On Sunday, Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule on liability for franchisors and companies that outsource services to staffing agencies. The new rule, which replaces a policy put in place by the Obama administration, makes it harder for employees to prove that these companies are legally responsible when a franchisee or staffing firm fails to pay the minimum wage or overtime.
One of the major priorities of the Trump administration's Department of Labor has been deregulation. The purpose of much of the deregulation is to reduce the cost of legal compliance for employers. At the same time, the DOL still plans robust enforcement of the law, according to the Solicitor of Labor. Other priorities include community outreach, helping employers comply with the law, and ensuring that workers know their rights.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently took a new position on the timing of leave taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Many employers allow or even require workers to use up their sick time and other paid time off before initiating an FMLA leave. In a March 14 opinion letter, the DOL said that practice is improper. FMLA leave must begin to run within five days of the employer learning that leave is being taken for reasons covered by the FMLA.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees are entitled to the premium overtime rate of 1-1/2 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked past 40 in a single workweek. The regular rate of pay is determined by adding up all earnings, including non-discretionary bonuses and some other payments, and dividing by the number of hours worked.
The Trump administration's priority for the Department of Labor has been to eliminate regulations thought too costly for businesses to bear. In particular, the administration promised to change how wage and hour law is regulated in the U.S.
Some employees customarily receive tips, but those tips aren't always in addition to the worker's wage. Many tipped workers are minimum-wage earners, and the law allows some of those tips to be counted toward ensuring they earn that minimum wage.