Is being paid cash worth it?

2018-08-09T23:25:23+00:00 August 9th, 2018|Wage and Hour|

It’s not illegal to pay your employees cash in California, but not keeping accurate records on how much you paid them and not paying the required payroll taxes are. There is a difference between paying an employee cash versus paying one “under the table”. If accurate records are kept, and all payroll taxes are paid, [...]

Employers Can’t Ask Prior Salary Information

2018-01-29T17:11:23+00:00 January 29th, 2018|Wage and Hour|

A new bill aimed at reducing the gender pay gap that has affected millions of women throughout the country has gone into effect. Governor Jerry Brown was in Sacramento to sign the Salary Privacy Bill at a local non-profit called Women’s Empowerment that assists women that are homeless. Following Massachusetts, Delaware, and Oregon, California is [...]

Is “Comp Time” or Banked Time Legal?

2018-01-15T20:12:57+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Wage and Hour|

There are a number of employers that offer compensation time (“comp” time) or offer to “bank” your overtime hours so you can take an extra day off later down the line. It is generally legal in California for an employer to pay comp time, subject to certain limits. However, not all employers are doing [...]

Can Employers Require On-Duty or On-Call Rest Periods?

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Wage and Hour|

California’s Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders require employers provide paid rest periods at the rate of ten (10) minutes for every four (4) hours worked, or major fraction thereof. The Labor Code Section 226.7 provides that if an employer fails to provide the rest periods, the employer must pay an additional hour of pay for [...]

When a colleague makes more money than you do

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Wage and Hour|

Salaries and compensation are usually kept confidential at a private company. Unlike public or government employees, whose pay is often public record, the wages people earn are something nobody talks about. It seems intrusive, and uncomfortable. But in some cases, information is leaked even just standing around the water cooler. It wouldn’t be unheard of [...]

California’s minimum wage increases: What you should know

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Wage and Hour|

Last March, the California Legislature approved a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022. The move made the state the first in the country to significantly boost its pay and encouraged others to follow suit. Under the deal, crafted by lawmakers and labor leaders, California’s $10 minimum [...]

Damages totaling $250,000 awarded to Costco employee in harassment suit

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 February 16th, 2017|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment, Wage and Hour|

A federal jury in December awarded $250,000 to a former Costco employee who had to file a restraining order against a male customer who was harassing and stalking her. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that oversees and enforces employment anti-discrimination laws, had accused Costco of failing to stop a man who [...]

California overtime laws: What you need to know

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Nearly every worker older than 18 is entitled to overtime pay in California. State law mandates that employees cannot work more than eight hours per day, or 40 hours per week, without being paid overtime wages. What is the amount of overtime in California? Under state law, overtime is one-half times a worker’s regular rate [...]

NLRB Rules That Grad Students, Teaching Assistants Can Unionize

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 November 8th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

At any given time, there are thousands of graduate students across the country working as teaching and research assistants. These students may conduct college courses, perform research in a lab, or work with professors on special projects. In exchange, the grad students usually receive a relatively small stipend and course credit. For many graduate students, [...]

New Overtime Rules Go Into Effect For Agricultural Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 October 27th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

For many people, the state of California brings to mind sunny beaches, perfect weather, wine tours and celebrity sightings. The majority of the state, however, much more rural and agricultural than it is portrayed in the media. Due to California’s long growing season and favorable soil conditions, the state provides much of the country’s produce. [...]

When Must Your Employer Reimburse You For Business-Related Expenses?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 26th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In California, employees are entitled to be reimbursed if they incurred expense or losses on behalf of their employer or during their regular work duties. For instance, California law gives workers the right to be reimbursed for things like equipment, training, travel, uniforms, or other work materials. If you are required to spend money in [...]

Live-In Vs. Live-Out Employees: Your Rights To Overtime

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 15th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

A live-in employee like a home health care aide or a nanny has different rules and employee rights when it comes to overtime pay. These workers live inside their employers’ home in order to provide round-the-clock care or assistance. Even though domestic workers may live with their employers, they are not required to be on [...]

Gov. Brown Drops Plan to Curb Wage and Hour Litigation

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 5th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

California’s governor recently dropped a large portion of his plan aimed at curbing wage-and-hour lawsuits across the state. In January, Governor Brown had asked the legislature to amend the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) which allows employees to file a lawsuit for alleged California Labor Code violations if the state declines to act. Under PAGA, [...]

Cal. Supreme Court to Review Overtime Rate Calculations

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 1st, 2016|Wage and Hour|

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review a recent decision determining how overtime is calculated in the state. In Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp. of California, the California 4th District Court of Appeal addressed a gap in state law about how employers could calculate overtime on bonuses. The issue in the case involves non-discretionary [...]

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Rules for “Rounding” Employee Hours

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 June 17th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

Is your employer required to pay you for every minute that you work, or is your company allowed to round your hours up or down? The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently considered this question, and clarified how employers are allowed to keep track of their employees’ time. The case of [...]

Lowe’s Settles ADA Accommodation Lawsuit, EEOC Issues Guidance

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 June 10th, 2016|Discimination, Wage and Hour|

On May 9, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new guidance on employer-provided unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employees with disabilities must be granted “reasonable accommodations” that will allow the employees to complete their duties on the job. According to the EEOC, [...]

Changes Coming Soon To Federal Overtime Exemption Rules

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 June 1st, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates which employees must be paid overtime, and which employees are exempt from the overtime rules. Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed changes to the FLSA rules regarding overtime, and these rules were submitted for review in March of 2016. The DOL is expecting the [...]

Ninth Circuit Rules Against Tip Pooling Arrangements

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 May 31st, 2016|Wage and Hour|

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently overruled itself and held that employers are no longer able to require their tipped employees to pool and share their earnings with non-tipped employees, even if the employer does not take a tip credit. Tip pooling is the practice of requiring tipped employees, like restaurant servers or bartenders, [...]

Does It Matter When You Take Your Breaks Under California Law?

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 May 13th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

California is one of the few states in the country that mandates rest breaks and meal breaks for employees. Employees are allowed to take meal breaks of at least 30 minutes, as well as ten-minute rest breaks. Not only does California law mandate these breaks, but it also determines when these breaks should be taken. [...]

Working Overtime Without Permission: Do You Still Get Paid?

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 May 4th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

For non-exempt workers, overtime pay can add a significant amount of money to a weekly paycheck. At time-and-a-half, many employees jump at the opportunity to work extra and make a little more. But what happens if that overtime is unapproved or unauthorized? Can an employer refuse to pay it? In California, state law requires that [...]

Uber Settles Lawsuits Over Independent Contractor Status of Drivers

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 May 3rd, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Uber, the massively popular ridesharing company, has agreed to settle two large class action lawsuits based in California and Massachusetts.  The lawsuits centered around whether the company’s drivers should be considered full-time employees or independent contractors. In California, Uber agreed to settle the claims of approximately 385,000 drivers for a total of $84 million. If [...]

California’s Minimum Wage Law Affects Overtime Exemptions

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 May 2nd, 2016|Wage and Hour|

Minimum-wage workers across California applauded the state’s new plan to increase the minimum wage over the next few years. While many workers are looking forward to an increase in their base pay, the new law will also affect which employees qualify for overtime. Whether or not a worker qualifies for state-mandated overtime pay depends on [...]

Pay Secrecy: Can Your Employer Prevent You From Discussing Salaries With Co-Workers?

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 April 18th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

In many businesses, it is an unwritten rule that management does not want employees discussing their salaries. While the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA) prohibits employers from discouraging their employees from talking about their pay, this federal law provides for no real consequences if the employers do so. As a result, the majority [...]

New Fair Day’s Pay Act Lets Employees Hold Owners Individually Responsible for Missed Wages

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 April 15th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

While a company has always been liable to its employees for failing to pay fair wages or failing to follow California’s many labor laws, a new act is in place which strengthens the Labor Commissioner’s power to penalize companies that violate the law. Additionally, employees may now be able to hold an individual person responsible [...]

Do You Have A Right To Vacation Pay? Understanding Your Vacation Pay Rights Under California Law

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 April 14th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

The United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that does not mandate paid vacation time for its workers. While no state in the union gives every worker guaranteed time off, California employees are lucky to have some of the country’s strictest laws protecting employee vacation time. In California, employers must [...]

California Reaches Deal On $15 Minimum Wage

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 April 12th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

California recently made history as the first state in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The governor and the state legislatures reached a deal on the proposed plan on March 28, and the bill was signed into law on March 31. Currently, California’s minimum wage is $10 an [...]

What Is an Email Curfew, and Can My Employer Really Do That?

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 17th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

Most of us have read in the news about proposed changes to federal overtime rules, many of which are long overdue and worker-friendly. But have you heard about email curfews? This is one measure being considered by some employers to help keep their overtime exposure down after the new rules are implemented. The Fair Labor [...]

Information Technology Salaries Continue to Increase

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 9th, 2016|Uncategorized, Wage and Hour|

A number of business sectors, including telecommunications, healthcare, hospitality, managed services, and financial services, use information technology to achieve optimum quality services. These companies aim to hire top IT professionals who have outstanding skill sets and experience–making recruitment and hiring strategies highly competitive. It seems that every California company is offering a high compensation package. [...]

USDOL Issues Joint Employer Guidance: What Could It Mean for You?

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 4th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

As I have reported on before, the United States Department of Labor is cracking down on companies who improperly try to avoid classifying a worker as an employee.  One of the new measures it is taking is considering whether a worker might be considered a joint employee of two different businesses.  It has therefore issued [...]

How Is Overtime Calculated on Flat Sum Bonuses in California, and Why Does It Matter?

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 3rd, 2016|Wage and Hour|

Although you may not realize it, how overtime should be calculated on bonuses of a flat amount has been hotly contested in California employment law.  This may seem like an issue that only accountants or human resources professionals should care about.  But as an employee, it’s important that you know the result of flat sum [...]

Worker Classification: Issues to Watch

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 February 26th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

The misclassification of workers as independent contractors presents serious problems for both employers and employees.  Some employers try to game the system by overusing the independent contractor classification.  In the short run, this may allow them slight gains, such as reducing payroll costs and tax contributions.  In the long run, however, they could suffer greatly. [...]

Apple Wins Employee Bag Check Case in Federal Court

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 February 4th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

Even if you don’t work for Apple, you should care about a federal court decision relating to California Apple employees. A judge recently dismissed a class action lawsuit in which Apple employees claimed they should have been paid for time waiting to have their bags checked after they got off work. The case was first [...]

State Supreme Court Reviews “Day of Rest” Law

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 January 30th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

The California Supreme Court will soon render a decision on three questions of critical importance to thousands of California employees. All of these questions relate to how the state’s “day of rest” law should be interpreted and applied. Why has the court decided to rule on these questions? It all started in 2009, when a [...]

Final Wage Payments in California: What Are Your Rights?

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 January 29th, 2016|Wage and Hour|

California laws have strong protections in place to ensure that terminated employees receive all that is due to them when they leave. These protections apply to employees regardless of the reason they left, whether fired, retired, resigned, or laid off. What Is Due? The general provision of law is that all final wages are due [...]

Many Employers Offering “Gig” Work

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 30th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Working from home is an arrangement that has been gaining momentum for a number of years. Employees like the flexibility of not having to report to an assigned location, and employers are freed from providing costly office space. The newest workplace phenomenon, however, is "gig" work. The ride sharing company, Uber, is the most notable [...]

New Law Establishes Pay for Non-Productive Time for Piece-Rate Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Employees who are paid on a piece-rate basis were given a shot in the arm by the California Legislature this year with a bill that will add to their pay. The Governor signed AB 1513, which goes into effect January 1, 2016. The new law requires piece-rate workers to be paid for rest and recovery [...]

DOL’s Amendments to White Collar Overtime Exemptions Reviewed by House Subcommittee

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

The U.S. Department of Labor's proposed revisions to the "white collar" exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act are attracting attention from Congress. The House Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations held a hearing in October to hear concerns from business interests. The white collar exemptions specify a salary level at which employees may be [...]

U.S. Supreme Court to Clarify Collective Action Certifications in Overtime Case

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 2nd, 2015|Class Action, Wage and Hour|

Lawsuits alleging unlawful treatment of employees by their employers often involve groups of employees who have been subjected to the same practice. These are known as both class-actions and collective actions. In these cases, there are typically one or more class representatives who have filed the suits and who identify groups of people who have [...]

Halliburton Employees Nationwide Gain in Overtime Settlement

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Wage and hour overtime violations by employers are probably more common than ever detected by the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers have obligations to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act and to self-monitor their compliance. The regulations that permit the exemption of certain employees from overtime requirements can be hard to interpret and apply. So [...]

California’s Fair Pay Act

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 19th, 2015|Discimination, Wage and Hour|

California’s laws regarding gender based pay discrimination will be amended effective January 1, 2016 by the Fair Pay Act, recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. While the state has long had a law on the books prohibiting discrimination in pay based on gender, the legislature passed the law because of a continuing disparity [...]

Top Four Employment Cases to Watch in the United States Supreme Court

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 16th, 2015|Class Action, Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

There are four cases worth watching in the upcoming term of the United States Supreme Court that may affect aspects of the employer/employee relationship: Eligibility of wage and hour lawsuits for collective (class) action status; The timeline for filing a discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; The ability of unions to [...]

The California Waiting Time Penalty

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 25th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Under California labor law , employees who give adequate notice of quitting, or who are discharged, are entitled to be paid their final wages on the date they quit. If the employer fails to make payment on the quit date, it must pay the former employee one day's wages for each day that payment is [...]

Lactation Accommodation in California

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 23rd, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Accommodation for mothers to express breast milk while at work is required by federal law as well as California law. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, requires a covered employer to provide unpaid break times to an employee to express milk for her infant child under one year of age [...]

What Does California Law Say About Meal Periods?

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 21st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

California labor law requires the provision of meal periods at certain intervals during the workday. At a minimum, if an employee is required to work for more than five hours, a meal break of at least 30 minutes must be provided. If the workday goes for 10 hours, a second meal break of the same [...]

School-Related Leave in California

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 11th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

One of the more unique employment rights required by law is the ability of parents to take time off from work to participate in their children's school activities. Nationally, only nine states require private employers to grant school leave. California happens to be one of those states. California Labor Code Section 230.8 prohibits an employer [...]

Five Things You Need to Know About the Proposed Overtime Regulations

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 4th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

For the first time in many years, the United States Department of Labor will make significant revisions to its rules regarding the "white-collar" overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. These rules determine who must be paid for overtime work under federal law. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, covered employers must pay overtime [...]

The San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

If you work for a retail establishment in San Francisco, you have specific rights that may not be known to you. The Retail Workers Bill of Rights became effective in December, 2014 and affects employers who are considered to be a "formula retail establishment" under San Francisco ordinances. An FRE is a retail business that [...]

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for California Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 5th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

If you live or work in California, you have no doubt heard about the mandatory paid sick leave law passed by the State Legislature. On July 1, 2015, California became one of only four states with this progressive employment right for workers. To be eligible, a worker must work for at least 30 days for [...]

FedEx Settles Worker Classification Suit for $227 Million

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 27th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors has been a major issue across the nation. In an attempt to protect employee rights, the fight to properly classify independent contractors as employees has increased in order to ensure they are properly being paid and receiving benefits. Amongst the employers involved in the classification [...]

California Labor Commissioner Rules Uber Driver is Employee

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 21st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On June 16, 2015, the California Labor Commissioner's office ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors. The ruling is expected to have a major impact on how the ride-sharing service operates in California, now that it will be expected to treat drivers like employees. The California Labor Commission found that because of the [...]

San Francisco “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” Soon to Go In Effect

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 17th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On July 3, 2015 the “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” will go into effect in the City of San Francisco.  The Retail Workers Bill of Rights is series of new ordinances that outline employment rights applying to “Formula Retail Establishments” in San Francisco. Under the new ordinances, covered employers must meet the following five major [...]

DriveNow’s Independent Contractor Problem: Why Does It Matter?

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 7th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

DriveNow, which operates electric car sharing services in the San Francisco Bay area, was recently sued in a California state court by one of its drivers, Marcelo Costas. The allegations against DriveNow, a BMW subsidiary, include violations of federal, state, and city labor laws. Costas alleges that DriveNow classified him, as well as other drivers, [...]

3 Instances in Which You Should be Getting Paid Overtime

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 1st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Our nation’s lawmakers have recently focused on political agenda items dealing with employment law. Higher wages and overtime regulations are amongst the employment issues getting the most attention. With major legal changes predicted dealing with employee rights, it is important for employees to understand whether they currently qualify for overtime. Below are three instances in [...]

$3 Million Settlement as Result of Failure to Reimburse Employees for Business Expenses

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 24th, 2015|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In April 2015, medical device company Stryker Corp. and its subsidiary Howmedica Osteonics Corp. settled a class action labor lawsuit for $3 million. The plaintiffs in the suit, Tanner Trosper v. Stryker Corporation, alleged Stryker and Howmedica violated California labor codes and unfair competition laws by failing to reimburse sales associates for business expenses. The [...]

What is Donning and Doffing, and Are You Getting Paid for It?

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 22nd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

“Donning and doffing” refers to the time employees spend putting on (“donning”) and taking off (“doffing”) mandatory personal protective work equipment, and many employees feel they should be compensated for this time. In one recent lawsuit, former Taylor Farms employees allege they were illegally not paid for donning and doffing, were denied rest and meal [...]

Preliminary Approval for $15 Minimum-Wage in Los Angeles

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 16th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

The Los Angeles City Council has given preliminary approval for a plan that will gradually raise the minimum-wage to $15 over the course of 5 years. This will make Los Angeles, California the largest city in the nation to adopt a major raise to the minimum-wage. The current minimum-wage in Los Angeles is $9 an [...]

California Assemblywoman Proposes Bill Requiring NFL Teams to Treat Cheerleaders as Employees

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 May 13th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Across the nation, cheerleaders for National Football League (NFL) teams are going to court, alleging that the teams they cheer for are violating labor laws. The first woman to sue an NFL team for wage and hour violations was former Raiderette Lacy T. Subsequently, a complaint was filed against the Cincinnati Bengals, alleging that the [...]

Is “On-Call” Scheduling Legal?

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 May 6th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The New York attorney general’s office is currently investigating whether impermissible “on-call” scheduling is used by a variety of major retailers. At issue is whether requiring workers to check in within hours of their shift violates New York’s labor laws, which requires at least four hours of pay at the minimum wage for workers who [...]

Federal Judge Orders Norwegian Government to Pay Consulate Worker $270,000 and $2.1 million in Attorney Fees

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 May 4th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Ellen Ewald worked in Norway’s Minneapolis consulate. She sued the Norwegian government for employment discrimination case, alleging her employer paid her $30,000 less than it paid a man doing comparable work. A United States District Court found that the Norwegian government violated the federal Equal Pay Act and the Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, and ordered [...]

New Federal Overtime Regulations Expected Soon

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 April 28th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On March 13, 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations, specifically with respect to the “white collar” exemptions. The Department of Labor (DOL) previously announced multiple target dates for the publication of new proposed regulations, including November 2014 and February 2015. These [...]