On July 1, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter regarding permissible rounding practices under the Service Contract Act (“SCA”). While the SCA governs government contractors, the DOL’s guidance is nevertheless helpful to retailers because the SCA incorporates Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) rounding principles, which are applicable to them.
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Many retailers use bonus programs to incentivize employee performance. With respect to bonuses paid to non-exempt employees (i.e., those employees who are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act), the retailer must then determine whether it owes additional overtime on the incentive bonus.
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As many readers of this blog are aware, a nationwide trend of localities requiring paid family leave has emerged over the last few years. While there has been little development on the federal front, this appears to be changing. On May 22, 2019, members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal tax policy and significant health care policy, announced a bipartisan working committee of Finance Committee Senators to consider the issue of federal paid family leave policy. 
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As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog on May 14, 2019, Massachusetts’ highest court, The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), recently issued its long awaited decision in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542, in which the SJC responded to certified questions of first impression from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
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A newly proposed amendment to the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 would expand paid sick leave to require employers to provide 40 hours, or 5 days, of sick leave by the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment. Additionally, employers are only able to cap the amount of paid sick leave a worker earns to 80 hours, or 10 days. Finally, the employer is required to allow an employee to carry over up to 5 days of sick leave into the following year of employment. This amendment would necessarily have a negative impact on California retailers, both large and small. 
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Each year, the California Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) identifies proposed state legislation that the Chamber believes “will decimate economic and job growth in California.” The Chamber refers to these bills as “Job Killers.” In March, the Chamber identified the first two Job Killers of 2019: AB 51 and SB 1. Both bills would negatively impact retailers in California.
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Activist investors continue to make liberal use of the SEC’s Rule 14a-8 to submit proposals for inclusion in company proxy statements. One of the most important shareholder trends to emerge from 2018 is the increasing involvement and support of large institutional investors in certain campaigns. Crisis management was one area in particular that institutional investors prioritized and sought disclosure on in 2018.
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On January 17, 2019, Hunton Andrews Kurth’s retail industry team, composed of more than 200 lawyers across practices, released their annual Retail Industry Year in Review publication.
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