Posts Tagged ‘wage and hour suits’

Labor and employment roundup

  • Really, I never want to hear one word ever again about Gov. Andrew Cuomo being “at least good on economic issues” [Peter Suderman and Nick Gillespie, Reason (New York will mandate $15/hour for most fast-food workers, which in many upstate cities could amount to 75 percent of average wage); Heather Briccetti/New York Post (activists bused from one hearing to next to jeer opponents); Nicole Gelinas/City Journal (Cuomo picks online guy to represent business on brick-and-mortar-endangering wage board), Joanna Fantozzi/The Daily Meal (possible legal challenge); Coyote on Card and Krueger study]
  • Labor markets don’t behave the way sentimental reformers wish they behaved, part 53,791 [Seattle minimum wage hike: Mark Perry (largest half-year decline in foodservice jobs in region since Great Recession; but see, Brian Doherty on problems with that number series) and Rick Moran (“Employees are begging their bosses to cut their hours so they can keep their food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare benefits.”); David Brooks via Coyote]
  • Employers scramble to monitor, control time worked in response to Obama overtime decree [WSJ] “No one wants to go back to filling out time sheets…. managers fear (rightly) that I will have to set arbitrary maximum numbers of work hours for them.” [Coyote] Business resistance aims for the moment at (deliberately abbreviated) public comment period [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner] “Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily? Quick answer: no” [David Henderson; WSJ/@scottlincicome on seasonal pool-supply company]
  • Hillary Clinton and the Market Basket Stores myth [James Taranto]
  • Labor Department proposes tightening regulation of retirement financial advisers [Kenneth Bentsen, The Hill]
  • Proposed: “well-orchestrated” state ballot initiatives aimed at overturning employment at will [Rand Wilson, Workplace Fairness] My view: “Everybody wins with at-will employment” [Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal amicus briefs in Supreme Court of Washington, followup on oral argument, and thanks to PLF for citing my work in its amicus brief in Rose v. Anderson Hay and Grain; much more on employment at will in my book The Excuse Factory, also some here]
  • The SEIU’s home caregiver membership motel: you can check in, but just try checking out [Watchdog Minnesota Bureau]

Bring Your Own Device legal exposure

Businesses have grown dependent on the practice of employees’ using their own mobile devices in the workplace and for work. Yet the legal complications are rising, including a California appellate decision that “reaffirmed employer obligations to reimburse employees for work related mobile usage on personal devices.” In part because there is no standard metric for breaking down an employee’s data usage bill into work-related and non-work-related portions, it is not easy to attempt tailored reimbursement practices to reflect changing usage: by one estimate, “just the processing of [a manually submitted] expense report alone costs a company between $18 and $29.” As a result, many employers simply settle on a ballpark figure, such as $70/month, as the reimbursement. “If those subsidies were even lightly scrutinized, they’d be deemed, at least partially, an employee benefit subject to taxation to subsidize Netflix and other personal habits.” Add-on services, for a cost, may serve to navigate between the demands of labor regulations on the one hand and tax authorities on the other. [vendor Ben Rotholtz, Forbes]

Labor roundup

July 22 roundup

Obama unveils overtime regs

“Well, they did it. The Obama Administration has proposed a new rule that everyone has to punch a time clock unless they are paid at least $921 a week. … This is a law written by salaried professionals telling younger and lower-paid workers that they have no right to be … salaried professionals.” [Coyote, who also has a few words on the arbitrariness of the Department of Labor’s threshold calculations, and on how DoL implicitly realizes that employers will adjust payroll practice to employees’ detriment, the biggest losers being upwardly mobile strivers.] Short-term benefits for some workers will melt away as employers redesign jobs to avoid overtime, reduce base pay, or lay off staff [Jeffrey Miron, Cato] “Unfortunately, it appears that the White House has given up on economic growth” [Douglas Holtz-Eakin] More: Iain Murray, National Review; Marianne Levine, Politico; W$J; Doug Hass/Wage Hour Insights; Detroit News editorial. My two cents earlier here and generally here.

Wage and hour roundup

California regulators: Uber driver is employee

And there goes the Uber business model, if the ruling is upheld and extends to other drivers. Coyote predicts that if subject to the burdens now heaped on employers, ride-sharing services will have a hard time of it.

Or, to put it differently: yes, the authorities are prepared to kill any and all innovations that threaten their New Deal fantasy of perfect control. More: Matthew Feeney, Cato; Megan McArdle (“‘Employee’ Label Would End Uber as We Know It”); Timothy Lee [slightly edited Wednesday to reflect clarification in news reports]

Obama nears final overtime decree

The unilateral measure, which does not require Congressional approval, will raise “from $23,660 to as much as $52,000 the threshold below which workers must be paid overtime.” Don’t expect low-wage workers to benefit: “[B]usinesses offset new overtime costs with lower base wages. One recent study found that workers pay for 80 percent of overtime costs through such base wage cuts.” That doesn’t mean it’s a wash, though: “The change will kill flexible schedules for entry- and mid-level salaried employees.” [James Sherk, Daily Signal] And the measure’s true target, as with so much union-backed labor regulation, is the upwardly mobile job seeker: “Ambitious workers intent on proving their value by taking on extra responsibilities will be severely hobbled in their ability to do so, and instead be reduced to time-clock punchers.” [J.C. Tuccille, Reason]

We covered this truly awful idea at some length last year.

Labor and employment roundup