Category Archives for Compliance

Acosta addresses tipping issue

  • March 7, 2018

Acosta addresses tipping issue  

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta returned today to the question of tipping and why the Labor Department’s proposed tip-pooling rule doesn’t bar employers from pocketing tips, saying that adding such language would exceed the authority of his department.

Speaking at a conference for Latino business leaders, Acosta addressed accusations leveled by Democratic representatives at a Tuesday appropriations hearing that the tip-pooling rule would transfer tips from employees to employers — a conclusion reportedly reached by two consecutive DOL analyses that Acosta suppressed.

Acosta told Congress Tuesday that the results of the study were inconclusive. An analysis from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute found employers would pocket $5.8 billion.

“Let me be very clear,” Acosta said today at the Latino business conference. The appropriation by businesses of workers’ tips “is wrong [and] this administration does not favor establishments stealing tips.”

Democrats and worker advocates say the proposal, which would allow employers to redistribute tips to back-of-house employees, would give employers the green light to pocket tips because it doesn’t expressly outlaw it. Acosta didn’t dispute that assessment, but said it’s up to Congress to make the change, not the executive branch. “It is not our place in the executive branch to legislate what the law does not say,” Acosta said.

Acosta told members of Congress on Tuesday that he would support legislative language that barred employers from pocketing tips.

Dentist sues MetLife for back wages under joint employer claim

  • February 1, 2018

Dentist sues MetLife for back wages under joint employer claim

Even with the changes to Joint Employer status made the NLRB recently, employers still need to be concerned about legal claims related to joint employer status.  This article from POLITICO is a great illustration of the risk.

A dentist is suing MetLife insurance company, arguing that she was one of about 100 people to be misclassified as an independent contractor and therefore denied overtime pay and benefits.

“The contracts under which Ms. [Carol] McNeely and other Collective Action Members worked until November 1, 2017 were consistent with their being employees of MetLife,” according to the complaint, which was filed today in a U.S. District court in New York. “Until November 1, 2017, MetLife also controlled the means and manner by which Members perform their job duties. This control, and MetLife’s other behavior toward Members set forth in the Complaint, makes Ms. McNeely and other Collective Action Members employees rather than independent contractors.”

The lawsuit argues that MetLife avoided paying employment taxes and overtime wages and didn’t provide pensions and health insurance to dentists who were hired as consultants to evaluate claims from policy holders.

Democrats seek pension fix in budget caps deal

  • January 30, 2018

Democrats seek pension fix in budget caps deal

Multiemployer pension plans continue to be a sticky issue for Congress, according to POLITICO.

Democratic leaders are demanding a legislative fix for insolvent multiemployer pensions as part of a deal to raise caps on domestic and military spending.

“First, we need a caps deal,” one Senate Democratic staffer said. “Democrats are insisting that money to shore up the [multiemployer] pension funds be part of that.”

Staff from the offices of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have been negotiating for two months about legislation to shore up multiemployer pensions, which are negotiated with multiple employers by labor unions. Two major multiemployer plans — the Teamsters’ Central States pension fund and the United Mine Workers pension fund — are projected to go bust if no solution is found.

Democrats favor a bill introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, S. 2147 (115), that would create a new agency within Treasury that could issue bond-backed loans to faltering pension plans.

Democrats tried to attach an amendment that included the text of the pension bill to a four-week CR to end the government shutdown, but were rebuffed by Republicans. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the Democratic plan would cost $60 billion, but CBO has yet to score the bill.