise policies to address employee apprehensions about voting amidst a pandemic. Time to Vote, a self-described “business-led, nonpartisan coalition that aims to increase voter participation in the U.S. elections,” founded by numerous major companies, reports that, as of August 27, 2020, more than 700 companies, representing about two million workers, have pledged to grant their employees unpaid or paid time off (“PTO”) to vote on Election Day and to promote initiatives such as early voting and vote-by-mail. In addition, some employers are also providing time off for employees to engage in election-related activities, such as serving as poll workers (in response to the anticipated shortage of such workers due to the pandemic).

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