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Piece Rate Workers Must Be Paid for Time Spent

August 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Automotive service technicians sued their employer based on the way they were paid.  The employer contended the tech were paid legally because they made sure the techs were never paid less than minimum wage, when their hourly pay was averaged against what they received from piece rate work. On March 6, 2013, the state Second [...]

Another Chapter in Arbitration Wars

July 15th, 2013|Arbitration|

The legality of arbitration agreements brings a lot of people to Court in California. In this case, an order denying Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration was brought to the California Appeals Court, who found the trial court did not err in deciding the arbitration agreement was unenforceable under Massachusetts law, which the parties agreed applied [...]

CalChamber Offers Seminar on New Pregnancy Disability Leave, Disability Discrimination Regulations

June 13th, 2013|Discimination|

(February 5, 2013) To help employers understand the impact of the new California pregnancy disability leave (PDL) and disability discrimination regulations, the California Chamber of Commerce is offering a seminar on February 15

Unemployment Fund Deficit Means Higher Employer Tax

June 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The federal tax that California employers pay to support the unemployment insurance (UI) program increased again Jan. 1 due to the continuing insolvency of the UI Trust Fund, and will continue to increase every year until the debt is paid.

Federal Court Rules NLRB Recess Appointments Invalid

June 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

(January 29, 2013) A federal appeals court recently ruled that President Barack Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were “constitutionally invalid” because the U.S. Senate was not actually in recess at the time.

CALIFORNIA LAW TURNS UP HEAT ON LABOR CONDITIONS

June 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A new California law will force retailers and manufacturers to disclose from 2012 how they guard against slavery and human trafficking throughout their supply chains, ratcheting up scrutiny over some of the largest U.S. corporations. From January 1, about 3,200 major companies doing business or based in California, a list that [...]

CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT LAW – OVERTIME

June 13th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

California Employment Law – OvertimeIn California, most employees are subject to both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California Labor Code. The FLSA generally applies to employees, who in any work week engaged in interstate “commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce [...]

CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT LAW WAITING OR ON-CALL TIME

June 13th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

Waiting or On-Call Time While an employee is on-duty, all waiting time is compensated. While an employee is off-duty, however, but required to be on-call, the time during which the employer controls the employee’s time may be compensable. If the employee cannot use their time effectively for their own purposes, then the time may be [...]

Representation Reviewed and Questioned

June 5th, 2013|General Labor Law|

When a law firm’s partner represents a city department at an advisory arbitration, the principles of due process prohibit the decision maker from being advised on the matter by a different partner from the same law firm. That’s because the law partners owe each other fiduciary duties and the advisory partner is in the position [...]

ERISA Argument Over Accident Recovery

June 4th, 2013|General Labor Law|

Petitioner US Airways sued under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to recover $66,866 in medical expenses paid for injuries suffered by responded McCutchen, a US Airway employee. McCutchen was injured in a car accident with a third party. The insurance plan entitled US Airways to reimbursements if McCutchen recovered money from a third [...]

Collective Action Mooted by Offer

May 31st, 2013|General Labor Law|

A collective action was brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) on behalf of a woman and “other employees similarly situated”. After the respondent ignored petitioners offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68, the District Court found that the offer fully satisfied her suit. Since no one else had joined it, [...]

Teacher’s Fitness to Teach Receives Ruling

May 15th, 2013|Sexual Harassment|

The San Diego Unified School District dismissed a teacher on grounds he had touched a student inappropriately.  A Commission on Professional Competence determined the district had not adequately proven the teacher’s immoral conduct, unfitness to teach, or persistent violation of district rules.  The district petitioned the superior court for a writ of mandate, which vacated [...]

Employee Retirement Income Security Act Case Decision

May 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court decision in a case where a class of employees alleged their pension fund was mismanaged. The lower district court was determined to have correctly used the six-year statute of limitations under the act, instead of a continuing violations theory. But because the beneficiaries did not [...]

Piece Rate Workers Must Be Paid for Time Spent

May 2nd, 2013|Wage and Hour|

Automotive service technicians sued their employer based on the way they were paid. The employer contended the techs were paid legally because they made sure the techs were never paid less than minimum wage, when their hourly pay was averaged against what they received from piece rate work. On March 6, 2013, the state Second [...]

Sexual Harassment Plaintiff Must Make a Prima Facie Case

April 28th, 2013|Sexual Harassment|

A ruling in favor of Defendant was made April 1, 2013 on a Title VII action claiming sexual harassment in Fresno and retaliatory discharge in an appeal from a US District Court decision in a Nevada case. The district court granted summary judgment to Defendant. Plaintiff appealed that ruling to the 9th Circuit. In part, [...]

Jury Rules for Employer in Discrimination Case

April 24th, 2013|Discimination|

Plaintiff appealed a judgment following a jury decision in favor of Defendant employer Caltrans (also known as the State Department of Transportation) and his supervisor in an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff Kenneth Hatai alleged he was treated differently because of Japanese ancestry and Asian heritage. Plaintiff sought to prove the claim by showing that his [...]

Cross Complaint by Alleged Sexual Harasser Dismissed

April 22nd, 2013|General Labor Law|

Plaintiff sued several parties alleging sexual harassment, assault and other claims. One of the Defendants cross complained alleging that plaintiff published false statements to others, including friends, co-workers, healthcare workers and the police. The Court issued an order striking the cross complaint as covered by California’s “SLAPP” statute. Plaintiff’s complaints to police and nurses were [...]

Meal and Rest Break Law

April 19th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

California law guarantees meal and rest periods to employees, and monetary penalties are available to those who are denied them illegally. The California Supreme Court recently stated that it was an employer’s duty to provide them and to “relieve its employee of all duty,” and allow them to be free to use their meal period [...]

Mandatory Arbitration Disputed

April 18th, 2013|Arbitration|

Defendant moved to compel arbitration and asked the court to allow arbitration on an individual basis only, not as a class, even though the Plaintiffs had filed their complaint as a class action. The court granted the motion to compel arbitration, but rejected Truly Nolen’s request that it be individually arbitrated. The issue of whether [...]

Plaintiffs Win Hard Fought Certification Post Brinker

April 16th, 2013|Class Action|

Plaintiffs filed a wage and hour class action against Networkers International LLC, alleging violations of wage and hour laws including overtime pay, meal and rest breaks. Plaintiffs’ motion to certify was denied on the holding that Plaintiffs failed to show common factual and legal questions predominated over individual issues. On appeal, the court determined the [...]

California Overtime Law Covers Some Out of State Workers

April 15th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

Three non-resident Oracle employees who did some work for the company in California sued as a class action alleging they were owed overtime. Oracle argued that the workers were exempt from overtime, and were not owed premium pay for overtime worked under federal or California law. The workers alleged their first two claims based upon [...]

IHSS Worker Was Joint State, Association Employee

April 8th, 2013|General Labor Law|

A state appeals court decision has resulted in a determination that a home health care worker was jointly employed by the state and a local association. Adeline Tapia Guerrero worked providing in care under the In-Home Support Services Act (IHSS). The appeals court ruled that a demurrer should not have been sustained on her federal [...]

Another Chapter in the Arbitration Wars

April 7th, 2013|Arbitration|

On September 19, 2012, the Supreme Court granted review on Iskanian v. CLS Transportation L.A., LLC. The putative wage and hour class action case petitioned for review after the Court of Appeal affirmed an order compelling arbitration and dismissing class claims. The decision held that the Plaintiff could pursue individual claims under the Private Attorneys [...]

Employee Who Used All Pregnancy Disability Leave May Still Have Case

April 4th, 2013|General Labor Law|

An employee can still state a cause of action under the California Fair Employment and House Act, even if they’ve exhausted all leave legally available under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, (PDLL). The PDLL was designed to improve upon, rather than displace, the protections under FEHA, the California Court of Appeals ruled February 21, 2013. [...]

Contract that Implied Benefits Created Legal Obligation

April 2nd, 2013|General Labor Law|

A district court was determined to have erred in dismissing the claims of a group of retired employees, who said the contract breached an implied obligation to provide some benefits in perpetuity on an implied contract theory, as a result of a recent California Supreme Court decision to that effect. Sonoma County Association of Retired [...]

Class Certification Against Sears Denied

March 28th, 2013|Class Action|

Plaintiff William Dailey sued on behalf of a class of managers and assistant managers of Sears auto centers, alleging that they violated California’s wage and hour laws. Dailey attempted to certify the class, alleging uniform policy and practice resulted in their treatment with regard to meal and rest breaks and overtime. The trial court granted [...]

Public Disclosure of Private Facts Decision Reversed

March 27th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer in a suit brought by Melissa Ignat v. Yum! Brands, Inc. on a case of a single action for public disclosure of private facts – the alleged employer allegedly disclosed to co-workers that Ms. Ignat is bipolar. The trial court granted summary judgment on [...]

Debarment Overturned in Prevailing Wage Case

March 26th, 2013|General Labor Law|

A man appealed a “debarment” decision from the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The decision would have prevented the appellant and his company from bidding or working on public works construction projects for a year. The trial court decided there was no credible evidence to support intent [...]

One Interpretation of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes

March 26th, 2013|General Labor Law|

In light of the recent decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s certification of a class of newspaper writers. The Ninth Circuit directed the lower court to reconsider its analysis in light of Wal-Mart, a disapproval of what the Supreme Court called “trial by formula,” [...]

Meal and Rest Break Law Clarified

March 8th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

California law guarantees meal and rest periods to employees, and monetary penalties are available to those who are denied them illegally. The California Supreme Court recently stated that it was an employer’s duty to provide them and to “relieve its employee of all duty,” and allow them to be free to use their meal period [...]

Supreme Court Denies Review of Reimbursement Case

March 7th, 2013|General Labor Law|

Clothing store workers alleged they were required to buy clothing from their employers as a condition of their employment, and were required to travel between locations without mileage reimbursement. Class certification was denied at the trial court level. The Court of Appeal held the plaintiffs couldn’t prove class-wide liability because written policies didn’t require the [...]

San Jose Minimum Wage Takes Effect March 11

February 13th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

(February 25, 2013) San Jose voters approved a minimum wage of $10 per hour for most covered employees working within the city limits of San Jose

Denial of Class Certification Upheld

February 13th, 2013|Class Action|

The trial court initially certified classes regarding meal period, waiting time penalty and check stub claims made by a class of employees. But after the Court of Appeal decisions in Brinker v. Superior Court (4/12/12) 53 Cal.4th and Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc. (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1278, the trial court granted the Defendant’s motion for reconsideration and denied [...]

Employers of Exempt Employees Not Required to Ensure Meals Taken

February 13th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

The trial court determined that the employer in question didn’t have to pay overtime to a class of employees who earned 1.5 times minimum wage when more than half the employees pay comes in commissions. Additionally, they were not required to ensure those employees took meal periods. The Supreme Court granted the petition for review, [...]

Controversial Arbitration Decision

February 5th, 2013|Arbitration|

A sales manager at a Southern California Toyota dealership was fired four weeks before the expiration of his approved medical leave under the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, also known as Government Code Sections 129451 and 129452, or “CFRA”. The employer alleged they believed Avery Richey was working part time in a restaurant he owned while [...]

California Overtime Law Covers Some Out of State Workers

January 13th, 2013|Wage and Hour|

Non-resident employees working in California are sometimes covered by California’s overtime laws, meaning workers are entitled to 1.5 times their regular hourly rate. In Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals held that the company had enough contact with the state that it could expect to follow its laws.

City’s Attempt to Outsource Work Fought

January 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The Costa Mesa City Employees’ Association sued as a class, on behalf of city workers, alleging that a city plan to contract out for some services violates state law and the parties collective bargaining agreement. The matter has not been heard yet. But on July 15, 2011, the trial court granted a preliminary injunction enjoying [...]

Cross Complaint by Alleged Sexual Harasser Dismissed

January 5th, 2013|Sexual Harassment|

Plaintiff sued several parties alleging sexual harassment in Fairfield, assault and other claims. One of the Defendants cross complained alleging that plaintiff published false statements to others, including friends, co-workers, healthcare workers and the police. The Court issued an order striking the cross complant as covered by California’s “SLAPP” statute. Plaintiff’s complaints to police and [...]