California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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Auto Dealership Service Advisors Are Exempt From Federal Overtime Requirements

Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 584 U.S. ­­­___, 138 S. Ct. 1134 (2018) 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 … Continue Reading

Community College District Failed To Reasonably Accommodate Disabled Employee

Hernandez v. Rancho Santiago Cmty. Coll. Dist., 2018 WL 2057468 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Marisa Hernandez worked on and off as an assistant for the District for a number of years without any complaints about her performance. Eight months into her 12-month probationary period (after which point she would become a “permanent employee”), Hernandez took … Continue Reading

Delivery Drivers Were Improperly Classified As Independent Contractors

Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 1999120 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Two delivery drivers for Dynamex filed this putative class action on behalf of similarly situated drivers, alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees for purposes of Industrial Wage Commission Order No. 9 (governing the transportation industry). At … Continue Reading

May 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Delivery Drivers Were Improperly Classified As Independent Contractors Employer May Not Avoid Title VII Liability Based Upon Employees’ Salary History Community College District Failed To Reasonably Accommodate … Continue Reading

California Abandons 30-Year-Old Test For Determining Independent-Contractor Status, Broadens Definition Of “Employee”

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, making it even harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors (rather than employees). The previous standard used for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors had been in place since 1989 and was … Continue Reading

California Legislature Mulls New Package Of “Job Killer” Bills

By Anthony J. Oncidi and Nayirie Kuyumjian The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a new raft of recently introduced “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list of 27 proposed laws includes measures that would impose additional penalties for an employer’s failure to pay wages; increase the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Changes Federal Pay Equity Rules

By Anthony J. Oncidi and Nayirie Kuyumjian           On Monday, the Ninth Circuit issued a significant opinion, Rizo v. Yovino, 2018 WL 1702982 (9th Cir. April 9, 2018), authored by the late “liberal lion” Judge Stephen Reinhardt, holding that an employer’s consideration of prior salary information cannot serve as a justification … Continue Reading

March 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Former LA Times Columnist’s Age/Disability Discrimination Judgment Upheld, New Trial On Damages Ordered; Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection Does Not Apply Absent Prior Notice To The SEC; California Rejects Federal Rule … Continue Reading

Former LA Times Columnist’s Age/Disability Discrimination Judgment Upheld, New Trial On Damages Ordered

Simers v. Los Angeles Times Commc’ns, LLC, 18 Cal. App. 5th 1248 (2018) T.J. Simers, a well-known sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, alleged disability and age discrimination and constructive discharge – Simers, who had suffered a “mini-stroke” from which he quickly recovered, quit his job after his column was suspended and he was … Continue Reading

California Rejects Federal Rule For Calculating Overtime Rate For Employees Who Earn Flat Sum Bonus

Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp. of Cal., 2018 WL 1146645 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Hector Alvarado, who worked as a warehouse associate for Dart, is a member of a putative class of employees who, in addition to their normal hourly wages, received a $15 per day attendance bonus if they were scheduled to work on … Continue Reading

$48,000 Judgment Affirmed In Favor Of Former Parks & Recreation Employee

Hurley v. California Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, 2018 WL 989506 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Delane Hurley worked as a staff services analyst who sued her employer, the Department of Parks & Recreation (“DPR”), and her former supervisor Leda Seals for harassment based on sex and sexual orientation in violation of the Fair Employment and … Continue Reading

Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection Does Not Apply Absent Prior Notice To The SEC

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, 583 U.S. ___, 2018 WL 987345 (2018) Paul Somers alleged that his former employer Digital Realty terminated his employment after he reported to senior management suspected securities-law violations by the company. Somers neither alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) of his concerns prior to his termination nor did … Continue Reading

Urging Other Employees To Quit And Sue Employer Is Protected Conduct Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

Bel Air Internet, LLC v. Morales, 2018 WL 1045222 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Bel Air Internet sued two of its former employees, Albert Morales and Flavio Delabra, for encouraging their fellow employees to quit and sue the company for alleged employment violations rather than sign a release of claims as Bel Air had requested. Bel … Continue Reading

Unsuccessful Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Is Not Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc., 19 Cal. App. 5th 558 (2017) William Bustos sued his former employer for disability discrimination. A jury determined that Bustos’ actual or perceived physical condition was a substantial motivating reason for his termination, but nevertheless returned defense verdicts on all of his claims. After the trial, Bustos sought an award … Continue Reading

Employee’s Qui Tam Action Is Not Barred By The Litigation Privilege

People ex rel. Alzayat v. Hebb, 18 Cal. App. 5th 801 (2017) Mahmoud Alzayat filed this qui tam action against his employer (Sunline Transit Agency) and his supervisor (Gerald Hebb), alleging a violation of the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) based upon allegedly false statements that Hebb made in an incident report submitted in response … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Waive Its Right To Remove Action to Federal Court By Filing Demurrer

Kenny v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 881 F.3d 786 (9th Cir. 2018) Kris Kenny filed a putative class action in California state court, challenging Wal-Mart’s policy requiring employees who have suffered workplace-related injuries to submit to drug and/or urine testing. Wal-Mart filed a demurrer in response to the complaint, but before the hearing date on the … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations For State Law Claims Was Suspended While Case Was Pending In Federal Court

Artis v. District of Columbia, 583 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 594 (2018) Stephanie Artis filed a Title VII employment discrimination case against her employer, the District of Columbia, which was eventually dismissed on summary judgment by the district court; the district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims that were … Continue Reading

Payments Made To Union Trust Fund Are Not Subject To California Wage Statement Law

Mora v. Webcor Constr., L.P., 20 Cal. App. 5th 211 (2018) Steven Mora filed this putative class action/PAGA claim against his former employer, Webcor Construction, for violation of the California wage statement statute (Cal. Lab. Code § 226(a)) based upon payments made to a union vacation trust fund authorized by the Labor Management Relations Act … Continue Reading

PAGA Claim Dismissed Where Employee Failed To Provide Adequate Notice To LWDA

Khan v. Dunn-Edwards Corp., 19 Cal. App. 5th 804 (2018) Hamid H. Khan brought this lawsuit against his former employer pursuant to the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) based on the fact that his final paycheck (in contrast to all other wage statements he had received) did not include the start date for … Continue Reading

Class Certification Was Properly Denied In Outside Sales Exemption Case

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 19 Cal. App. 5th 630 (2018) Samuel Duran and Matt Fitzsimmons filed this wage-and-hour class action challenging the Bank’s classification of its business banking officers as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. The trial court denied class certification after concluding plaintiffs had failed to carry their burden of … Continue Reading

California Labor Commissioner Issues $500,000 Citation Against Los Angeles Restaurant For Labor Code Violations

The California Labor Commissioner issued a press release this week announcing a $500,000 citation against Los Angeles restaurant Shrimp Lovers, arising from wage theft allegations made against the restaurant by employees who claimed they were paid far below the minimum wage. Although relatively rare, the Labor Commissioner does occasionally bring charges against California employers for … Continue Reading

Dark Day For Hollywood – Law Prohibiting Online Publication Of Actors’ Ages Is Unconstitutional!

A federal court has struck down as unconstitutional a California law (AB 1687) that prohibits commercial online services from publishing actors’ ages without their consent.  The law, which the California legislature enacted in 2016, was undoubtedly one of the best things to happen to Hollywood since the invention of BOTOX.  Now, however, a court has … Continue Reading
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