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Wages & Hours

DOL orders extra helpings of damages against restaurants

The Depart of Labor is cracking down hard on restaurants that cheat workers out of tips and otherwise fail to pay them properly. On Feb. 7 alone, the DOL announced it had recovered more than $850,000 from eateries in Florida, Hawaii and Oregon.

Federal contractor? Beware DOL probes of wage-and-hour violations

Department of Labor investigators are going after federal contractors that cheat employees out of pay and leave—and the DOL is winning. The latest example: On Jan. 29, the DOL announced it had recovered nearly $16 million in back wages and restored more than 24,700 paid sick-leave hours for more than 2,800 employees who worked for 62 contractors and subcontractors.

Docking pay for snow-day absences: When is it legal?

The snow’s coming down pretty good and an exempt employee calls to say she can’t make it in today because her car is stuck. Can you deduct a full day’s pay from her salary for that missed day? What if she’s non-exempt? What if you close work because of bad weather? Here’s guidance—and a handy flowchart—to help you make the call.

Review compensation practices to identify potential sources of pay inequity

Your employees probably no longer consider it taboo to discuss salaries and benefits with their co-workers and friends. That means they can easily tell how your compensation system compares with that of other employers. It also means they can easily spot inequities in how you pay employees up and down your org chart. If they determine that wage gaps exist, don’t be surprised if they decide to sue you for discrimination.

States considering tax incentives for employers that adopt four-day workweek

Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about the benefits and desirability of a four-day workweek. If that came to pass, it would fundamentally change a standard set in 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act established a 40-hour workweek as the norm for American workers.

Keep it Legal: Wage transparency may lower wages

More employees—especially younger ones—are openly discussing their pay and even sharing industry or employer-specific information they have collected in comprehensive lists. Perhaps paradoxically, recent research out of Harvard seems to show that all this information collected and shared may actually suppress wages.

House Republicans condemn overtime rule

The title was a tip-off. When the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections met to address the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, the Nov. 29 hearing was titled “Bad for Business: DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule.”

New OT rule to be finalized in April

If enacted, the rule would raise the white-collar overtime salary threshold to $55,068 per year, up from the current level of $35,568. An April 1 date for publishing the final rule would push back implementation until June at the earliest.

Wage & hour: Heed DOL’s $12 million warning to the hospitality industry

The Department of Labor has been targeting restaurants and other hospitality-industry employers for aggressive enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It has issued fines and penalties and ordered restaurants to shut down until they pay up. That’s a powerful incentive for employers to settle lawsuits.

Employer survey: 4% pay raises projected in 2024

Though down from the actual average increase of 4.4% in 2023, wage projections remain well above the recent trendline. Since 2014, salary budgets have grown an average of 3% per year.