Wage & Hour

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New Classification of Independent Contractors Under the Department of Labor (DOL) Rule 

The new definition of independent contractor status according to the DOL's final rule will be used to help employers and workers better determine who is considered an independent contractor as of March 11, 2024. The new rule restores the six-factor analysis to help prevent the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.



Canadian Minimum Wage Updates for April 2024 

The federal minimum wage in Canada is set to increase as of April 1, 2024.  The anticipated national rate and those of several provinces and territories are noted below. Avionté will continue to monitor rate increases planned for additional jurisdictions in the fall. 

  • Canada (federally regulated private sectors): $16.65 -> $17.30 
  • New Brunswick: $14.75 -> $15.30) 
  • Nova Scotia: $15.00 -> $15.20  
  • Nunavut: $19.00 (new rate as of 1/1/24; potential increase anticipated April 1, 2024) 
  • Prince Edward Island: $15.00 -> $15.40 
  • Yukon: $16.77 -> $17.59 



California Minimum Wage Hike for Industry-Specific Workers  

California employees of fast-food restaurants (with 60 or more locations) will receive a minimum wage increase of 25% to a rate of $20/hour on April 1, 2024. This follows the January 2024 increase to the general minimum wage, which is now $16/hour. Healthcare workers will also receive an increased rate in June 2024 that will range from $21 - $23/ hour depending on the type of facilities where they work. For more information, refer to the California government website or see this article by Proskauer.  


California Introduces Continued COVID Compensation  

If passed, AB 3106 would require the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt a rule allowing workers to continue receiving pay and benefits while they are excluded from the workplace due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms. California employers would be required to maintain the impacted employee's seniority, benefits, and job status in addition to continuing payment of wage earnings. Refer to this article by Ogletree Deakins for more information.  



Colorado Wage & Hour Updates 

Under an amendment to the Colorado Wage Claim Act, employers immediately must pay terminated employees all wages and other compensation beyond salary that is “earned, vested, and determinable,” or face penalties up to 300% of the wages owed. A new poster/notice for the COMPS Order (Compensation, Overtime, & Minimum Pays Standards is also required and can be found on Colorado's state website. Changes to the notice include an expanded definition of "time worked," clarification of tip sharing rules, and more. 



Illinois Court Ruling Nixes Equal Benefits Requirement  

On March 11, 2024, a federal judge ruled that temporary staffing agencies should not be required to change their benefit plans to offer benefits equivalent to direct employees of the client (employer). This amendment to the state's Day and Temporary Labor Services Act is one of several controversial provisions that went into effect in August 2023. See American Staffing Association's article for details.


New York

New York Wage & Hour Updates 

Recent salary basis threshold updates for New York overtime exemptions, pay frequency exemptions, as well as minimum wage updates are in effect: 

  • New York State's Department of Labor (NYDOL) approved new minimum salary thresholds for exempt executive and administrative workers, which will increase each year through 2026. 
  • As of December 31, 2023, the new minimums are $1,200/week in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, and they are set at $1,124.20/week for the rest of the state. 
  • Effective March 13, 2024, the salary thresholds for exemptions from pay frequency laws rose from $900/week to $1,300/week. 


These increased executive and administrative employee salary thresholds come as New York’s minimum wage rose on January 1, 2024, to $16/hour for New York City and the remainder of downstate (Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties) compared to $15/hour for the rest of the state. 


Separately, there is a salary basis threshold that governs certain exemptions such as pay frequency and other wage protections in New York under Article 6 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL). This threshold increased from $900 to $1,300 per week as of March 13, 2024. Related to pay frequency, New York law requires “manual workers” (a term broadly defined by the NYDOL) to be paid at least weekly. Other employees who do not meet the executive, administrative, and professional salary exemptions and other nonmanual employees must be paid at least semimonthly. Notably, pay frequency litigation is on the rise. 


South Carolina

South Carolina Decision Heightens Risk with Independent Contractors 

In a recent court decision (Ruh v. MRS / Nucor Corporation), the South Carolina Supreme Court's response was that "an independent contractor relationship may be subject to liability for physical harm proximately caused by the principal's own negligence in selecting the independent contractor." Based on this finding, it is recommended to bolster your contracts by adding indemnification clauses and warranty provisions ensuring that independent contractors are properly vetted with respect to applications, background checks, driving records, training, and certifications. Employers should also consider increasing their insurance coverage for additional protections. More information can be found in this article


Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. Minimum Wage Rates Increase 

The minimum wage rate for D.C. employees will increase from $17.00 to $17.50 as of July 1, 2024. The base hourly rate for tipped employees will go from $8.00 to $10.00, and employers will have to pay the difference for those tipped employees whose earnings added to the minimum wage do not meet that threshold. More details can be found in this Lexology article. 




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