On February 28, 2017, in Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, a California Court of Appeal found that employers are required to separately calculate and pay compensation for rest periods for employees receiving commission based pay. The plaintiffs in Vaquero were commission-based salespeople at a furniture store. Each pay period, they received sales commissions plus, if necessary, a draw against future commissions bringing pay to at least $12.01 for each hour worked in the pay period. Their compensation agreement did not provide for separate compensation for non-sales time or for rest periods. The plaintiffs filed suit alleging failure to provide paid rest periods.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court ordered the Ninth Circuit to reconsider whether Service Advisors are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). SCOTUS issued its Order with direction to avoid taking the US Department of Labor’s most recent regulations into account, finding the regulations were issued without adequate explanation.
Uber’s fight against having to classify its drivers as employees instead of independent contractors just became a little more complicated. A former Uber driver in the San Diego, Calif. area has successfully applied for unemployment benefits, according to SF Weekly. Patrick Ely, the driver, was part of a group of drivers who filed a complaint against Uber last month claiming the ride-hailing company had violated the California Labor Act when it cut its prices in January.
Lyft, the on-demand transportation company and Uber competitor, agreed to pay $12.25 million in extra pay and benefits to its drivers in California to settle a lawsuit. General Motors recently announced a $500-million investment in the ride-sharing company. Lyft will change its terms of service to comply with California law governing independent contractors.
Ford is making more money this year than expected — enough to increase profit-sharing checks for workers — because of a change in how it reports accumulated costs related to pension and other post-retirement benefits. The company is restating earnings back to 2011 and that includes new figures for 2015. Because North American earnings are expected to be higher in 2015, under the formula negotiated with the UAW it means hourly workers can expect even higher profit sharing checks than originally envisioned.
The UAW has filed labor charges against Volkswagen for refusing to bargain a contract for a small group of unionized workers at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The UAW organized 161 skilled trades workers at the plant earlier this month after a previous attempt to organize the full workforce of about 1,450 last year was unsuccessful. The UAW has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
Seattle became the first U.S. city to pass a law giving drivers for Uber and Lyft the right to unionize, a new challenge to the ride companies' success as they confront mounting dissatisfaction over how drivers are treated. The law approved unanimously by the Seattle City Council recognizes the right of drivers for on-demand ride companies known as Transportation Network Companies, as well as taxi and for-hire drivers, to collectively negotiate on pay and working conditions. Uber and Lyft both opposed the measure and argue that federal law precludes such local legislation.
Nexteer Automotive, a global supplier of steering and driveline components, has reached a tentative agreement with the UAW for a new contract, averting a possible strike. The Saginaw-based supplier reached a deal with the UAW shortly after midnight. The UAW's old contract with Nexteer expired at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
Ford will spend $1.3 billion and add 2,000 jobs at its Kentucky Truck plant in Louisville to make the next-generation 2017 Super Duty pickup. The size of the investment reflects the decision to switch future generations of vehicles to aluminum bodies from steel in a bid to shed weight and improve fuel economy on some of the automaker's largest vehicles. The $1.3 billion was promised as part of the 2011 labor agreement.
Honda Motor Co. plans to shake up job terms next fiscal year and lift its retirement age by five years to 65, making the carmaker one of Japan Inc.’s biggest companies to take action in coping with the nation’s aging demographics. Other proposed changes applying to about 40,000 employees at Honda and five of its group companies include a shift to child care and nursing allowances, rather than family allowances, spokesman Ben Nakamura said. Honda also plans to introduce a work-from-home and partial-workday system, and adopt a salary and bonus structure that widens the pay gap between higher and lower performers.
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