As you brace for the New Year, don’t forget that California’s minimum wage will reach $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. This latest increase is the final stage of the two-step legislation that increased the minimum wage from $8 to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014, and now to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016.
Gary R. Siniscalco
Gary Siniscalco, Senior Counsel and Co-Chair of the EEO & OFFCP Compliance Group, has significant experience advising clients on complex employment litigation and advisory matters. He has particular experience in counseling and litigation defense for clients on equal opportunity, affirmative action (OFCCP) compliance, wrongful discharge, wage-and-hour matters and in working with companies on cross-border employment issues. Gary has handled numerous class actions, pattern and practice cases and government audits, in court and before the EEOC and Department of Labor. Gary brings a particularly unique perspective to clients on matters involving the EEOC, having served as regional counsel and senior trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco prior to joining Orrick.
Gary also has an extensive class actions practice, focusing on litigation, consent decree strategies and preventive advice. He has been designated as an expert or retained as special counsel in several federal court class actions throughout the United States.
Gary’s counseling practice extends beyond the United States and includes assisting U.S. multinational companies in dealing with complex employee issues in foreign jurisdictions
Some of Gary’s current representations include:
- several EEOC commissioner’s charge and individual claims of race and national origin discrimination in use of criminal background checks against a major financial services company;
- a commissioner’s charge alleging race discrimination in hiring and promotions; a multi-employee race promotion and pay case against a major retail store chain; and
- EEOC Equal Pay Act investigations; and OFCCP systemic pay and promotion audits.
Gary has written numerous articles on employment law. Most recently, he is Management Editor-in-Chief of a two-volume treatise--Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law: An International Survey (BNA, 2010). Gary is co-author of "The Pay Gap, the Class Ceiling, and Pay Bias: Moving Forward Fifty Years After the Equal Pay Act", ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol 29, November 3 (Spring 2014), and "The Law of Employment Discrimination from 1985-2010," ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Spring 2010).
Gary is widely recognized as one the top management employment lawyers in the United States by every major ranking organization, including Chambers USA, the National Law Journal, Best of the Best USA (Euromoney), and Who’s Who Legal. Among management employment lawyers in the United States and Europe, Gary is ranked in the top 10 of Who’s Who international management labor and employment lawyers and is described as “absolutely superb.”
Gary also serves regularly on the NYU faculty for training federal judges on employment law, the OFCCP Institute, PLI International Employment Law and ABA Labor and Employment Law Section programs.
Asia Employment Law Update
Proposed Regulations May Complicate Reductions in Force in China
On December 31st, 2014, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (“MOHRSS”) issued a notice to solicit public opinions on the draft Regulations on Personnel Cutbacks by Enterprises (“Draft Regulations”). The Draft Regulations set out detailed implementing rules for “mass layoffs” (defined under the Labor Contract Law as being a layoff of more than 10% of the workforce or more than 20 employees) and, if adopted in their current form, will further complicate the process for conducting reductions in force in China.
Baseball season is well underway as fans fill themselves up on hot dogs and beers, don their rally caps for some late-inning luck, and cheer for their favorite players. Meanwhile, a class action against Major League Baseball by former minor league players has been trotting through federal court. In Senne v. MLB, No. 3:14-cv-00608-JCS (N.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2014), ECF No. 1, the plaintiffs cry foul in alleging that “paying their dues” on the way to the big leagues isn’t paying the bills. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that MLB and all 30 of its teams have violated the FLSA by not paying the minor leaguers overtime and minimum wage.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301–4335, not only prohibits discrimination against employees and potential employees based on their military service, it also imposes certain obligations on employers with respect to employees returning to work after a period of service in the U.S. military.
On December 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The final rule implements an Executive Order signed by President Obama in July 2014 amending Executive Order 11,246 to include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases of employment discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors.
More than three years after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) first announced its intent to issue a new Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, the Agency finally has obtained approval to do so from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OFCCP’s Scheduling Letter provides a contractor with notice of its selection for a compliance evaluation (audit), and the Itemized Listing constitutes OFCCP’s standard initial request for submission of the contractor’s Affirmative Action Plan and supporting personnel activity and compensation data. OFCCP announced the OMB approval in a September 30, 2014 Notice, and published the final versions of the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing on October 1, 2014.
In an unwelcome, mid-summer surprise for the business community, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order on Thursday July 31, 2014 requiring federal contractors to report violations of federal and state labor and employment laws and prohibiting certain contractors from requiring that employees arbitrate disputes alleging violations of Title VII or claims for sexual assault or harassment. The Executive Order also requires federal contractors to provide relevant information about hours worked and overtime on employee paychecks.
Do mean-spirited watercooler talk, negative gossip, and backbiting have an effect on employee morale that companies would like prevent if they could? In many instances, probably yes. Why don’t employers create “no gossip” policies aimed at improving morale in the workplace? One company did implement such a policy and it didn’t work out so well. Read More
In Germany, remuneration of managers in general has increasingly come into public and political focus.
Over the last years, the German legislator enacted several law reforms concerning managers’ pay. Very recently, the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz “KWG”) was amended effective January 2014, to provide for further restrictions on bonus payments for managers and employees in the banking industry. A reform of the German Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz “AktG”) however, shifting the authority of determining the remuneration of board members to the shareholders’ meeting was stopped, but presumably only for the time being. Read More