Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

Employers, whether large or small, face an ever-growing web of workplace regulations and potential entanglements with employees. With employment litigation and advocacy experience as our strength, preventing legal problems from arising is our goal.  Our Labor & Employment attorneys advise management on complex employee relations and workplace issues. 19 offices; 800+ attorneys. 


National Origin Discrimination: The Next Enforcement Frontier?

National Origin Discrimination: The Next Enforcement Frontier?

By Karen R. Glickstein

While it remains to be seen what effect a Trump presidency will have on federal employment laws, the EEOC has made clear that it will continue to emphasize protections afforded to individual employees based on their national origin. The Agency’s updated Strategic Enforcement Plan, issued in October 2016, noted that immigrant rights will be a priority for the agency over the course of the next five years, with a focus on recruitment and hiring practices that affect members of ethnic groups (among others). The Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination, issued on November 21, 2016, is the Agency’s first interpretation of the law surrounding national origin discrimination.

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San Jose is Latest Silicon Valley City to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

San Jose is Latest Silicon Valley City to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

By Anne Cherry Barnett and Brian K. Morris

Employers in Silicon Valley now face another local hike in the minimum wage. On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved a multi-year increase in the City’s minimum wage, which will reach $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019 after increasing in annual $1.50 increments. 

San Jose joins the Silicon Valley cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Palo Alto, and Cupertino to adopt a $15.00 minimum wage in effect in either 2018 or 2019. The municipalities of Campbell, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Saratoga are also considering similar increases.

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Federal Court Blocks DOL from Implementing Amendments to White Collar Exemption

Federal Court Blocks DOL from Implementing Amendments to White Collar Exemption

By: Garrett Parks

On November 22, 2016, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant enjoined the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing amendments to certain overtime rules, including an amendment that would approximately double the minimum salary requirement for an employee to be considered for the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) “white collar” or executive, administrative and professional (“EAP”) exemption to overtime requirements.   The injunction applies nationwide.

To recap, as Polsinelli Shareholder Jim Swartz previously wrote, the DOL final regulations included the following key features:

  • Increasing the minimum salary to meet the white collar exemption from $455 per week (approximately $23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).
  • Increase the total annual compensation for highly compensated employees from $100,000 to $134,004.
  • Install procedures that would update these salary thresholds every three years staring January 1, 2020.


While the final DOL regulations were set to take effect on December 1, 2016, the injunction prevents implementation of the regulations indefinitely, pending further Court proceedings.

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Five Things to Know About Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Five Things to Know About Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law

By Cary Burke

On November 8, 2016, voters in Arizona approved a ballot measure requiring Arizona businesses to provide employees with paid sick leave. In approving the new Minimum Wage and Paid Time Off Initiative, Arizona joins a handful of states (as well as some municipalities) that have enacted paid sick leave laws. Below are five things Arizona employers need to know prior to the law taking effect on July 1, 2017.

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Airline Contractors Facing Increasing Turbulence in Labor Relations as NLRB Asserts Jurisdictional Control

Airline Contractors Facing Increasing Turbulence in Labor Relations as NLRB Asserts Jurisdictional Control

By Michele Haydel Gehrke and Emily Erdman

The New York Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision asserting jurisdiction over employees of an airline independent contractor (“AIC”) and ordered that the contractor’s workforce vote concerning whether to unionize. See PrimeFlight Aviation Services, Inc., 02-RC-186447 (2016). This is just another example of a growing trend that we have seen at both the NLRB and the National Mediation Board (NMB) in finding that air carriers are not asserting enough control over AICs to bring them under the jurisdictional umbrella of the Railway Labor Act (RLA).

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