California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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Call Center Employees’ Unpaid Wage Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Corbin v. Time Warner Entm’t-Advance/Newhouse P’ship, 821 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2016) Call center employees of Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership (“TWEAN”) alleged that their employer’s compensation policy of rounding all employee time stamps to the nearest quarter hour deprived them of earned overtime. The lead plaintiff also claimed he was not compensated for one minute … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms $2.9 Million Class Action Judgment Based On Expert’s Study Of Time Spent On Donning And Doffing Activities

Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1036 (2016) Following a jury trial, the employees in this class/collective action recovered $2.9 million in compensatory damages for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The employees alleged that they did not receive statutorily mandated overtime pay for the time they spent … Continue Reading

Agricultural Workers’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied Certification

Cruz v. Sun World Int’l, LLC, 2015 WL 9463140 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Plaintiffs in this putative class action alleged off-the-clock work had been performed by employees, that meal and rest breaks were shortened, that the additional hour of pay for each meal or rest period they were denied was not paid, and that their … Continue Reading

Firefighters Are Not Entitled To Overtime For Time Spent Taking Gear To Temporary Duty Stations

Balestrieri v. Menlo Park Fire Prot. Dist., 800 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2015) Firefighters and emergency medical personnel sued the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, claiming that two of the district’s policies violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In their first claim, the employees claimed they were entitled to overtime for taking their gear … Continue Reading

Trial Court Improperly Failed To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Overtime

Alberts v. Aurora Behavioral Health Care, 2015 WL 6121981 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Valerie Alberts and others, formerly employed as members of the nursing staff at two acute care psychiatric hospitals owned and operated by Aurora, claimed that Aurora’s uniform practices and de facto policies routinely denied nursing staff employees their meal and rest periods … Continue Reading

Gender-Based “Fair Pay Act” Enacted

This law amends Labor Code § 1197.5 (SB 358): Broader Prohibition of Gender Wage Differentials Enacted Currently, Section 1197.5 prohibits an employer from paying an employee at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work. The amendment revises this prohibition, instead prohibiting an … Continue Reading

Piece-Rate Compensation Requirements Changed

This law requires employers to pay piece-rate employees for rest and recovery periods and “other nonproductive time” at or above specified minimum hourly rates, separately from any piece-rate compensation. It also defines “other nonproductive time” as time under the employer’s control, exclusive of rest and recovery periods, that is not directly related to the activity … Continue Reading

PAGA Cure Period Provided

This law, which became effective immediately, amends the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) to provide an employer with the right to cure a violation of the requirement that an employer provides its employees with the inclusive dates of the pay period and the name and address of the employer before an employee may bring a … Continue Reading

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in addition to the other six new laws that we reported on in September: Signed legislation: Sick Leave: Accrual And Limitations Language … Continue Reading

Security Guards Are Entitled To Compensation For All On-Call Hours Spent At Employer’s Worksite

Mendiola v. CPS Sec. Solutions, Inc., 60 Cal. 4th 833 (2015) CPS employed on-call guards to provide security at construction worksites. Part of each guard’s day was spent on active patrol. Each evening, guards were required to remain on call and on premises at the worksite to respond to disturbances should the need arise. By … Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment In Favor Of Security Guards Who Remained On Call During Rest Breaks Is Reversed

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 676 (2015) In this class action lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged that ABM did not provide rest periods to its security guard employees because it failed to relieve them of all duties and required them to remain on call during their breaks. The trial court certified the … Continue Reading

Health Care Employees Should Not Have Been Permitted To Waive Their Second Meal Periods

Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 2015 WL 535730 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) In this putative class/Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action, Jazmina Gerard (and others) challenged a hospital policy that allowed health care employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their two meal periods, even if their … Continue Reading

Oops! California Court Gets Around to Invalidating 22-Year-Old Meal Period Waiver Rules for Healthcare Employees

For nearly 22 years, IWC Wage Order No. 4 and IWC Wage Order No. 5 have permitted employees in the “health care industry” who work shifts in excess of eight total hours in a workday to “voluntarily waive their right to one of their two meal periods. . . . in a written agreement that … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Unpaid Meal Break Claims

In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases, 231 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) The putative class members in this case moved for class certification on the theory that although Walgreens’s stated policy on meal breaks was proper, its actual practice departed from its stated policy in an illegal and class wide way. The trial court denied … Continue Reading

Time Spent By Warehouse Workers In Security Screening Is Not Compensable Under Fair Labor Standards Act

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. ___, 2014 WL 6885951 (2014) The employer in this case, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., provides staffing to Amazon.com throughout the United States. Plaintiffs Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro worked as hourly employees retrieving and packaging products at Integrity Staffing warehouses in Nevada. Integrity Staffing required its employees … Continue Reading

Employee Recovers $131,000 For Unpaid Wages Against Former Employer

Tabarrejo v. Superior Court, 2014 WL 7335417 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Manuel Tabarrejo was employed as a caregiver by Princess Retirement Homes, Inc. (“PRH”). After Tabarrejo left his employment with PRH, he filed a claim with the Labor Commissioner for unpaid wages and other wage-related claims and was awarded $131,096.77. PRH appealed the Labor Commissioner’s … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Have Certified Class Claims Of Managerial Employees

Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, 231 Cal. App. 4th 362 (2014) Roberto Martinez and three other current or former employees of Joe’s Crab Shack (“JCS”) filed this putative class action asserting that they and similarly situated salaried managerial employees had been misclassified as exempt employees and were entitled to unpaid overtime and related wages. … Continue Reading

Multiple PAGA Representative Claims Crumble As Federal Courts Continue To Reject Iskanian and Enforce Arbitration Agreements Containing PAGA Waivers

When the California Supreme Court decided Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), this June, some legal commentators assumed that employees could not waive pre-litigation claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Those assumptions may have been premature. As we noted here, at least one federal court refused to … Continue Reading

Employee Who Falsified Timesheets Was Ineligible For Unemployment Benefits

Irving v. CUIAB, 229 Cal. App. 4th 946 (2014) Jim L. Irving who worked as a probationary heavy truck driver for the Los Angeles Unified School District was terminated for, among other things, taking excessively long breaks and falsifying his time records. The Court of Appeal determined that Irving had committed misconduct and was thus ineligible … Continue Reading

Class Of Insurance Claims Adjusters Was Properly Certified

Jiminez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 765 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir. 2014) Jack Jiminez and approximately 800 other Allstate employees claimed that Allstate has a practice or unofficial policy of requiring its claims adjusters to work unpaid off-the-clock overtime in violation of California law. The district court certified the class with respect to the unpaid overtime, … Continue Reading
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