California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: PAGA

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September 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Entitled To $17.2 Million For Wrongful Termination/Defamation “Continuing Violation” Theory Saves Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claim Tortious Interference With At-Will Contract Requires Independently Wrongful Act … Continue Reading

Later-Filed, Substantially Identical PAGA Claim Was Properly Dismissed

Starks v. Vortex Indus., Inc., 2020 WL 5015248 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Chad Starks gave notice to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) of his allegations that his employer (Vortex) had violated certain Labor Code requirements that employers pay overtime wages and provide meal and rest periods and comply with various other requirements of … Continue Reading

July 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Supreme Court Recognizes Discrimination Protection For Gay/Transgender Employees Under Title VII Dark Day For Hollywood – Law Prohibiting Online Publication Of Actors’ Ages Is Struck Down … Continue Reading

Non-Severability Clause In Arbitration Agreement Invalidated Entire Agreement

Kec v. Superior Court, 2020 WL 3869721 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Nichole Kec brought individual, class and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims against her employer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al.  Kec had signed a predispute contractual waiver of class actions and any “other representative action,” including a PAGA claim. The arbitration agreement further … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Confirms that PAGA Claims Cannot be Compelled to Arbitration

Even after the Supreme Court’s favorable decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (“Epic”), California courts will not compel a PAGA claim to arbitration. In Collie v. The Icee Co., a former employee of The Icee Company, Tauran Collie, alleged a single cause of action under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) against her former … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Hands Plaintiffs’ Lawyers A Gift…

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Kim v. Reins Int’l Cal., Inc., holding that an employee’s settlement and dismissal of underlying Labor Code claims does not deprive the individual of the ability to later assert a representative action under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”)—even if it involves the … Continue Reading

January 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Church Affiliate Is Exempt From FEHA Liability, But Liable for $1.9 Million On Other Theories Disability Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims Were Properly Dismissed Employer That … Continue Reading

Employer’s Wage Statement Failed To Provide Legal Name Of Employer

Noori v. Countrywide Payroll & HR Solutions, Inc., 2019 WL 7183403 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Mohammed Noori sued his former employer for violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226(a) (setting forth certain very specific statutory requirements for itemized wage statements) based on the fact that the wage statements identified “CSSG” as the “name of the … Continue Reading

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
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