Bitcoin, the most popular form of digital or crypto-currency, is gaining traction as an investment vehicle and a way to pay for goods and services. More than 100,000 merchants worldwide now accept Bitcoin, allowing consumers to book a hotel stay, take a taxi, or buy a car. The buzz around crypto-currency continues to grow as Bitcoin options will likely soon be traded on the futures exchange and regulators consider how to monitor Bitcoin transactions.So what about paying employees in Bitcoin? Here are some things to consider before diving into the digital currency market. What is Crypto-currency?Virtual or digital currency is a digital representation of value that has no paper or coin equivalent. Crypto-currency such as Bitcoin uses encryption to control its creation. Virtual currency is electronically created and stored and does not have the backing of a commodity, bank, or government authority. Additionally, virtual currency does not have the status of legal tender. … [Read more...] about Monopoly Money or the Real Deal? Exploring the Possibility of Paying Employees in Bitcoin
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Delivering a stiff blow to a California retail furniture company employing commission-pay employees, the California Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that employees paid on a commission or piece-rate basis must be paid separately for their rest breaks. The decision in Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture, LLC, followed the filing of a class action suit by two commission-based sales associates at Stoneledge Furniture LLC, a retail furniture company doing business in California as Ashley Furniture HomeStores.The plaintiffs, Vaquero and Schaefer, were paid a guaranteed minimum hourly rate as an advance on commissions earned in later pay periods. Under this policy, however, they were not provided separate compensation for any non-selling time, such as rest periods. The plaintiffs filed a class action alleging the company failed to provide its sales associates paid rest periods under Labor Code section 226.7 and California Wage Order No. 7-2001, which applies to the … [Read more...] about Putting Matter to Rest: California Court Rules Commission-Pay Employees Must Be Compensated Separately for Rest Breaks
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fair Labor Standards Act did not require employers to pay employees for time spent going through a security screening and waiting in line to be screened. Justice Thomas, writing for a unanimous court, concluded that such screenings are not “integral and indispensable” to the employee’s principal work activities as required by the FLSA. The decision reversed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is welcome news for employers.The Ninth Circuit’s decision was a concern for employers in many industries, including retail and manufacturing. Proskauer assisted with an amicus brief on behalf of several industry groups—the Retail Litigation Center, Inc., United States Chamber of Commerce, Society for Human Resource Management, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, and National Association of Manufacturers … [Read more...] about Supreme Court Rules Employers Not Required To Pay Employees For Time Spent In Security Screenings
The “polar vortex” brought record low temperatures to many parts of the country and shut down offices in numerous cities. Estimates suggest that the frigid weather could cost the U.S. economy up to $5 billion. We have written during previous states of weather emergency (HurricanesSandy and Irene) about potential wage and hour compliance issues during inclement weather. As much of the country is still in the early days of winter, though, now is a good time to revisit these issues and to stress the importance of establishing inclement weather policies.Remote WorkIf an employee (either exempt or non-exempt) works remotely during inclement weather, regardless of whether the office is open or closed, the employer must pay the employee their base salary (for exempt employees) or at their regular hourly rate for all hours worked (for non-exempt employees).Exempt EmployeesGenerally, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must pay exempt employees on an inclement … [Read more...] about Winter Weather Woes: What are My Obligations to Pay Employees During Inclement Weather?
Increasingly, high-profile companies in the tech industry are feeling the pressure to publicly share employee pay information and address any existing “pay gaps.” This has led to a number of recent press releases from Silicon Valley employers proclaiming “equal pay” within their organizations.Most recently, in connection with Equal Pay Day, Facebook, Inc. and Microsoft Corp both publicly announced they pay male and female employees equally. Microsoft went so far as to disclose its female employees earned 99.8 cents for every 1.00 dollar earned by men in the company and also shared data on pay equality for minority employees.While other companies likely have, or soon will, feel the pressure for pay transparency, there are important considerations to take into account before doing so. Some things to keep in mind include:What type of analyses will the company rely on to substantiate such a pronouncement?How will the analyses be … [Read more...] about Companies Feeling Pressure to Confirm they Pay Employees “Equally”