Wage and Hour litigation continues to increase across most types of businesses in the United States. The number of cases filed in the US reached an all-time high in 2015. Unsurprisingly, industries with large number of service jobs caused the majority of cases and losses: hotels, restaurants, leisure companies, as well as department stores and supermarkets. The nature of these suits can vary but often involve multiple claims - misclassification of employees, failure to pay or calculate overtime properly, breaking rules on rest periods and meal periods, as well as a host of violations relating to the paying of tipped employees.
While successful court challenges have managed to block a number of high profile regulatory changes in recent months, a Chicago court upheld a major new rule facing the trucking industry at the end of October. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a rule requiring trucking companies to install electronic logging devices aimed at ensuring compliance with hours of service safety requirements. A legal challenge against this rule brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) failed to succeed.
The Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule with respect to retirement plans caused a lot of consternation when first announced. The new rule created special rules aimed at limiting conflicts of interests within the world of investment advice for retirement accounts. Some people within the industry decried the rule as more needless regulation that would only increase costs for consumers, whereas others simply saw it as codifying changes most investment advisors had already made in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. Now, though, several factors raise questions as to the rule’s status before it goes into effect in June of 2017.
The Federal Motor Carrier Act of 1980 placed a number of requirements on interstate truckers at the same time it led to widespread deregulation of the industry. One of these requirements involved proof of financial responsibility. To ensure the safety of the public against damage caused by motor carriers who may not have the liquidity to pay resulting claims, the law requires that motor carriers be able to demonstrate the ability to pay any claims up to a statutory minimum.