Aug
6

Thieving Employer or a Trap for the Inattentive? Minnesota's New Wage Theft Statute

The New Minnesota Wage Theft Law Creates Big Risks for Unwary Employers.  Starting August 1, 2019, the date of this post, Minnesota employers committing “wage theft” will now be guilty of a crime. This is just one part of a recent and substantive set of employment reforms in Minnesota intended to enhance worker protections.[1] “Wage theft,” for purposes of the new law, includes any of the following conducted with an intent to defraud:

Failure to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings, or commissions at the employee’s rate or rates of pay or at the rate or...
Jul
16

A Few Basic Employee Rights: Why You May Have Earned that Vacation, but Still Have No Right to One

Questions abound regarding the basic rights that people have as employees. This makes sense given how large of a role jobs play in most of our lives and the complexity and diverse of issues that affect employment. To further complicate matters, though the federal standards are the most commonly cited standards, they do not always apply. Sometimes employers are only responsible for meeting state, or even local, standards. To help clarify the matter for Minnesota employees, this post will address a few of the most common issues regarding basic employee rights.[1] First, though, it is useful...

Sep
28

Calculating Wages Not Paid: Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo

In a decision earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that employees proceeding together as a putative class, or as a collective for claims under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), can demonstrate commonality through statistical evidence that is not particular to the plaintiffs and events at issue. The decision in the case, Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo et al., 765 F.3d 791 (2016)[1] dealt with Tyson employees who stated that their employer failed to compensate them for time putting on and taking off protective gear required for that work. They claimed that...

Mar
16

Leaving a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth - Unsavory Pay Practices in the Food Service Industry

An editorial in the NY Times from March of 2018 highlighted the perceived injustices of pay practices in the restaurant industry. They focused on the most commonly recognized issue of payment at rates below the standard minimum wage levels for tipped employees in states that allow such practices.[1] But while these practices are explicitly authorized under many wage laws, the restaurant industry is rife with other pay practices that do violate employment law at the local or federal level.

A 2014 report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) cited statistics from the U.S. DOL Wage and Hour...