California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor Code

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Arbitrator Should Decide Whether NY or CA Law Applies

A California court has ruled that an arbitrator (not a judge) should decide on the applicability of California Labor Code Section 925 to a dispute between a law firm partner and his former law firm. Zhang v. Superior Court, 2022 WL 16832570 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022).  This ruling potentially undermines the protections of Labor Code … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Overtime Calculation Rules for Shift Premiums and Holiday Pay Under California Law

To properly calculate the overtime rate for a non-exempt employee, employers must first calculate the “regular rate of pay.”  Under federal law, and the laws of most states, the regular rate is determined by dividing the employee’s total weekly remuneration (except for a handful of categories that are specifically excluded, such as gifts and payments … Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Adopts Broad View of Whistleblower Retaliation Claim under the California Whistleblower Protection Act

In the continuously evolving whistleblower retaliation standard we previously reported on earlier this year here and here, the Ninth Circuit has now weighed in on California Labor Code section 1102.5 in Killgore v. Specpro Pro. Serv., LLC, No. 21-15897. In holding that a consultant on an environmental project for the U.S. Army Reserve Command raised … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Dismantles Rounding Where Accurate Timekeeping Records Exist

A decade ago, a California Court of Appeal held that employers lawfully could round employees’ time punches if the rounding policy was neutral on its face and as applied. See See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Super. Ct., 210 Cal. App. 4th 889 (2012). In arriving at this conclusion, the See’s Court relied on regulations under … Continue Reading

Five New Employment Laws that Every California Employer Should Know

A new year brings new employment laws for California employers.  California employers will want to begin revising employee policies and handbooks now, so that they are prepared to comply with these new laws when the majority of them go into effect on January 1, 2023.  Here are five new employment laws that every California employer … Continue Reading

October 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted October 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Hollywood Producer Is Not Liable For Drowning Death Of Executive Assistant Employer May Not Inquire Into Former Employee’s Immigration Status Workers’ Comp Determination Does Not Govern … Continue Reading

Workers’ Comp Determination Does Not Govern Outcome Of Discrimination Case

Kaur v. Foster Poultry Farms LLC, 2022 WL 4243090 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022) Gurdip Kaur sued her former employer, Foster Farms, for discrimination based on disability and race/national origin, retaliation and violation of the whistleblower statute (Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5).  Prior to filing this lawsuit, Kaur filed a petition against Foster Farms with the … Continue Reading

California Creates Unelected Council to Set Minimum Wages/Working Conditions of 500,000 Fast Food Workers

On September 5, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act or FAST Recovery Act (AB-257).  In a breathtaking move, the state government, which is dominated at all levels by union-friendly politicians, will appoint a 10-member Council composed of employees, employers and “union activists” to set the minimum wages and … Continue Reading

EMPLOYMENT ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS REMAIN LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA – AT LEAST FOR NOW!

As we previously reported here, in Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. v. Bonta, 13 F.4th 766 (9th Cir. 2021), a three member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals resurrected California Labor Code Section 432.6, which prohibited employers from requiring California employees to agree to arbitrate their employment-related disputes. In a new twist, … Continue Reading

July 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted To Employer In Whistleblower Case Job Applicants Need Not Be Paid For Time/Expenses Associated With Drug Testing Employer May Have … Continue Reading

Meal/Rest Break Premium Pay Is A “Wage” For Purposes Of Wage Statements And Timely Pay Requirements

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Servs., Inc., 13 Cal. 5th 93 (2022) Gustavo Naranjo alleged that his employer had not provided an additional hour of pay for each day on which Spectrum failed to provide employees with a legally compliant meal break (i.e., had failed to provide “premium pay” pursuant to Cal. Lab. Code § 226.7). … Continue Reading

Extended Statute Of Limitations Does Not Apply To Employer Of Felon

Cardenas v. Horizon Senior Living, Inc., 78 Cal. App. 5th 1065 (2022) The victim of a felony has an extended statute of limitations in which to bring an action for personal injury or wrongful death against the person convicted of that felony pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 340.3 (“Section 340.3”). Mauricio Cardenas (who … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted To Employer In Whistleblower Case

Vatalaro v. County of Sacramento, 2022 WL 1775708 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022) Cynthia J. Vatalaro sued the county for a violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5, alleging that the county illegally retaliated against her after she reported that she was working below her service classification, which she believed evidenced a violation of the law. … Continue Reading

Despite Employee-Friendly Test, California Court of Appeal Finds in Favor of Employer in Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

As we reported here, earlier this year, the California Supreme Court confirmed a relaxed standard by which employees can prove whistleblower retaliation under Labor Code section 1102.5 in Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., 12 Cal. 5th 703 (2022).  Despite the newly affirmed and extremely high burden for employers to prevail against Section 1102.5 claims … Continue Reading

Several State “Job Killer” Bills Move One Step Closer to Passage

As covered previously here, the California Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) once again has identified a handful of “job killer” bills making their way through the legislative process.  This year’s crop of proposed legislation would, among other things, inflate employer data reporting requirements and further expand the scope of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  … Continue Reading

May 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Former UCLA Physician Can Proceed With Whistleblower Claims Former Employee Adequately Alleged Disability Under The ADA California Resident May Rely Upon Labor Code § 925 … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Not Have Dismissed PAGA Claims On Unmanageability Grounds

Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., 76 Cal. App. 5th 685 (2022) In this PAGA case, the trial court relied upon Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 68 Cal. App. 5th 746 (2021) in which the Court of Appeal held that trial courts have inherent authority to strike unmanageable PAGA claims. The Court of … Continue Reading

California Resident May Rely Upon Labor Code § 925 To Challenge Non-Compete

LGCY Power, LLC v. Superior Court, 75 Cal. App. 5th 844 (2022) California resident Michael Jed Sewell worked as a sales representative and sales manager for LGCY Power, which is headquartered in Salt Lake County, Utah. In 2015, Sewell signed a “Solar Representative Agreement,” which included noncompetition, nonsolicitation and confidentiality provisions as well as Utah … Continue Reading

Former UCLA Physician Can Proceed With Whistleblower Claims

Scheer v. The Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 76 Cal. App. 5th 904 (2022) Arnold Scheer, M.D., M.P.H., sued the Regents of the University of California and others for alleged whistleblower retaliation. Dr. Scheer asserted claims under Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5 (“Section 1102.5”), Cal. Gov’t Code § 8547, et seq., and Cal. Health … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rules Meal and Rest Break Premiums Constitute “Wages” Potentially Triggering Penalties for Violations

In a much anticipated ruling, on May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Naranjo et al. v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.  Previously, the Court of Appeal held that unpaid premium payments for meal period violations did not entitle employees to additional penalties for either inaccurate wage statements or failure to timely … Continue Reading

Spring Showers Bring Job Killer Bills to California

Pablo Neruda once said “you can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Likewise, California businesses’ protests against oppressive employment legislation don’t seem to stem the tide of the Legislature’s latest batch of anti-employer bills. The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a host of recently introduced “Job Killer” Bills … Continue Reading

Gone Surfing: Could California Be the First State to Adopt a Four-Day Workweek?

In recent years, countries such as Iceland and Belgium and some domestic companies have experimented with the concept of four-day workweeks.  Now, a new bill proposed by California Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Evan Low (D-San Jose), Assembly Bill 2932 (“AB 2932”), proposes to make a four-day workweek the new normal in California for … Continue Reading

March 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: California Relaxes Standard For Proving Whistleblower Claims At-Will Employee Can Proceed With Labor Code § 970 Claim Doctor Proved Age/Race/Gender Discrimination Former Owner of Company Is … Continue Reading

Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Wage Hour Claims Involving Rounding

Cirrincione v. American Scissor Lift, Inc., 73 Cal. App. 5th 619 (2022) Jason Cirrincione filed a putative class action lawsuit against his former employer for various wage and hour violations, including failure to pay overtime and minimum wages, meal and rest breaks, waiting time penalties, Cal. Labor Code § 2802, etc. These claims were predicated … Continue Reading
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