By: Alison Silveira and Barry Miller

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court - WikipediaSeyfarth Synopsis: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court answered longstanding questions about which entities may be jointly responsible for wage violations under Massachusetts law, and in so doing, highlighted the perils for employees of joining a federal collective action and failing to assert any related state law claims in that proceeding.  The Court aligned the
Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Aligns State Joint Employment Claims with Federal Standard, and Provides Guidance on Claim Preclusion for FLSA Collective Action Opt-Ins

By: Andrew McKinley & Kyle Winnick

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 9, 2021, the Tenth Circuit issued a ruling beneficial to alleged joint employers in wage and hour lawsuits.  The Court held that a customer of staffing agencies could compel arbitration pursuant to arbitration agreements entered into between the plaintiffs and the staffing agencies, even though the customer was not a
Continue Reading The Tenth Circuit Thwarts Plaintiffs’ Attempt to Circumvent Arbitration Agreements, and Strengthens Alleged Joint Employers’ Ability to Compel Arbitration

By: Andrew McKinley and Eric Lloyd

Seyfarth Synopsis: Today, the U.S. Department of Labor rescinded the final rule entitled “Joint Employment Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” more commonly known as the Joint Employer Rule. This alert provides an overview of the DOL’s action and its impact on employers.

With the growth of the gig economy and in
Continue Reading While Its Appeal Remains Pending, the DOL Rescinds Its Joint Employer Rule as Inconsistent with the FLSA

By: Louisa J. Johnson and Noah A. Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: Much has been written in the past few weeks about a recent federal court decision that invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) joint employment rule. While the immediate reaction of some may be to view this as a terrible decision for businesses that expands the potential for an
Continue Reading Is Invalidation of the DOL’s Joint Employer Rule Much Ado About Nothing?

By: Barry J. Miller, Molly C. Mooney, and Alison H. Silveira

In an attempt to extend the reach of state wage/hour laws to reach more defendants, Plaintiffs’ lawyers have sought to expand the employment relationship in a variety of ways.  One powerful tool in their arsenal is the concept of joint employment, which can saddle an organization with
Continue Reading Massachusetts Business Litigation Session Rejects “ABC Test” for Joint Employer Status

By Alex Passantino

‘Twas the week before Christmas, in a year for the ages.

So here’s our latest recap of hours and wages.

The letters and laws. The regulations and cases.

A year’s worth of matters that impacted workplaces.

We begin up at One First, where SCOTUS debated

A trio of cases


Continue Reading Frosty, the Gig Worker Performing Work Outside the Usual Course of the Hiring Entity’s Business: 2019 Year in Review

By: Kerry Friedrichs and Elizabeth MacGregor

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Salazar v. McDonald’s Corporation is welcome news for entities facing concerns about joint employment status under California law, and in particular, for franchisors. In Salazar, the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiffs, who were employed by a McDonald’s franchisee, were not also employed by McDonald’s under
Continue Reading Common Sense Prevails For California Franchisors: Ninth Circuit Focuses On Actual Control of the Worker in Joint Employment Analysis

Co-authored by Alex Passantino and Kevin Young

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 1, 2019, the U.S. DOL announced a proposed rule to clarify joint employment under the FLSA. The rule would establish a four-factor balancing test for joint employer status. It also rejects various factors that have fueled recent litigation, e.g., a worker’s economic dependence on a potential joint employer, the potential employer’s business model, and its unexercised power over the worker.

This is the third proposed rule that the DOL has issued in a month’s time. Like the other proposals (concerning overtime exemptions and the regular rate of pay), this rule—if adopted—should provide welcome clarity for many businesses. This is particularly true for those most targeted by joint employment litigation, such as franchisors, staffing agencies, and businesses with subsidiaries or affiliates.


Continue Reading April Rules: DOL Continues Rulemaking Sprint With New Proposed Joint Employment Standard

By:  Alexander Passantino

On February 28, the Wage & Hour Division sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs its long-awaited regulatory proposal on joint employment.  Not much is known about the proposal, which was described in the Regulatory Agenda as addressing the changes in the workplace in the 60 years since most of 29 CFR 791
Continue Reading WHD’s Joint Employer Reg Heads to White House

Co-authored by: Steve Shardonofsky and John P. Phillips

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 7, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save Local Businesses Act. If passed by the Senate, the bill would overturn Obama-era decisions and agency guidance broadly defining and holding separate, unrelated companies liable as “joint employers” under federal wage & hour and labor law. Perhaps more
Continue Reading Passage of the Save Local Businesses Act in the House May Signal a Broader Rejection of Obama-Era Rules On Joint Employment