California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Overtime

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Mortgage Underwriters Are Not Exempt From FLSA Overtime Requirements

McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Sav. Bank, 2017 WL 2855084 (9th Cir. 2017) Mortgage underwriters at Provident Savings Bank review mortgage loan applications using guidelines established by Provident and investors in the secondary mortgage loan market, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. In this lawsuit for unpaid overtime arising under the federal Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

Foreign National Who Worked For Travel Tour Company Was An Employee, Not An Intern Or Exempt Manager

Kao v. Joy Holiday, 2017 WL 2590653 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Ming-Hsiang Kao was employed by Joy Holiday (a travel tour company) initially performing IT-related duties and then eventually as its office manager. While he was still in Taiwan, Kao worked with Jessy Lin (one of the owners of Joy Holiday) as a tour organizer. … Continue Reading

Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA

Arias v. Raimondo, 2017 WL 2676771 (9th Cir. 2017) José Arnulfo Arias worked as a milker for Angelo Dairy. The dairy did not complete and file a Form I-9 when it hired Arias. According to the appellate court, “[i]nstead of complying with federal law, the Angelos wielded it as a weapon to confine Arias in … Continue Reading

Piece-Work-Based Pay Plan Violates FLSA

Brunozzi v. Cable Commc’ns, Inc., 851 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2017) Matteo Brunozzi and Casey McCormick worked as technicians for CCI installing cable television and internet services. They alleged that CCI’s compensation plan violates the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) because the “production bonus” paid by CCI is designed to decrease … Continue Reading

Safeway/Vons Assistant Managers Were Properly Classified As Exempt From Overtime

Batze v. Safeway, Inc., 10 Cal. App. 5th 440 (2017) Gary Batze, et al., brought this lawsuit against their employer Safeway/Vons for failure to pay overtime wages. The employees alleged that they worked non-managerial tasks that rendered them non-exempt employees. After weeks of trial testimony, the trial court determined that the employees were engaged for … Continue Reading

Auto Dealership Service Advisors Are Not Exempt From Federal Overtime Requirements

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, 845 F.3d 925 (9th Cir. 2017) An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exempts from its overtime requirements “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements.”  The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) subsequently issued an opinion letter and amended its … Continue Reading

Del Mar Fairgrounds/Horsepark Employees Are Exempt From Overtime Under The Amusement Exemption

Morales v. 22nd Dist. Agricultural Ass’n, 1 Cal. App. 5th 504 (2016) Jose Luis Morales and 177 other similarly situated plaintiffs sued their employer under Cal. Labor Code § 510 and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for failure to pay them overtime. Plaintiffs’ employer is a California agency that owns and manages the … Continue Reading

Call Center Employees’ Unpaid Wage Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Corbin v. Time Warner Entm’t-Advance/Newhouse P’ship, 821 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2016) Call center employees of Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership (“TWEAN”) alleged that their employer’s compensation policy of rounding all employee time stamps to the nearest quarter hour deprived them of earned overtime. The lead plaintiff also claimed he was not compensated for one minute … Continue Reading

Auto Dealership Service Advisors May Be Exempt From Federal Overtime Requirements

Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 579 U.S. ___, 2016 WL 3369424 (2016) An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exempts from its overtime requirements “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements.” Later, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter and amended … Continue Reading

Former Employee’s Manager Is Not Entitled To Prevailing-Party Attorney’s Fees

Ramos v. Garcia, 2016 WL 3537366 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Rogelio Ramos sued his former employers for unpaid overtime, minimum wages and other compensation and obtained some of the monetary recovery he requested. Ramos also sued Manuel Garcia (Ramos’s former manager) under the same theories and lost on the ground that Garcia was a co-employee … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms $2.9 Million Class Action Judgment Based On Expert’s Study Of Time Spent On Donning And Doffing Activities

Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1036 (2016) Following a jury trial, the employees in this class/collective action recovered $2.9 million in compensatory damages for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The employees alleged that they did not receive statutorily mandated overtime pay for the time they spent … Continue Reading

Lawful Shmawful: Ninth Circuit Ignores Lawful Written Policy and Uses Statistical Sampling to Certify Class Based on Alleged “Unofficial Policy”

On September 3, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld certification of a class of approximately 800 nonexempt insurance claims adjusters who claimed they worked overtime without compensation despite the employer’s lawful written policy to pay nonexempt employees for all hours worked. In Jimenez v. Allstate Ins. Co., the Ninth Circuit upheld … Continue Reading

LAPD Officer Properly Prevailed In FLSA Anti-Retaliation Claim

Avila v. Los Angeles Police Dep’t, 2014 WL 3361123 (9th Cir. 2014) Leonard Avila, a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, periodically worked through his lunch breaks and did not claim overtime.  After Avila testified in a lawsuit brought by another officer who sought overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Avila … Continue Reading

Commission Wages Paid In One Pay Period May Not Be Attributed To Other Pay Periods In Order To Satisfy Minimum Wage Requirements

Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 662 (2014) Susan Peabody worked as a commissioned salesperson for Time Warner Cable, Inc. (“TWC”).  Peabody regularly worked 45 hours per week but received no overtime.  TWC considered Peabody and the other members of the putative class to be subject to the commissioned employee exemption under California … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted In Favor Of Employer In Off-The-Clock Overtime Case

Jong v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 226 Cal. App. 4th 391 (2014) Henry Jong, who worked as an hourly Outpatient Pharmacy Manager for Kaiser, claimed he was owed unpaid overtime that was earned from alleged “off-the-clock” hours that Kaiser either knew or should have known he had worked. Jong testified in his deposition that … Continue Reading

Class Action Plaintiffs Must Develop A Trial Plan That May Include Statistical Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014) Plaintiffs in this case are loan officers for U.S. Bank (“USB”) who claim they were misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. After certifying a class of 260 plaintiffs, the trial court devised a plan to determine the extent of USB’s liability … Continue Reading

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to … Continue Reading

California Assembly Committee Rejects Flexible Workweek Bill

A bill that would have allowed California employers to offer employees a flexible workweek schedule has failed to pass the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment in a 5-2 party-line vote. The Committee rejected Assembly Bill 907 on the ground that the proposed law would “lead to employee intimidation and a breakdown of the … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs New Laws Affecting California Employers

Minimum Wage Increase Gov. Brown has signed into law a measure that will increase California’s minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. So, California employers must prepare for a 25% increase in the minimum wage over the next two … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Emphasizes Importance of Common Issues in Class Actions

Over the past two weeks, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly underscored the importance of having common questions that are susceptible to common answers in cases where plaintiffs are seeking class certification. Most recently, the Court clarified that this requirement, which has now been considered in both antitrust and employment cases, applies with respect … Continue Reading

Insurance Claims Adjusters Are Not Exempt Administrative Employees

Harris v. Superior Court, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1225 (2012) Plaintiffs in this case are insurance claims adjusters who claim they were misclassified as exempt from overtime under the administrative exemption. The Court of Appeal held that because the adjusters’ primary work duties are the day-to-day tasks of adjusting individual claims and are not directly … Continue Reading
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