Department of Labor Issues New ERISA Final Rule on Fiduciary Status and Fiduciary Duties

On April 25th, 2024, the Federal Register published a new final rule from the Employee Benefits Security Administration, within the Department of Labor, regarding when a person is a fiduciary within the scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The rule was published by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 23rd, 2024.  ERISA imposes special duties to those who are “fiduciaries”, people who provide advice on investment in exchange, including those who do so for compensation. The new ERISA rule eliminates some exemptions for those providing advice on a limited or one-time basis.

FTC Non-Compete Final Rule Bans Almost All Non-Compete Agreements

On May 7th, 2024, the Federal Register published new final rules from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banning non-compete agreements from being enforced for non-senior executives, and banning the creation of new non-compete agreements.

U.S. Department of Labor Final Rule on Overtime Exemption – Rising to $58,656

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the new final rule governing overtime pay eligibility for workers under the federal Fair Labor Standard’s Act (FLSA).  The rule governs the minimum salary threshold for being an exempt worker.  As of July 1st 2024, the threshold will be $43,888, up from $35,568. The exemption threshold will rise again to $58,656 on January 1st, 2025.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Issues New Workplace Harassment Guidance

On April 29th, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new final guidance on harassment in the workplace.  The rule in intended to provide guidance to employers on how to prevent harassment, stating legal standards regarding employer liability if a worker faces discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

The EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows stated: “Harassment, both in-person and online, remains a serious issue in America’s workplaces. The EEOC’s updated guidance on harassment is a comprehensive resource that brings together best practices for preventing and remedying harassment and clarifies recent developments in the law,”.

Schneider Wallace Files ERISA Case Against John Muir Health for Excessive 403(b) Retirement Plan Fees

On March 15th, 2024, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against John Muir Health and its Board of Directors.  The complaint alleges that John Muir Health violated their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

California Supreme Court Rules Unpaid Time at Security Checks is Illegal

On March 25, 2024, the Supreme Court for the state of California ruled that time spend in security checks on the premises of employers must be paid to hourly workers.  Security check time is one of the more common ways in which employers have workers work off the clock, along with other common examples such as working during a break or lunch, or having to put on or remove safety equipment.

California Labor Department – Wage Theft Claims and Judgments – 4th Quarter 2023

The California Department of Industrial Relations maintains a database of wage theft claims presented to the office by employees, and Wage Claim Judgments against individuals and corporations. We have reviewed this database for judgments from October 1st to December 31st, the last quarter of 2023.  California reported 432 judgments for the 2nd quarter of 2023, the total value of all judgments was $14,129,000. 

Key Considerations in Dangerous Road Condition Lawsuits

When pursuing a lawsuit against government entities for injuries or damages due to poor road conditions, several critical factors come into play – the responsible entity, any failure to act, recoverable damages, potential partial fault, filing requirements, and assessing liability for state and federal agents and agencies. To read more, see our full post.

The Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA)

The Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA) of Illinois, effective from January 1, 1998, and with subsequent amendments, is a comprehensive law designed to safeguard genetic information of individuals. It outlines specific rules and regulations regarding the use, disclosure, and protection of genetic data, emphasizing privacy and non-discrimination. To promote the goals of the Act, violations come with stiff penalties: $2,500 in liquidated damages for negligent violations, rising to $15,000 or higher for intentional or reckless violations.

The primary aim of the Illinois GIPA is to give individuals more control over their personal information. This is achieved by imposing obligations on businesses and organizations that collect genetic data.  It applies to any entity, regardless of its business location, that handles the personal information of Illinois residents. This means any company located outside of Illinois is still subject to the law and the penalties if they breach them regarding Illinois residents.

Department of Labor Issues Final Independent Contractor Rule on Misclassification of Workers

On January 10th, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor released their final rule, replacing prior guidance from 2021 on who is an independent contractor and who is an employee, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

The rule, going into effect on March 11th, 2024, governs which workers will be considered an employee with overtime pay, minimum wage pay, and other benefits, from independent contractors. The bureau of labor statistics (BLS) estimates that around 7% of the workforce work as independent contractors.