Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: State Laws/Claims

Subscribe to State Laws/Claims RSS Feed

The 14th Edition of Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions Is Here!

Posted in State Laws/Claims

Authored by Christopher A. Crosman

Just in time for the summer beach reading season comes the 14th edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s publication Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions. It contains discussion and analysis of the various types of wage & hour class actions that affect many California employers, and has been updated to reflect the … Continue Reading


Posted in Arbitration Agreements, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Colleen Regan and David Kadue

Gentry is dead.  Back in 2007, the California Supreme Court, in Gentry v. Superior Court held that California public policy favoring class actions was so important that employers cannot have employees, in arbitration agreements, waive their right to pursue a class action.  Many thought that the Gentry rule contradicted the Federal Arbitration Act, … Continue Reading

How Big Is Your Business Development Budget? Court Finds Employee Spending Beyond Fixed Allowance Voluntary While Trimming NY Wage Deduction Claim

Posted in State Laws/Claims

Authored by Caitlin Ladd

Employers with commissioned employees will be pleased with a new decision finding that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s approach to commission calculations was not an improper deduction from wages under the New York Labor Law.

MSSB’s compensation structure allows its Financial Advisors to select from a variety of formulas, all of which provide for fixed business development … Continue Reading


Posted in Jurisdiction, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Sheryl Skibbe and Simon L. Yang

Private Attorney General Actions (PAGA) brought by individuals as representative actions on behalf of the State of California and other aggrieved employees are not sufficiently similar to federal Rule 23 class actions to support federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).  But is there still a way into federal court?… Continue Reading

Company Cries “Fowl” Over Jury Verdict, Fourth Circuit Agrees — Poultry Workers’ State Law Wage Claims Are Preempted by Federal Law

Posted in Defenses, Off-the-Clock Issues, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Arthur Rooney and Abad Lopez

In a victory for limiting the avenues available to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that federal law preempts state law claims for unpaid wages where a CBA is implicated.  As a result, the Fourth Circuit reversed a jury verdict in favor of unionized employees in … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Questions Judicial Deference to New York State Department of Labor

Posted in DOL Enforcement, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Gena Usenheimer

How much deference should courts give to interpretive guidance of the New York Department of Labor?  We’ll soon find out, as the Second Circuit has certified the question to the New York Court of Appeals.  The answer has the potential to significantly impact employers throughout New York.

The question arose out of Ramos v. SimplexGrinnell LPContinue Reading

Donning Your Kerchief and Doffing Your Cap: 2013 Year in Review

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Damages, Off-the-Clock Issues, Offer of Judgment, Overtime, Rule 23 Certification, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Alex Passantino

It’s the week before Christmas, so you know it’s the time
For our review of the year—our wage-hour rhyme.
Our look-back on issues from the past 52 weeks
That grabbed the attention of you wage-hour geeks.

Leading us off is no big surprise:
FLSA filings continue to rise.
A 10% bump; they’re not going away,
Continue Reading

Update on the Battle “Grande”: Second Circuit Upholds Starbucks’ Tip Policy

Posted in Service Charges/Gratuities, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by John W. Egan and Nadia S. Bandukda

As we previously reported, the Second Circuit has been considering the validity of Starbucks’ tipping practices in light of the opinion from the New York Court of Appeals clarifying the prohibition in the New York Labor Law against participation in tip-pooling arrangements by employers and their “agents.”

With its certified … Continue Reading

New York Teams Up With Feds To Go After Worker Misclassification

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Misclassification/Exemptions, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Carlos Lopez

Yesterday, New York became the latest state to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor to step up enforcement against employers suspected of misclassifying workers as independent contractors.  In a move designed to send a “clear message” to employers, officials from the U.S. DOL, the New York DOL, and the New York Attorney General’s Office signed … Continue Reading

No “Fluctuation” as New York Federal Courts Continue to Allow Half-Time Damages

Posted in Defenses, Misclassification/Exemptions, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Robert S. Whitman, Howard M. Wexler and Joshua D. Seidman

Continuing the recent string of good news for employers on the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) front, last week a federal judge in the Southern District of New York held that RadioShack’s use of the FWW or “half-time” method to calculate overtime pay for managers was permissible under New … Continue Reading