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California Workplace Law Blog

Webinar: San Francisco Formula Retail Worker Bill of Rights – Are You Safe?

On May 7, we conducted an in-person panel with the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) in San Francisco. We know many of you were unable to join us, and are therefore hosting a webinar session led by Jackson Lewis Shareholder Punam Sarad to summarize key takeaways from the panel discussion.

Background: San Francisco has added two ordinances that employers must comply with beginning July 3, 2015. The San Francisco Formula Retail Labor Protections Ordinance includes provisions that impact scheduling, on-call work, worker retention and time off for formula retail employees. Despite its name, the new law impacts many employers who are not in the retail industry including restaurants, movie theaters, fitness and gym facilities, financial services companies, spa, salon and massage establishments, and more. Join us to learn more about how the law impacts your business and best practices for ensuring compliance. Continue Reading

Follow-up on: Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

In a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the court held that “a piece of evidence [may not be disregarded] at the summary judgment stage solely based on its self-serving nature.” As a result, declarations created after summary judgment motions are filed may be sufficient to create genuine issues of material fact and, therefore, defeat summary judgment. This decision is particularly concerning because it allows a party to thwart summary judgment with little to no credible or corroborated evidence. Continue Reading

You’re Invited: Jackson Lewis 2015 Employment Class Action Spring Summits

Description

Presented by leading attorneys with a wide range of class action expertise, this full-day CLE program will dive into key strategies for defending and avoiding class actions and discuss new trends and challenges facing employers.

Topics Include:

·         Navigating PAGA Claims

·         Arbitration Agreements with Class Waivers and Rule 68 Offers of Judgment

·         Key Strategies in Defeating Class Certification

·         Mediation and Data Preparation: Using Statistical Evidence and Data Analysis to Your Advantage

·         Ethics: Communications with Putative Class Members Prior to Certification

·         Class Action Prevention and Self Audits

This program has been approved for 4.0 CLE hours of California General credit and 1.0 hour of Ethics credit.

Click here for the full agenda.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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California Supreme Court: California Employers Face New Challenge In Recovering Post-Litigation Costs

On May 4, 2015, the California Supreme Court ruled that a prevailing defendant in a California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) lawsuit can only recover ordinary litigation costs if it demonstrates that the plaintiff’s FEHA claims were frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless.  (Williams v. Chino Valley Ind. Fire Distr. (Cal. Sup. Ct. May 4, 2015), Case No. S213100).  Prior to this ruling, a majority of California courts had ruled that a prevailing defendant in a FEHA case could recover costs as a matter of right.  As such, the Williams case significantly changes California’s employment litigation landscape by making cost shifting even more one-sided in favor of employees.

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California Supreme Court to Review On-Call Rest Breaks

California employers might receive much-needed clarification on whether and to what extent employees can remain “on call” during rest breaks.  On April 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Augustus v. ABM Sec. Services, Inc., Nos. B243788 & B247392 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2015).

Earlier this year, the California Court of Appeal ruled that security guards were provided lawful rest breaks even though the company required the guards to remain “on call” during the rest breaks.  In so holding, the Court of Appeal ruled that remaining on call during rest breaks does not “constitute performing work” under Section 226.7 of the Labor Code and the applicable wage order.  For additional details about the underlying decision, please see our prior blog post. Continue Reading

Upcoming Event: San Francisco Formula Retail Worker Bill of Rights – Are You Safe?

San Francisco has added two ordinances with which employers must comply with beginning July 3, 2015. The San Francisco Formula Retail Labor Protections Ordinance* includes provisions which impact scheduling, on-call work, worker retention and time off for formula retail employees. Despite its name, the new law impacts many employers who are not in the retail industry including restaurants, movie theaters, fitness and gym facilities, financial services companies, spa, salon and massage establishments, and more. Join us to learn more about how the law impacts your business and best practices for ensuring compliance. Continue Reading

“No Re-Hire” Clauses May Be Unlawful Restraints of Trade

When settling employment disputes, employers and employees often seek to go their separate ways and avoid crossing paths in the future.  Settlement agreements often include a “No Re-Hire” clause in which employees agree they will not be eligible for re-hire; however, what happens when a former employee challenges the “no re-hire” clause as an unlawful restraint on trade?  And what happens when the employee seeks to invalidate the entire settlement agreement on the basis that the “no re-hire” clause was a material term of settlement? Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis to Sponsor the California Minority Counsel Program’s Annual Conference

Jackson Lewis is proud to once again be a sponsor of the California Minority Counsel Program’s 26h Annual Business Conference taking place in October 2015 in Los Angeles. We celebrate CMCP’s 26-years of leadership promoting diversity in the legal profession by providing attorneys of color with access and opportunity for business and professional development. For more information on the conference, click here.

PAGA’S Many Unanswered Questions

The legal pot is really boiling these days when it comes to civil penalty claims under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act. Many, if not most, California class action complaints contain PAGA claims, and plaintiffs increasingly are filing so-called “pure PAGA actions” that purport to seek only civil penalties under PAGA and not wages, premiums or statutory penalties that typically are sought in class actions. Some plaintiffs reason that if they can first get a judgment for PAGA penalties, they can then invoke “collateral estoppel” to collect other remedies in a second action. This is quite an evolution from the conventional wisdom that a PAGA cause of action in a class action complaint is simply a fail-safe in the event the court refuses to certify a class. Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer, finding that a former employee’s self-serving declaration and deposition testimony regarding alleged disability discrimination were sufficient to create a triable issue of fact. The Ninth Circuit also held the employer’s denial of the accommodation the employee requested “chilled” the exercise of the employee’s right to request an accommodation. The plaintiff suffered from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. After being terminated, the plaintiff brought suit against his employer pursuant to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, claiming that it: (1) discriminated against him because of his disability; (2) declined to accommodate his disability; and (3) did not engage in an interactive process to determine possible accommodation for his disability. The plaintiff also alleged that his employer terminated his employment in violation of California public policy. The employer successfully moved for summary judgment before the District Court, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading