"wages/hours" Blog Tag

UPDATED minimum wage chart!

December 17th, 2019

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs, the author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, updated their minimum wage chart for pretty much everywhere and anywhere. The chart, along with lots of other good stuff, has been updated on hrsimple.com and will be updated in the next edition (Edition 11) of the book, which you can order along with all kinds of other good HR info.

You can also download the chart by clicking on the nice robin's egg blue (or baby blue or maybe Carolina blue) "Download PDF" button above.

OR Required break for a meal. Period.

November 26th, 2019

Jean Ohman Back and Tom Payne at Schwabe

Don't care what you call it - lunch, meal, snack, dinner - you have to require your Oregon employees to take a meal period. Not only do you have to provide the opportunity, you have to require they take an uninterupted 30-minute meal period. And you, as the emplooyer, have to be able to prove that the employee took their meal period.

The Oregon Court of Appeals found that employers "are in a unique position to enforce mandatory meal periods necessary for the perservation of the health of employees." No word yet on night-time curfews, bed checks or mandatory story-and-a-tuck-in.

Jean Ohman Back and Tom Payne provide more.

Employers covered by the FLSA

February 4th, 2020

Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E. Hill, Shennan Harris

Squire Patton Boggs

Employers covered Virtually anyone who employs anyone else is usually a covered employer. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broadly defines “employer” as anyone directly or indirectly acting in the inte...

IL Wage history ban FAQs from the houses mouth

September 30th, 2019


Direct from the horses's mouth at noreply@illinois.gov, 10 FAQs about the new law that prohibits employers from asking for wage history.

DOL changes overtime equation

September 25th, 2019

Peter Gillespie at Laner Muchin

Overtime over time DOL overtime.

Translation: The changes made to additional compensation for working more than 40 hours in a workweek happened gradually as the Department of Labor took some extra "playing time".

Thanks to Peter Gillespie for the translation and then working overtime to identify what is changing, what isn't and what you need to do.

Overview of the FLSA

February 4th, 2020

Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E. Hill, Shennan Harris

Squire Patton Boggs

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938 as a means of economic recovery from the Great Depression. According to Department of Labor (DOL) statistics, more than 143 million workers are affected by the FLSA’s provisions.

IL Salary history ban faqs just roll on

September 23rd, 2019

Jill O'Brien at Laner Muchin

Yes, there is a ban on asking about salary history in Illinois.

No, it isn't onerous (or leave a messy white residue).

Yes it is a fresh ban and goes in effect on Sunday, September 29, so get on the stick.

Jill O'Brien clears the air with 15 questions (and answers, you want them both).

IL Artificial hiring, salary history, required training, etc.

September 13th, 2019

Hannah Sorcic and Adam Weiner at ReedSmith

If you hire artificially, can you pay in Sweet N' Low?

Can you ask about an applicant's salary history? Is sexual harassment prevention triaining mandatory? Every year? Are non-employees protected from harassment by the law? Another mandatory annual reporting requirement every year?

Hannah Sorcic and Adam Weiner answer these questions (well, maybe not about paying in Sweet N' Low) and more.

PEO – back-office balm or toothpaste dispersant?

September 13th, 2019

Alaina Riley at Focus OneSource

A PEO is a back-office balm if you have 5-99 employees and want to offer Fortune 500 benefits, save time and off-load back-office administrative tasks.

PEO can be in your toothpaste too.

Alaina Riley at Focus OneSource, an Iowa ABI member, explains the PEO that eliminates back-office admin tasks.

SNL kind of explains that something can be two things, like a floor wax AND a dessert topping,

Look past the laws (pudding) and understand the regs (Oreo)

August 28th, 2019

Kathy Speaker MacNett at SkarlatosZonarich

The proof is not only in the pudding, it's in the regulations and administrative agency interpretations.

So when the employment laws change, be sure you don't stop there because there may be an Oreo cookie hidden somewhere in the pudding (leftovers from an Oreo pie recipe).

NY 11 employment laws you missed if you blinked (not 10)

February 25th, 2020

Jennifer Queliz at Cozen O'Connor

Not content to simply stop at 10 new employment laws and regulations, the state that gives us:

  • Eleven Madison Park (the #4 restaurant in the world),
  • Eleven (a clothing line aiming "to enhance the conversation amongst footballers – the world over")
  • 11R (an art gallery that hasn't updated their website since 2017)

pushes over the double-digit threshhold ala Spinal Tap and their magic amps with 11 new employment laws and regulations that have passed or gone into effect this year.

Wages and hours – a simple audit

August 20th, 2019

Jill S. Kirila, Shennan Harris

The following list of questions will provide a snapshot for you to use in determining whether or not you are complying with the wage and hour laws and regulations.  You should know the answer to every one of these questions.  Although a “No” answer does not necessarily mean you are in violation of any laws or regulations, you should understand why the answer is “No.”  The chapter reference is for the book Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, which can be ordered here, and provided for quick reference.

In a surprise announcement, the U.S. Department of Labor introduced Linda Richman and Liz Rosenberg (pictured) as hosts of the Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Online Dialogue during the week of August 19 through August 23, as well as a Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 20, 1:00pm - 2:00pm Eastern.

Kate Torgerson, founder and CEO of Milk Stork fully supports the dialogue: "People talking, people understanding, people realizing working and breastfeeding can co-exist – win-win-win."

Discuss, talk amongst yourselves, coffee talk.

IL Tidal wave (or tsunami) of new laws for Illinois employers

August 15th, 2019

David Moore and Peter Gillespie at Laner Muchin

Look, I am not one to argue with attorneys because you never know when you might need one, so you decide for yourself the correct roaring-wall-of-water metaphor.

Regardless, any Illinois employer that either has or deals with:

  • employee handbooks
  • confidentiality
  • cannabis
  • policies
  • salary (history, sharing info, pay equity)
  • REQUIRED ANNUAL TRAINING (sexual harassment)
  • employees (probably should have just lead with that)

would be well advised (attorney-speak for "just do it") to read what David Moore and Peter Gillespie have to say and then execute said prescribed actions elucidated (attorney-speak for "just do it") (attorneys have a rather extensive alternative vocabulary).

Make your workplace a SUE-free zone

August 14th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

To be clear (for those of you who don't look at the pictures in my posts, which frankly is a little hurtful), I am not referring to SUE the T. Rex (and yes that is the correct spelling, just ask The Field Museum).

I am referring to getting a piece of certified mail that may make you wish you were battling SUE and not being sued.

We turn again to Robin Shea for five of ten ways employers get themselves sued, as she weaves together medicine, Stranger Things, needles, nachos, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and hygiene,

IL/Chicago – Post work schedules or Pay(ton)

July 30th, 2019

Antonio Caldarone at Laner Muchin

To be fair, this article has nothing to do with Mike Post (my age is showing) or Walter Payton (hint - I saw Walter not score a Super Bowl XX touchdown). It is all about the new Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance that just passed the Chicago City Council and the “myriad of requirements and penalties for non-compliance”, a direct quote from the attorney at Laner Muchin, author of the Illinois Human Resources Manual, Antonio Caldarone, who unravels the enigma (not the Super Bowl enigma - GOOD LORD WHAT WAS DITKA THINKING!)

MN I gotta do what?

July 8th, 2019

Ashley Thronson at Fredrikson & Byron

You gotta make changes because changes have been made to various disclosure, recordkeeping, commission and/or sick leave requirements. And Bruce Boudreau, like you, wants to know what they are.

Lucky for you and Bruce that Ashley Thronson has laid out your need-to-know in 800 words (or thereabouts). And for those of you who are PBS fans, she does it without an Australian accent, dontcha know.

Somebody shows up at the office in essentially shamrock underwear.

Finances dictate you terminate someone so you tell them you will pay them their accrued vacation pay if they will release all claims.

Your mail room clerk says the office manager asked her to man the grill at the office picnic - who's grilling who?

The office softball team and workers' comp – 'nuff said.

Robin Shea says more about all of this.

Gift cards, taxes and the WABAC Machine

June 7th, 2019

Melissa Shimizu and Jeffrey Smith at Fisher Phillips

The WABAC Machine revisits the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

In light of the iTunes shutdown, we wondered how that might affect your employees and the drawer full of gift cards - iTunes, Chipotle, Target, Starbucks, Subway (come on, you're better than that), Ulta -  that you have been giving out for holidays, incentives, employee achievement awards, and winning the St. Pats Day karaoke tournament.

So we got into our WABAC machine - the cartoon version, not the internet archive - and went down the wormhole of the 2017 Tax Reform, which affected not only gift cards but health care, retirement plans, employee compensation, and other fringe benefits.

Melissa Shimizu and Jeffrey Smith take you back and promise to return you, unharmed but wiser, just like Simon and Mr. Peabody always did.

Employees are volunteers if . . .

June 5th, 2019

Michael J. Lorden at Polsinelli

. . . they truly volunteer.

[vol-uh n-teer]: a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

Michael Lorden breaks down what that means, helps decipher the U.S. Department of Labor's Opinion Letter and provides two voluntary guidelines.


Paying Tipped Employees

February 6th, 2019

Darin Williams at Laner Muchin

If you pay tipped employees, you are familiar with the 80/20 rule.

Lucky for you, that familiarity is no longer necessary because the DOL has reissued a 2009 opinion letter that essentially abandons the 80/20 tip credit rule.

Darin Williams clarifies the abandoning.

Why You Should Care About Employment Law

January 23rd, 2019

Jenny Goltz at Cozen O'Connor

Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, there are a few very common employment law pitfalls that all emerging com...

One of our favorites, Robin Shea, invites you into her Christmas HR world with a Christmas-themed quiz featuring:

  • Santa
  • Bob Cratchit
  • circumnavigating the globe in one evening in a sleigh pulled by reindeer
  • Ralphie
  • Rudolph
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • The Grinch.

Thanks Robin!

And to all a good night!

2019 minimum wage chart

April 25th, 2019

Shenna Harris, Jill Kirila and Meghan Hill at Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs, the author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide, put together a minimum wage chart for pretty much everywhere and anywhere. The chart, along with lots of other good stuff, can be found in the book, which in turn can be found in this drop-down menu, which in turn can be used to order the book.

Holiday stew – ingredients for a happy and non-litigious holiday

December 17th, 2018


Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.

Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-how to help you salvage your holiday stew, including 1/2 half dry cup Secret Santa, 2 - 3 jiggers holiday party(s) - adjust accordingly, 1 medium ugly sweater, 14 oz box decorations (workplace or workspace, depending on your preference), enough year-end bonus calculation to make your eyes water

My holiday stew was oyster stew that my Mom made for Christmas Eve. Never did learn why.

Overtime, daylight savings time and circadian rhythyms

November 2nd, 2018

Maria Greco Danaher and Hera S. Arsen, Ph.D. at Ogletree Deakins

Daylight savings time is no excuse for not paying overtime. 

Maria Greco Danaher and Hera S. Arsen, Ph.D. look at four wage/hour issues that the extra hour of sleep may create.

  1. double pay for 1:00am to 2:00am?
  2. employer's overtime obligations
  3. effects on regular rate of pay
  4. plan ahead for losing an hour of sleep in March

Daylight savings time is also:

  • a song by the Circadian Rhythms (false, but it should be)
  • a method of birth control practiced by crickets and/or locusts (could be, prove that it isn't)
  • opposed by both the Barbeque Industry of America and the Amateur Softball Association (makes sense)
  • illegal in Arizona (not illegal, just ignored)

401(k) plan + payroll provider = 401k good things

October 22nd, 2018

Jennifer Ready at HK Finanical Services

Combining your 401(k) plan administration with your payroll provider might sound like putting all of your eggs into one basket, but there are some true benefits to administrators for integrating support for these two functions. Anyone who works with 401(k) plans knows there are strict compliance requirements to managing a plan. Not only are there reporting requirements, but the timing of everything that makes a 401(k) plan run smoothly, is also critically important.

Help hiring holiday help here

October 9th, 2018

John Monroe and Kristina Griffin at FordHarrison

As you can tell by the “seasonal” aisle of your local drug store, holiday season has begun! The seemingly endless stretch of celebrations from October to January brings with it a whole cornucopia of HR issues – including the use of seasonal workers.

Your personal guides / goblins / gobblers / elves, John Monroe and Kristina Griffin, have five basic practices that will get you to the other side of January.

  1. I-9
  2. review timekeeping
  3. local PTO and benefits
  4. how long do you expect them to hang around
  5. train everybody.

Only 90 days until we flip the calendar. You're welcome.

Are the new DOL opinion letters like noses?

May 2nd, 2019

Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Opinions are like noses - everyone has one and occasionally we blow it.

Except when you are the DOL you just issue another opinion letter. The nose thing? That takes a rhinoplastologist. But it doesn't take near as long to correct.

Jill Kirila and Shennan Harris put their eyes and ears on some DOLs opinions:

  • voluntary employer-sponsored wellness events
  • non-profit graders
  • internet payment software platform employees
  • movie theater overtime exemption

Disclaimer – this is neither an endorsement or solicitation for any ENT or opthamologic work.


I've changed my name – to Optimus Prime

September 21st, 2018


So say an employee, let's call him, for purposes of this exercise, Scott Edward Nall, walks into your office to let you know he has changed his name to Optimus Prime.  Do you:

  1. snicker and ask him if his Laser Axe Hand is really made of energy
  2. wonder why he isn't riding a dinosaur
  3. fall to your knees and plead fealty
  4. start the process of updating Mr. Prime in your HR records.

Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?

February 4th, 2019

Caroline Pham and Collin Cook at Fisher Phillips

Slack is:

  1. the fastest growing business application in history
  2. two casual trouser
  3. enough rope for someone to shoot themselves in the foot
  4. all of the above

Correct. And for those unfamiliar with Slack the business application, it is a cloud-based “team collaboration tool.” In simple terms, it is Facebook Chat / Google Hangouts for the business world: an instant messaging application that allows users to send messages and share files through online conversations.

It is also one more technological "upgrade" that creates new opportunities for harassment, wage/hour issues and privacy concerns.

Caroline Pham and Collin Cook provide what to look for and best practices to help you avoid the foot shooting thing.

Bet employers must make: call and raise your minimum wage

July 27th, 2018


July 1 saw a number of states and localities raise the minimum wage, so our author Ogletree Deakins put together a chart for those of you who don't want to pass and go bust. 

FYI – poker will be eligible for review for becoming an official Olympic sport along with pole-dancing, dodgeball, foosball (table soccer), arm wrestling, foot golf and kettlebell lifting.

The six step DOL audit polka

March 12th, 2019

Carol Barnett at Polsinelli

Texas two-step, three-step waltz, tango four-step, five-step cha-cha-cha!

All require coordination, dedication, teamwork, discipline.

As does the six-step DOL audit polka, which Carol Barnett from Polsinelli expands upon:

  1. Review immediately and react to the audit request.
  2. Provide responsive existing documents; check your employee rights posters.
  3. Expect employees to be interviewed.  
  4. Beware protected health information. 
  5. Protection of commercial and/or proprietary information.
  6. Expect DOL follow-up. 

Non-exempt employees – what counts as wages?

June 12th, 2018

Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “wages” paid to an employee are defined to include money, but may also include “facilities” such as the reasonable cost or fair value of board, lodging, or other facilities similar to board and lodging which are customarily furnished by the employer for the employee’s benefit.

Examples of other facilities are:

  • meals provided at company cafeterias
  • tuition provided by a college to student employees
  • general merchandise provided at company stores
  • transportation provided to and from work by the employer.

The FLSA permits employers to pay wages . . .

Remote workers and the remote control

May 20th, 2019

Jill S. Kirila, Meghan E. Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Out of sight, out of mind, out of touch.
Wrong. Just because an employee doesn't work in the office doesn't mean you should lose sight of them or your responsibilities, including monitoring, recording hours worked, overtime and policies.
Jill Kirila, Meghan Hill and Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs help you regain control and answer a couple of questions.

Punch clock

October 24th, 2018


Dear @Littler: If we replace our punch-card timeclocks with a biometric system, are we obligated to provide a punch-proxy for employees? https://www.lexology.com/library/detail

Year-end or holiday incentives

October 24th, 2018



Year-end or holiday incentives – you need to know the rules: … First rule: make the winner penguin-happy.

It’s only a matter of overtime

June 12th, 2018


Have your employees been going the extra mile lately? What if they’re clocking in the equivalent of a marathon in hours? If you’re looking over your timesheets and notice that your star employee racked up a whopping 55 hours last week, it’s time to get familiar with the legal requirements of overtime pay. You’re going to need to calculate overtime whether or not the hours your employee worked were authorized by management.

(Note: information in this article is applicable to hourly, non-exempt employees. For a more in-depth analysis of overtime pay, including regular rate of pay and exempt employees, check out the newly updated Wages and Hours – An Employer’s Guide.)