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 [...]

Microsoft Requires Contractors to Provide 15 Days of Paid Leave

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 April 22nd, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Microsoft has announced that it will require most of its 2,000 contractors and vendors to provide their employees who perform work for Microsoft fifteen days of paid each year. This unique model of one company forcing other companies to adopt paid leave policies comes at a time when few American believe the federal government will [...]

Controversy over Los Angeles Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Continues

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 April 3rd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Two hotel associations in Los Angeles have filed for injunctions to stop implementation of the Los Angeles Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance, which is slated to raise the minimum wage for certain Los Angeles hotels to $15.37 per hour in July 2015. The new requirement will apply to hotels in Los Angeles with more than 150 [...]

Viacom Settles Lawsuit Brought by Unpaid Interns

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 April 1st, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Viacom Inc. has settled a major class-action lawsuit brought by about 12,500 former interns who claimed they were not paid, despite the fact that they did work similar to paid employees. Viacom, who owns Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central, settled the case for $7.21 million. Recently, a lot of big companies, especially in the [...]

Oakland’s New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws are Now Effective

2017-12-13T21:46:41+00:00 March 27th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

California employers with employees in Oakland not only need to make sure they are complying with the new statewide paid sick leave law, but also Oakland’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave law that took effect March 2, 2015. Oakland Minimum Wage Law The new minimum wage law requires that employees who work in [...]

Wal-Mart to Increase Employee Wages

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 March 23rd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Responding to long-term pressure on insufficient employee wages and hours, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced that it will be raising its wages and give workers more predictable work hours. The announcement has reignited the debate about increasing the Federal minimum wage. Opponents to an increased Federal minimum wage say that Wal-Mart’s actions prove that the [...]

California Court Rules Healthcare Employee Meal Period Rule Illegal

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 March 9th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

On February 10, 2015, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the two wage orders regarding meal periods that healthcare companies have been following for years violate California law. In the case, Jazmina Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, the court held healthcare employers must get two meal breaks if they are working shifts [...]

California Court of Appeal Distinguished Between Meal and Rest Breaks

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 March 4th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Recently, the California Court of Appeal ruled on a case that clarified the different requirements of employees during meal breaks and rest breaks. In the case, Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., the plaintiff argued that ABM violated California law because ABM’s security guards were required to carry communication devices and remain on-call during their [...]

New California Law Protects Unpaid Interns from Discrimination

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 February 6th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Amongst the many new employment related laws that will go into effect this year in California is AB 1443, which prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals in unpaid internships. It also extends religious belief protections and accommodation requirements to unpaid internships, individuals in apprenticeships, and to volunteers.   The new law reiterates that the California [...]

CA Supreme Court Holds Certain Employees Must Be Paid for On-Call Hours

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 February 2nd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

On January 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court held that security guards who work 24-hour shifts must be paid for all 24 hours, even if 8 of those hours are spent sleeping. In the decision, Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc., the Court wrote that even when security guards are simply on-call, the entire 24-hour [...]

Reminder about Holiday Hours

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 January 9th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are generally treated like hours worked on any other day of the week.   California law does not require an employer to do any of the following: provide employees with paid holidays close on any holiday give employees the day off for any particular holiday pay employees overtime for [...]

Special San Francisco Wage Laws for Retail Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 January 8th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed two new ordinances that provide special wage and hour protections for employees of “formula retail establishments.”  The ordinances are collectively referred to as the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights, and will go into effect January 4, 2015 and become operative July 3, 2015. The Retail Workers’ Bill [...]

Wal-Mart Loses $151 Million Employment Law Case

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a $151 million jury award against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The case involved allegation of wage theft against the retail giant. Wage theft refers to the practice of employers illegally withholding wages or denying benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee. On appeal, Wal-Mart argued that the court should have required [...]

Viacom Settles Lawsuit Brought by Unpaid Interns

2017-12-13T21:46:42+00:00 January 1st, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Viacom Inc. has settled a major class-action lawsuit brought by about 12,500 former interns who claimed they were not paid, despite the fact that they did work similar to paid employees. Viacom, who owns Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central, settled the case for $7.21 million. Recently, a lot of big companies, especially in the [...]

What Can A California Employer Deduct from Your Paycheck?

2017-12-13T21:46:43+00:00 November 24th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

It is always important to double check your paycheck and make sure you are getting paid properly. If it seems that your paycheck is less than it should be, it may be because of deductions made by your employer. If this is the case, you should establish that these deductions are proper.   There are [...]

San Francisco Healthcare Providers Cited Over $3 Million for Labor Law Violations

2016-08-05T17:22:06+00:00 November 19th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The California Labor Commissioner has issued over $3 million in citations to four San Francisco assisted living providers. An investigation of the facilities uncovered minimum wage, overtime, and rest period violations.   Abraham Rest Home Inc., Common Destiny Care Homes, Sanchez-Abraham, and Florian White Dove Care were all issued citations. They included: $1,820,551 for underpaid [...]

Raiders and Raiders Cheerleaders Settle Wage Dispute

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 September 12th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The NFL has found itself in an unkind light lately, and one issue it has been dealing with is lawsuits against teams who have been paying their cheerleaders less than minimum wage. Leading the way with such litigation, the 90 current and former cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders have been offered a settlement for withheld [...]

Should Employees be Reimbursed for Using Personal Cell Phones for Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 September 8th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

In August 2014, a California Court of Appeal held that class certification was appropriate in a case alleging that the employer failed to reimburse employees for expenses associated with using their personal cell phones for work calls. In the case, Cochran v. Schwan Home Service, Inc., class certification had previously been denied because the employer [...]

Janitorial Companies May Be Taking Advantage of Immigrants by Misclassifying them as Franchisees Rather than Employees

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 September 5th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

Several large janitorial companies are being sued for allegedly taking advantage of immigrants, misclassifying them as franchisees rather than employees. For decades, some large cleaning companies have run on the franchise model instead of hiring employees. Coverall, CleanNet, and a few other large janitorial companies regularly market themselves to immigrants, often by advertising in foreign-language [...]

FedEx Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 September 1st, 2014|Wage and Hour|

A federal appeals court has held that nearly 2,700 FedEx driver plaintiffs in California and Oregon are employees, and not independent contractors as FedEx has classified them. In the California and Oregon cases, the plaintiff drivers claimed that for a decade, FedEx required them to purchase company-approved trucks, uniforms, and other equipment as if they [...]

Did SpaceX Violate Labor Laws?

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 August 28th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

SpaceX is a California company that designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It was founded by Elon Musk, who also founded Paypal and is the CEO of Tesla Motors. Currently, the upstart company is facing two lawsuits in which former employees are claiming that SpaceX violated state labor laws. The first lawsuit was [...]

Government Shut Down Caused Labor Law Violations

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 August 27th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

During last year’s infamous government shutdown, some employees still had to work, and with delayed pay. Five of these employees, who worked for the federal prison system and the U.S. Justice Department, brought suit against the federal government. More than 1,000 plaintiffs from various governmental agencies have joined their case case, and the suit now [...]

LinkedIn Will Pay Millions in Overtime Back Wages

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 August 26th, 2014|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to pay $3.3 million in overtime back wages and $2.5 million in liquidated damages to 359 workers in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York. All over the country, employers are working “off the clock,” without pay or overtime. This practice harms workers, denies [...]

Are You Getting Paid to Answer Emails and Calls After Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 29th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In California, salaried employees must be paid overtime unless they are considered exempt under federal laws, California laws, or an Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order. Some non-salaried employee may also be entitled to overtime. As wage and hour disputes continue to rise, employees wonder if answering work emails and phone calls off the clock should [...]

When Can California Employers Require Employees to Use Accrued Leave of Absences?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 27th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In a decision handed down on July 21, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held employers can require employees to use their accrued leave for absences of less than half a day without undermining overtime exempt status. In the case, Rhea v. General Atomics, the employer required exempt employees to use accrued leave for any [...]

Sacramento Case Filed Over Wages, Contract and Reimbursements

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 26th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

A case was filed on June 18 against Debbie Peart (doing business as Peart Enterprises, alleging failure to pay overtime properly, failure to provide meal and rest periods (and related penalties), breach of contract and invasion of privacy. Avelino Andrade alleged that Defendant, who operates the cafeteria at the Franchise Tax Board, failed to pay [...]

Strip Club Dancers File Suit for Violations of California Labor Laws

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 25th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In April of this year, 11 former dancers from San Jose’s Pink Poodle strip club filed a lawsuit alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors. They claim they should have been classified as employees, and that they were not paid minimum wage or overtime as they should have been. The women also claim they [...]

Delivery Drivers are Employees, NOT Independent Contractors

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 22nd, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit held in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp. that Affinity Logistics violated California law by misclassifying its home delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Before working for Affinity Logistics, Ruiz worked as a driver for Penske Logistics, a furniture delivery company that had [...]

Answering the Call for Higher Minimum Wage

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 18th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In early June, the Seattle City Council approved a plan that will require employers to pay a $15 minimum wage. Businesses with more than 500 workers will have to set their minimum wage at $11 by April of next year, and reach $15 in 2017. Large businesses that provide health care will have an additional [...]

New Case Law Regarding California Employers and Unpaid Wages

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 14th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

Recently a California court held that an employer is not liable to the plaintiff for work the plaintiff performed off-the-clock if there is no evidence that the employer knew about the off-the-clock work. It is well-settled that an employer is only liable for wages for off-the-clock work if the employer had actual or constructive knowledge [...]

What is Reporting Time Pay

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 13th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Earlier this year the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District adopted a Commuter Benefit Rule. Certain Bay Area employers will now be required to offer commuter benefits to employees by September 30, 2014. The purpose of the rule is to encourage carpooling and use of public transportation. The new Rule [...]

Proposed Law Regarding Changing Work Schedules

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 8th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On July 22th, 2013, George Miller, a Democratic congressman from California, and Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut, introduced the Schedules That Work Act (H.R. 5159). The proposed legislation would grant employees or temporary workers a right to request schedule changes based on caregiving responsibilities, education and training pursuits, health conditions, or the ability [...]

Raiders Cheerleaders Claim They Make $5 an Hour

2017-03-03T00:10:59+00:00 May 18th, 2014|Wage and Hour|

Two Raiderettes, cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders, are suing the Oakland Raiders Club for violation of California labor laws. Their case pertains to issues already receiving national attention, such as employers misclassifying employees in order to withhold overtime pay. Specifically, the women claim the Raiders Club violated minimum wage and overtime law, withheld pay, failed [...]

Working Off The Clock Brings Two Insurance Adjuster Cases to Appeal

2016-08-09T22:29:00+00:00 April 29th, 2014|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Employees can be in a tough spot when they have to get their jobs done, but aren’t supposed to have overtime. Two recent Court of Appeals decisions involving insurance adjusters who alleged they worked “off-the-clock” illustrate that point. In Williams v. Superior Court, whether or not class should be certified has been decided three separate [...]

New Rules Aim at Preventing Wage Theft

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 April 26th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Altered time cards, pressure to work off the clock, and misclassifying employees to avoid paying overtime or benefits, are illegal employer practices that have earned the title “wage theft.” Many low wage earners are victims of wage theft, particularly in the fast food business. Employees rarely come forward for fear of losing their job, or [...]

Decision Handed Down on Workers Classification on Overtime

2017-03-02T21:50:11+00:00 January 16th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

A former assistant manager at Safeway Inc. sued her former employer alleging that she was improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay, because she spent the majority of her time doing non-manangerial tasks like bagging groceries and stocking shelves.  She sued for unpaid overtime and an advisory jury and the Los Angeles County trial court [...]


2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 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 [...]


2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 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 [...]

Piece Rate Workers Must Be Paid for Time Spent

2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 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 [...]

Meal and Rest Break Law

2017-03-02T21:47:03+00:00 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 [...]

California Overtime Law Covers Some Out of State Workers

2017-03-02T23:51:48+00:00 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 [...]

Meal and Rest Break Law Clarified

2017-03-02T21:47:12+00:00 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 [...]

Employers of Exempt Employees Not Required to Ensure Meals Taken

2017-03-02T21:50:56+00:00 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, [...]

California Overtime Law Covers Some Out of State Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 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.