California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: PAGA

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California Supreme Court Hands Employers A Rare Victory, Trims Bloated PAGA Claims

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court held that private litigants may not recover unpaid wages under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).  See ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court (Lawson) (Cal. S. Ct. Sept. 12, 2019). In a rearguard effort to fight employment arbitration agreements, which usually include class action waivers, plaintiffs’ lawyers have been … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate PAGA By Failing To Include “ZIP+4 Code” On Wage Statements

Savea v. YRC Inc., 2019 WL 1552686 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Vaiula Savea sued his employer (YRC) for an alleged violation of Labor Code § 226 based upon YRC’s alleged failure to include the correct employer name and address on its wage statements. The alleged violations arose from YRC’s listing on the wage statements its … Continue Reading

March 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Eddie Money Beats Discrimination Lawsuit Based On Free Speech Right; Former Accountant Could Proceed With Whistleblower Lawsuit; Employer Violated FCRA With Improper Background Check Notice; Fruit Growers May … Continue Reading

PAGA Penalties Must Be Shared With All Aggrieved Employees

Moorer v. Noble L.A. Events, Inc., 2019 WL 949419 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) David Moorer, who worked as a full-time security guard and “lobby ambassador” for Noble, filed a complaint as an individual and on behalf of all aggrieved employees against Noble and others under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”). After Noble failed to … Continue Reading

California Class Actions and PAGA (“Prettymuch All is Going to the Attorneys”) Claims Continue to Overwhelm the State

We have reported before about the huge jury verdicts that get handed out in California with alarming regularity and California’s sustained #1 ranking as the “Top Judicial Hellhole” in the nation. A corollary problem continues unabated: The prevalence of class actions and lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Though California accounts for 12% … Continue Reading

January 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception” City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City Prevailing Employer Should Not Have … Continue Reading

Employer’s Rounding Policy Complied With California Law

Donohue v. AMN Servs., LLC, 2018 WL 6445360 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) AMN used a computer-based timekeeping system for all nonexempt employees, including plaintiffs/nurse recruiters. The timekeeping system rounded recruiters’ punch times (both punch in and punch out) to the nearest 10-minute increment. To establish the proper hourly compensation, AMN converted each 10-minute increment to … Continue Reading

Wage Order Permitting Hospital Employees To Waive Meal Break Is Valid

Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 2018 WL 6442036 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Plaintiff health care workers formerly employed by Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center alleged that they usually worked shifts of 12 hours or more. A hospital policy allowed employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their … Continue Reading

Employees Are Entitled To Additional Compensation For Shortened Meal Periods

Kaanaana v. Barrett Bus. Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 6261482 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) The employees in this case (belt sorters who worked at two publicly owned and operated recycling facilities under contracts with Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts) alleged the employers’ failure to pay the prevailing wage and to provide full 30-minute meal periods. The … Continue Reading

We’re #1 Again! California Tops “Judicial Hellhole” List!

The American Tort Reform Foundation has just released its annual report on “Judicial Hellholes.”  The Report claims that in California, the legislature and courts “extend liability at almost every given opportunity,” including fostering “no-injury” litigation in the form of class action and PAGA (Private Attorneys General Act) lawsuits in the workplace. California takes the number … Continue Reading

PAGA Claims Were Barred By Statute Of Limitations

Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 2018 WL 5629874 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Terri Brown brought a representative action against her employer, Ralphs Grocery Company, under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), alleging wage and hour violations. In 2009, Brown filed a notice with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) as required under PAGA … Continue Reading

“Bill Bites” – More New Labor and Employment Laws in California

In addition to the #MeToo inspired legislation, which we covered in a recent blog post, Governor Brown signed several other pieces of legislation amending existing laws and imposing new requirements regarding employment. Here are our “Bill Bites,” which provide a snapshot of the new laws PAGA Does Not Apply to Construction Workers: Assembly Bill 1654 … Continue Reading

Employer Need Not Provide Wage Statement Concurrently With Payment of Employee’s Final Wages

Canales v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 23 Cal. App. 5th 1262 (2018) Fabio Canales and Andy Cortes sued Wells Fargo under PAGA for an alleged violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226 for failure to provide an itemized wage statement concurrently with a terminated employee’s final wages paid in-store. The trial court granted summary judgment … Continue Reading

PAGA Wage Statement Claim Does Not Require Proof of Injury

Raines v. Coastal Pac. Food Distrib., Inc., 23 Cal. App. 5th 667 (2018) Terri Raines sued Coastal Pacific individually and under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) for failure to furnish her and other employees accurate itemized wage statements showing the applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Employee Class Action Waivers

Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018) The United States Supreme Court ruled that employers may require their employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in a class or collective action against the employer. In a 5-4 ruling in favor … Continue Reading

Staffing Company Was Not Liable For Failure To Provide Meal Periods

Serrano v. Aerotek, Inc., 21 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2018) Norma Serrano brought this putative class action against her employer (Aerotek), which placed her as a temporary employee with its client (Bay Bread). Serrano alleged violations of the Labor Code and of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) based upon, among other things, Aerotek’s alleged … 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

Employer’s Violation Of PAGA Need Not Be Knowing And Intentional

Lopez v. Friant & Assocs., LLC, 15 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2017) Eduardo Lopez filed this action seeking recovery of civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) for his employer’s failure to include the last four digits of its employees’ Social Security numbers or employee identification numbers on itemized … Continue Reading

PAGA Employee Can Obtain Contact Information For All Employees Statewide

Williams v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. 5th 531 (2017) Michael Williams was an employee of Marshalls of CA in Costa Mesa, California. After slightly more than a year of employment, Williams brought a representative action against Marshalls under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), alleging Marshalls had failed to provide its … Continue Reading

Vacation Policy May Lawfully Require “Waiting Period” Of One Year Before Benefits Begin To Accrue

Minnick v. Automotive Creations, Inc., 13 Cal. App. 5th 1000 (2017) Nathan Minnick, who had worked for only six months before his employment ended, sued his former joint employers under PAGA, alleging their vacation policy violated state law because it required employees who worked for less than one year to forfeit their vested vacation pay. The … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred By Failing To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Rest Periods

Bartoni v. American Med. Response W., 11 Cal. App. 5th 1084 (2017) Current and former employees of an ambulance service company sued their employer for unpaid meal and rest periods. The complaint alleges claims on behalf of a putative class as well as non-class claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). The … Continue Reading
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