What We're Watching | Week of May 22, 2022


What We're Watching, a weekly summary from the team at Boss Consulting HR, to highlight the ever-moving parts that is Human Resources.

 

Federal Updates


Wages, Wages, Wages

This week's topic is employee wages apparently! The House is considering a bill proposed by the Education and Labor Committee called the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act. This act would increase civil monetary penalties for wage and hour violations and require employers to regularly provide workers with pay stubs detailing how their wages are calculated. It also would limit the use of mandatory arbitration to resolve payment disputes.

Though this bill has a long way to go to pass, it's worth keeping an eye on as it seems like wage and hour issues are under the microscope.

 

Massachusetts Updates


Make It a Tripple

In April, the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court ruled in Reuter v. City of Methuen and held that any late payment of wages by an employer results in strict liability for treble damages under the Wage Act. And no, treble is not a music term. It means THREE TIMES. Prior to this ruling, an employer could avoid penalties by making employees whole before a wage complaint was filed.

 

Connecticut Updates


CT 'Gag Order' Law Passes

Remember that proposed legislation that significantly limits an employer's ability to hold captive audience meetings? Yeah, that passed.


The law goes into effect July 1st. The bill "prohibits employers … from disciplining or discharging (i.e., penalizing) an employee or threatening to do so because the employee refused to attend employer-sponsored meetings, listen to the speech, or view communications primarily intended to convey the employer’s opinion about religious or political matters.”


In a time when we are seeing significant unionization efforts, it'll be interesting to watch how this one pans out in practice.

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