A new rule written by the Department of Labor is moving through the review process and may soon take effect, potentially impacting huge numbers of workers in New York and across the country. The rule will be reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is tasked with ensuring rules comply with agency requirements. The OIRA review process can take as many as 90 days without extension. That period may also be extended and there is no minimum period of OIRA review.
Workers in New York who expected to qualify for overtime pay after the Obama administration raised the salary limit to about $47,000 may no longer have the opportunity. The rule represented the first adjustment to the federal overtime regulations since 2004 and would have enabled over 4 million more people to collect overtime pay.
Employers in New York and the rest of the country can be heavily fined if they misclassify an hourly employee as exempt. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employer is unable to demonstrate that the misclassification was an honest error that was made in good faith, a fine that is equal to two times the amount of two years of back overtime will have to be paid as a penalty.
Some New York employees may know that they are generally entitled to extra pay for overtime hours worked. According to a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, an employee who spent some time performing management duties may go to trial for overtime and retaliation claims. The woman was the chief chef for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who oversaw food preparation and service there.
Employees in New York who are experiencing legal issues associated with worker rights might be interested in the trend of litigation financing. This is the practice of having investors fund a lawsuit in exchange for a percentage of the compensation received. Investors tend to only choose lawsuits that they have a great deal of confidence in because if the lawsuit is not successful, the plaintiff does not have to repay the investment. While litigation financing has primarily been used in big commercial cases, experts say that it may become more common in the world of employment law.