California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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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

Class Action Was Improperly Removed To Federal Court Under CAFA

Adams v. West Marine Prods., Inc., 958 F.3d 1216 (9th Cir. 2020) Adrianne Adams filed a putative wage and hour class action in state court, which her former employer (West Marine) removed to federal court under the federal Class Action Fairness Act “CAFA”.  Invoking the discretionary home state controversy exception to CAFA jurisdiction, the district … Continue Reading

March 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Time Spent By Employees In Exit Searches Is Compensable Prior Pay Is Not A Defense To An Equal Pay Act Claim Constructive Termination And Joint … Continue Reading

Employee Can Sue Employer That Was Not Released In Prior Class Action

Grande v. Eisenhower Med. Ctr., 44 Cal. App. 5th 1147 (2020) Lynn Grande was assigned through a temporary staffing agency (FlexCare) to work as a nurse at Eisenhower Medical Center. Grande was a named plaintiff in a class action prosecuted against FlexCare in which she alleged she had not received her required meal and rest … Continue Reading

Louisiana Wage Law Applies To Non-California Residents Working On Vessel Off The Coast Of California

Gulf Offshore Logistics, LLC v. Superior Court, 2020 WL 772610 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Non-California resident crew members of the “Adele Elise” (a vessel that provides services to oil platforms located off the coast of California) filed this putative class action alleging multiple violations of California wage and hour law. The owner/operators of the vessel … 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 “Service Charge” May Be A Gratuity Owed To Employees

O’Grady v. Merchant Exchange Prods., Inc., 2019 WL 5617001 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) In this putative class action, banquet server and bartender Lauren O’Grady alleged that her employer’s practice of automatically imposing a 21 percent “service charge” to every food and beverage banquet bill constituted a gratuity that had to be fully paid to nonmanagerial … Continue Reading

Employer Sues Its Law Firm for Malpractice and EPLI Insurer for Bad Faith

These days, more employers than ever are purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) to cover them in the event they get sued for employment-related claims. (See our earlier posting on that topic: “A Handy Guide for Choosing and Using Employment Practices Liability Insurance Coverage.”) As we pointed out in that article, there are definitely some … 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

Court Should Not Have Denied Certification Of Class Of Drivers Seeking Wage & Hour Remedies

Jimenez-Sanchez v. Dark Horse Exp., Inc., 2019 WL 626349 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) The trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification of a putative class consisting of employees who worked as drivers transporting milk within California. Plaintiffs allege failure to compensate for all hours worked; failure to schedule meal periods; failure to provide uninterrupted … Continue Reading

Are You an Employee or a Contractor? Carpenters, Strippers and Dog Walkers Now Face that Question (Los Angeles Times Piece)

The Los Angeles Times published a piece addressing the recent and abrupt change in the rules for determining who is and who is not an independent contractor in California. As is so often the case, there are many unanticipated consequences associated with these new rules. Read the full piece here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-dynamex-contractors-20190223-story.html… 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

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

Property Inspectors’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied Certification

McCleery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6583916 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Plaintiffs/property inspectors alleged they were improperly hired as independent contractors by insurance companies and sought payment of unpaid minimum wages, overtime, meal and rest breaks, employee expense reimbursements as well as compliance with various other Labor Code provisions. The trial court concluded that … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Wage/Hour Requirements By Offering Productivity Pay

Certified Tire & Serv. Ctrs. Wage & Hour Cases, 28 Cal. App. 5th 1 (2018) Plaintiffs in this certified wage and hour class action contend that Certified Tire violated applicable minimum wage and rest period requirements by implementing a compensation program, which guaranteed its automotive technicians a specific hourly wage above the minimum wage but … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Dynamex Opinion Only Applies To Independent Contractor Wage Order Claims

Garcia v. Border Transp. Group, LLC, 2018 WL 5118546 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Jesus Cuitlahuac Garcia, a taxicab driver, filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Border Transportation Group (“BTG”), alleging claims based upon the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; failure to pay minimum wage; failure … Continue Reading

Employer Improperly Adopted Alternative Workweek Schedule But Wage Statement Penalties Are Reversed

Maldonado v. Epsilon Plastics, Inc., 22 Cal. App. 5th 1308 (2018) Olvin Maldonado filed this class action against his employer based upon an improperly adopted Alternative Workweek Schedule (“AWS”). The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the trial court, finding that Epsilon failed to prove that there had been a preadoption vote of the … Continue Reading

Multiple Minimum Wage Increases and Salary-Related Ordinances Scheduled to Take Effect on July 1, 2018

In the immortal words of Mao Zedong:  “Let a hundred flowers blossom!” Multiple cities and hamlets throughout California have enacted slightly differing and, of course, maddeningly confusing non-uniform minimum wage laws.  Not surprisingly, no one in Sacramento seems at all concerned about the administrative burden to California employers in having to monitor and comply with so … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employers in Upholding Arbitration Agreements Containing Class Action Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in class or collective actions against their employer. Ruling 5-4 in favor of an employer’s right to … 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 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
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