Posts Tagged ‘wage and hour suits’

Lowballing the cost of junior-manager overtime

How reliable are projections from the Department of Labor about the cost of the President’s ambitious new extension of overtime entitlements to salaried workers earning $23,660-$50,440? The “administration refuses to allow others to check its math. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state agency that I lead, in August requested the specific data and methodology the Labor Department used to calculate its estimates. Our request was denied.” So the department went ahead with its own analysis. “The rule will supposedly cost $2 billion the first year. Our math shows $1.7 billion for Florida alone.” [Jesse Panuccio, WSJ, earlier here, here, here, here, and here]

Nail salons: an inspector calls

After the New York Times wildly muffed that big outrage story on worker pay at nail salons — and the first installment in Jim Epstein’s series makes a compelling case that it did — Andrew Cuomo’s inspectors descended in force to see what violations they could find. That’s when, to the great detriment of workers and salon owners alike, the real chaos began.

More: Part III of the series is on the supposed miscarriage/cancer epidemic conjured up by the Times. If you like the way Epstein first chipped and then cracked the paper’s well-glossed claws, watch what he does with the solvents.

Wage and hour roundup

  • Danny Meyer decision to move NYC restaurants to no-tip policy “was driven by state and federal laws and regulations” [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism]
  • U.S. Department of Labor will seek comment on whether employers should be liable for overtime when non-exempt employees use company-issued mobile devices after hours [Daniel Schwartz]
  • Yes, the Gig Economy is piecework, no, there isn’t anything particularly horrible about that [Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View]
  • House panel blasts DoL regs prescribing overtime for junior managers [Littler, House Small Business]
  • The madness of King Andrew: Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage would amount to 90% of the median wage in Buffalo metro area, 86 percent in Rochester [Alex Armlovich, New York Daily News]
  • “Asian Nail Salon Staff Demand Apology From The New York Times for Poverty-Porn Series That’s Costing Them Jobs” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, earlier] And more: Jim Epstein re-reports the Times nail salon story in the first of a four-part series. Devastating, read it;
  • Class action lawyer sues 2 more “Uber for…” startups on wage/hour classification theory [ArsTechnica, earlier]

Wage and hour roundup

  • “No unpaid internship in the for-profit sector ever has or ever will satisfy these [USDOL] rules” [Bryan Caplan]
  • Obama wage/hour czar David Weil doubles as a key ideologist of the kill-outsourcing crowd [Weekly Standard, related earlier on NLRB move against franchise and subcontract economy]
  • “A $15-hour minimum wage could harm America’s poorest workers” [Harry Holzer, Brookings] Alderman Antonio French, a key Ferguson protest figure, opposes minimum wage hike in St. Louis [Washington Post “WonkBlog”]
  • “Andrew Cuomo’s leftward lurch: Calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage is his latest out-of-character move” [Bill Hammond, NY Daily News] Since minimum wage hike, mini-recession has hit employment in Los Angeles hotel sector [Ozimek]
  • Court ruling: Yelp reviewers volunteer their reviews and are not entitled to be paid for them [Courthouse News]
  • 400 Uber drivers: don’t let them take away our independent contractor status [Daniel Fisher, Forbes] Mandated benefits and the “Happy Meal Fallacy” [Tabarrok]
  • “Bill Would Make Maryland Employers Set Work Schedules Earlier” [WAMU on Del. David Moon’s “Fair Work Week Act”; related on national “Schedules That Work” Democratic legislation, Connor Wolf/Daily Caller]

“Hillary: ‘I Am Going To Make Some Employers Go to Jail'”

“I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft and all the other abuses that they engage in,” said unpaid-intern-using presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a Labor Day rally in Illinois. [Tom S. Elliott, National Review] The elastic epithet “wage theft” has been used to describe employer practices ranging from permitting employees to send work-related email after hours to failing to anticipate claims that employees who applied for and happily worked at fixed-salary jobs should instead have been classified as hourly and paid overtime.

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.