California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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California Mulls More Job Killer Bills, Major Tax Hikes

Last week, New York announced new tax increases that will subject certain of its residents to higher personal income tax rates than even Californians pay.  Before the pages on that bill had cooled, the California legislature was well on its way to showing it would not relinquish its top-of-the-heap status without a fight by proposing … Continue Reading

One More for Good Measure: Another Round of Mandatory Vaccination Guidelines

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently updated its Guide to COVID-19 Related Frequently Asked Questions to include wage and hour issues related to employer-mandated COVID-19 tests or vaccinations.  According to this latest guidance, if an employer requires employees to obtain a COVID-19 test or vaccination, the employer must pay “for the time it takes for … Continue Reading

March 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Trial Court Properly Dismissed Employee’s CFRA And Disability Discrimination Claims LAUSD Teacher Can Proceed With Claim For Disability Allegedly Caused By School’s Wi-Fi System Supreme … Continue Reading

California Law Applies To Flight Attendants’ Wage/Hour Class Action

Bernstein v. Virgin Am., Inc., 2021 WL 686281 (9th Cir. 2021) Approximately 25% of Virgin’s flights were between airports in California, and approximately 75% of Virgin’s flight took off or landed at a non-California airport, but the vast majority of those flights retained some connection to California (i.e., arrived in or departed from an airport in … Continue Reading

January 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Bank Employee Who Was Harassed By A Customer Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Laid-Off Employee Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Age … Continue Reading

California Law Applies To Non-California Residents Working Off The Coast

Gulf Offshore Logistics, LLC v. Superior Court, 58 Cal. App. 5th 264 (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 (all … Continue Reading

CAFA-Removed Case Is Remanded Based On Insufficient Amount In Controversy

Harris v. KM Indus., Inc., 980 F.3d 694 (9th Cir. 2020) KM Industrial removed from state to federal court the putative wage/hour class action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), asserting that the amount in controversy exceeded $5 million. Plaintiff’s motion to remand was based on the argument that KMI unreasonably assumed that the … Continue Reading

White House “Regulatory Freeze” Memo Dooms DOL Independent Contractor Rule

As expected, the White House issued a memorandum to the heads of all executive departments and agencies within the first few hours after President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, requesting that they halt all non-emergency rulemaking and regulatory activity pending review by the new administration. The memo effectively does away with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s … Continue Reading

The ABCs of Independent Contractor Classification: California Supreme Court Holds Strict Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively

On January 14, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided, at the request of the Ninth Circuit, that its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th 903 (2018) applies retroactively. Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. (SC S258191 1/14/21). Dynamex adopted the “ABC test” for determining whether a worker is an employee … Continue Reading

November 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation” Court Affirms Dismissal Of Trade Secrets Claim Brought Against Apple Employer Gets No Relief From $1.6 … Continue Reading

Employees Compensated Solely By Commission Are Not Paid A “Salary” And Are Non-Exempt

Semprini v. Wedbush Secs., Inc., 2020 WL 6557549 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Joseph Semprini and another employee filed this putative class action against Wedbush for various wage and hour violations based upon an alleged misclassification of similarly situated financial advisors who were treated as exempt employees. Wedbush classified its California financial advisors as exempt from … 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

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
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