The coronavirus outbreak has become a global emergency. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Chinese authorities imposed quarantines and restricted travel throughout the country. National and local governments have issued various rules dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. On Jan. 24, the Office of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued a notice on the proper handling of labor relations related to the virus. Many provincial and municipal governments (including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Suzhou and Chongqing as well as the Guangdong, Shandong, and Zhejiang provinces) have issued stricter rules in accordance with authorizations provided under China’s Emergency Response law and other regulations.

National and local rules have imposed significant challenges for companies operating in China. This blog post summarizes key Chinese national and local rules governing employer obligations and provides general guidance on how foreign businesses operating in China can comply with the new rules. Because the coronavirus outbreak remains a global emergency, companies are encouraged to check local rules and laws daily to ensure compliance with the latest local regulations.
Continue Reading Chinese employment law guidelines for subsidiaries operating in China during the coronavirus outbreak

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is making significant changes to the regulations covering the regular rate of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the first time in more than 50 years. The FLSA entitles most covered, nonexempt employees to receive overtime pay of at least one and one-half times the employee’s

Earlier this month, we reported that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) was reportedly set to propose a new regulation that would update time-and-a-half pay requirements for all hours worked beyond 40 hours a week. The Department’s proposed rule would raise the currently-enforced salary threshold, thus extending overtime protection to more workers.

On March 7, 2019, the DOL issued a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the salary threshold for overtime exemption from $23,660.00 annually to $35,308.00 annually. On March 22, 2019, the DOL formally published the NPRM in the Federal Register. As expected, workers who make less than about $35,308.00 per year would be automatically eligible for time-and-a-half pay for all hours worked beyond 40 a week under the proposed rule. The total annual compensation requirement for highly-compensated employees would also increase from $100,000.00 to $147,414.00 under the proposed rule. The proposed rule does not modify the “duties test,” a test used to determine whether workers who make more than the salary threshold are entitled to overtime wages.
Continue Reading DOL formally publishes notice of proposed rulemaking regarding salary threshold increase

Last week, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) was reportedly set to propose a new regulation that would update time-and-a-half pay requirements for all hours worked beyond 40 hours a week. The department’s proposed rule would raise the currently-enforced salary threshold, thus extending overtime protection to more workers. This would be the first such update to the salary threshold since 2004.

On March 7, 2019, the DOL announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the salary threshold from $23,660.00 annually to $35,308.00 annually. In other words, workers who make less than about $35,308.00 per year would be automatically eligible for time-and-a-half pay for all hours worked beyond 40 a week under the DOL’s proposal. Importantly, the proposed rule does not modify the “duties test,” a test used to determine whether workers who make more than the salary threshold are entitled to overtime wages. Furthermore, the proposed rule does not establish automatic, periodic increases of the salary threshold. Instead, the DOL is soliciting comments form the public regarding how the DOL should update overtime requirements every four years. The DOL released these details on its website ahead of the Federal Register’s expected publication of the regulation next week.
Continue Reading DOL releases notice of proposed rulemaking regarding salary threshold increase

Many employers allow students to intern in their workplaces so that the students can gain exposure to real world work, learn about a particular industry or career, or earn credit hours towards their degree requirements. If these interns are unpaid, however, employers risk liability for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers that enter into these arrangements without careful consideration of the FLSA risk lawsuits from former interns and United States Department of Labor (DOL) investigations.

Continue Reading New test should increase employer ability to create unpaid internship positions

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has announced a new nationwide pilot program, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is designed to facilitate resolution of potential overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the WHD’s website describing the program, the program’s primary objectives are to resolve wage and hour claims expeditiously and without litigation, to improve employers’ compliance with overtime and minimum wage obligations and to ensure that more employees promptly receive any owed back wages.

WHD states that it will implement this pilot program nationwide for approximately six months. At the end of the pilot period, WHD will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program, as well as potential modifications to the program to determine its next steps.
Continue Reading Wage and Hour Division announces pilot limited “amnesty” program

Well known asset management company State Street Corporation will pay $5 million to settle allegations of pay inequity raised by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in an audit. OFFCP alleged that the company paid female executives less than men and black executives less than whites at its Boston headquarters. The landmark settlement agreement is the largest back pay settlement collected by OFCCP since 2015.

By way of background, OFCCP audits federal contractors and subcontractors for compliance with workplace affirmative action and nondiscrimination requirements. OFCCP conducted a compensation analysis of State Street’s downtown Boston office in December 2012. According to OFFCP, that analysis revealed that, since at least December 2010, there were “statistically significant” disparities in compensation between male and female workers and black and white workers even when “legitimate factors affecting pay” such as performance, experience and education were taken into account.
Continue Reading The OFCCP strikes, puts State Street’s pay inequity problem out on Front Street

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many employers have questioned their obligation to pay employees while their businesses have been closed. The answer will be different for employees who are exempt and non-exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Under the FLSA, employees who are exempt from overtime requirements must receive their full