Total Articles: 11
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 15, 2019
On December 11, 2019, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries announced its final rule amending Washington State’s white collar overtime exemption regulations. If not overridden by the Legislature or successfully challenged in court, the rule will radically increase the pay rates necessary to qualify for the white collar exemptions in Washington State.
Fisher Phillips • December 01, 2019
Seattle just joined New York City as one of the few locations in the country to pass minimum wage legislation for ride-share drivers, the city’s latest attempt to regulate the gig economy. Under the “Fair Share” program pushed by Mayor Jenny Durkan and unanimously approved by the City Council on November 25, a new tax of 51 cents per ride will be levied to fund affordable housing programs and other civic projects, as well as help pay for the $16 per hour minimum wage and various other workplace protections.
Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 2019
Although the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has yet to finalize the new annual salary required for exempt status, it intends to propose a new salary basis test that would more than double the current federal salary threshold. This would increase the required annual salary for an exempt employee in Washington from $23,660 to between $56,160 and $70,200. This proposed salary requirement for exempt status is even more than what the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) finalized to take effect on December 1, 2016 ($47,476 per year), which a U.S. district court later struck down.
Fisher Phillips • December 21, 2017
Washington employers are already under the gun to develop policies and practices to meet the requirements of the state’s new paid sick law that takes effect on January 1, 2018. Those with multiple Washington locations have particularly been challenged to create a policy that complies with both state law and the laws in of various Washington municipalities, given that the state and city laws are not identical, and you are required to follow the law that is the “most generous” to employees.
Fisher Phillips • August 27, 2015
In a narrow 5-4 decision on August 20, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling and applied the City of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law to all workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 21, 2015
The legal challenge to the SeaTac Minimum Employment Standard for Hospitality and Transportation Industry Employers (“SeaTac Ordinance”) was dealt a possibly lethal blow as the Washington Supreme Court reversed the King County Superior Court’s ruling that the Ordinance does not apply to businesses operating within the Port of Seattle. After the SeaTac Ordinance was passed in 2013, legal challenges began. In December 2013, King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas ruled that the Ordinance was invalid as to “employers and employees conducting business within the boundaries of SeaTac International Airport.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 24, 2015
The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that employers must provide agricultural piece rate workers with extra compensation for their rest periods, rejecting the employer’s argument that its piece rate already included compensation for the required rest periods. Demetrio v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., 2015 Wash. LEXIS 807 (Wash. July 16, 2015).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 24, 2015
The expansive interpretation of meal and rest break regulations continues in Washington State, as the state's highest court ruled in Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc., Case No. 90932-6 (Wash. Sup. Ct. July 16, 2015), that agricultural piece-rate workers are entitled to separate paid rest breaks. The court reasoned that hourly workers remain "on the clock" during rest breaks, and thus piece-rate workers should receive the same treatment.
Fisher Phillips • July 24, 2015
With some limited exceptions, Washington State wage and hour rules require that workers receive a paid 10 minute rest break for every four hours worked. The Washington Supreme Court has now expanded employer obligations in this regard by ruling that employers must pay piece rate workers additional compensation for the required rest periods. The July 16, 2015 decision in Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc. states that the rest break time cannot be folded into the piece rate, and instead must be paid separately. While this case arose in the agricultural-worker context, its key holding likely applies to all industries that use piece rate compensation plans – plans under which an employee’s pay is based on the number of “pieces” he or she generates or completes.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 22, 2015
Like all compensation methods, piece rate compensation plans – under which an employee is compensated based on the number of “pieces” he or she generates or completes – must be analyzed for wage-and-hour compliance. For example, under federal law, minimum wage generally is due for all hours worked, and there are recordkeeping obligations, although some piece rate plans may qualify for the section 7(i) overtime exemption. Under state law, employers also must analyze whether piece rate employees’ compensation meets all applicable requirements, which supplement FLSA requirements for most employers. A new decision from Washington state’s highest court reinforces this last principle and imposes further payment obligations on certain Washington employers. Demetrio v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., 2015 Wash. LEXIS 807 (Wash. July 16, 2015).
Ogletree Deakins • July 10, 2014
Joining Hawaii, Maryland and Connecticut, all of which have voted to gradually raise their state minimum wages to $10.10 per hour, and Massachusetts, which has voted to gradually increase its minimum wage to $11.00 per hour, Seattle has become the first city to pass a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. The initial impact of the city ordinance will be felt by Seattle employers beginning on April 1, 2015, with additional increases in the minimum wage phased in over several years.