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Jennifer McDermott is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group and Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group.  Jennifer defends employers in a variety of labor and employment matters in both state and federal courts, including wage and hour single-plaintiff lawsuits and class, collective, and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative actions.

Jennifer received her B.A. from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and she earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law. While in law school, Jennifer completed a judicial externship for the Honorable Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. She also served as a legal writing advisor to first-year students and worked as a legal advocate at the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic. Jennifer received a Dean’s Merit Scholarship, the B. Epstein and C. Kim Tax Law Scholarship, and two Masin Family Academic Excellence Gold Awards for the highest grade in Legal Research & Writing and Disability Law.

On March 25, 2024, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors, Case No. S275431, providing additional guidance on compensable “hours worked” under California law.  In a class action asserting wage claims on behalf of contractors at a construction site, the Supreme Court answered three questions certified by the Ninth Circuit as follows:

First, the Court held

As we previously reported, California recently enacted AB 1076, which reinforces the state’s broad statutory ban on noncompete agreements.  The law took effect on January 1, 2024, and expressly codifies Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 44 Cal. 4th 937 (2008), a California Supreme Court opinion barring any noncompete, no matter how narrowly tailored it may be.  The new law also affirms

The Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion that signals some movement in the direction away from enforcing employment-related arbitration agreements.

In Miller v. Amazon.com, Case No. 2:21-cv-00204-BJR, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order denying Amazon’s motion to compel arbitration in a case brought by Amazon Flex delivery drivers who made last-leg deliveries of goods shipped from other states or countries

On September 1, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 699, which amends California Business & Professions Code Section 16600 to prohibit an employer from entering into or attempting to enforce a non-compete agreement regardless of whether the contract was signed outside of California.  The law goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

Previously, California law banned non-compete agreements, subject to limited exceptions. 

California Labor Code section 2802 (“Section 2802”) requires employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses” they incur as a “direct consequence of the discharge of … [their] duties, or … [their] obedience to the directions of the employer.”  So, in March 2020, when Governor Newsom issued a broad stay-at-home order requiring all non-essential workers to work remotely (if possible), questions arose about