On September 17, 2013, the United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced a final rule expanding the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime protections to direct care workers who provide essential home care assistance to elderly people and people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. The final rule is effective January 1, 2015. The rule extends coverage of the minimum wage and overtime requirements to home health aides, personal care aides, and certified nursing assistants. Many employees and employers in the home health care industry will have questions regarding the appropriate implementation of the rule's requirements. Issues involving whether payment is necessary for rest breaks, meal time, or travel time are some of the concerns that can be addressed with competent labor and employment counsel.
Effective January 1, 2013, the new minimum wage in Ohio rose 15 cents to $7.85 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for non-tipped employees is linked to inflation under a state constitutional amendment Ohio voters approved in 2006. The minimum wage uses the Consumer Price Index to adjust for inflation, as tracked from August to August every 12 months. Ohio was one of 10 states that raised its minimum wage at the start of the new year between 10 and 35 cents, modestly boosting the incomes of nearly 1 million low-paid workers.
A recent decision by the 1st Circuit of the United States Courts of Appeal provides a valuable lesson to restaurant and food service companies who engage in tip sharing. Recently, the First Circuit held that shift supervisors had managerial responsibility thereby making them ineligible to share in tips under a Massachusetts statute. While Starbucks argued shift supervisors did not qualify as managers under the statute because they devoted up to ninety percent of their time performing the same functions as baristas and did not have authority to hire, fire, or discipline, the Court found that the statute indicated that the sharing of tips was only permitted among those with "no managerial responsibility."
Celebrity Chef Mario Batali reached a settlement of alleged tip credit improprieties with approximately 1,100 tipped employees who worked in several of his restaurants including Babbo, Del Posto, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Esca, Lupa and Otto. The class-action suit brought on behalf of waiters, captains, servers, busboys, runners, and bartenders is similar to many others in the past several years concetrating on restaurants in New York and elsewhere. The lawsuit alleged that Batali, business partner Joseph Bastianich, and their restaurants had a policy of impermissibly deducting an amount between 4 to 5 percent of total wine sales at the end of each night from the tip pool and keeping the money.