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Worker Misclassification Risk? Top 10 Questions to Ask about Your Independent Contractors

Employers’ risk of liability for the misclassification of workers continues to grow, as employee misclassification remains a top enforcement priority for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), and class actions asserting misclassification claims are filed almost daily in federal and California state courts. Employers regularly using independent contractors should examine those relationships periodically to ensure … Continue Reading

New California Family Rights Act Regulations Become Effective July 1

Amendments to the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) regulations, going into effect on July 1, 2015, are meant to clarify a number of uncertainties, align the CFRA regulations more closely with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations (where the laws are consistent), and ensure employers and employees have a clear understanding of … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Decision Barring Waiver of Representative Claims is Left Intact by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision that representative claims under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) cannot be waived in employment arbitration agreements. Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (Cal. 2014), cert. denied, No. 14-341 (U.S. Jan. 20, 2015). In … Continue Reading

Federal Arbitration Act Preempts State Arbitration Rule, California Court of Appeal Holds

The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts California’s Broughton-Cruz rule, which states arbitration agreements for injunctive relief claims under the state unfair competition and false advertising laws are against public policy and invalid, the California Court of Appeal has held in an insurance consumer class action, allowing arbitration to proceed. McGill v. Citibank, N.A., No. G049838 … Continue Reading

Security Screening Time Need Not Be Paid, SCOTUS Rules – Expect California Law to Differ

Waiting to go through a security screening and then being screened is not compensable time under federal wage-hour law, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a case issued today (December 9).  But don’t expect California courts to interpret California law in the same way. In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas in Integrity Staffing Solutions, … Continue Reading

Newspaper Carriers were Employees, Despite Independent Contractor Agreement, California Court Rules

A newspaper misclassified its newspaper carriers as independent contractors, the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento has ruled following a trial in a class action for employees’ unpaid mileage expenses under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code. Sawin v. The McClatchy Co., No. 34-2009-00033950 (Cal. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2014). Although the newspaper … Continue Reading

Data Production in Different Form than Maintained was Required Where Requesting Party Offered to Pay Reasonable Cost Under Pre-2013 Employment Records Subpoena

The Second Appellate District of California recently held that a third party must comply with a subpoena requesting data in a format different than the manner in which the data was maintained where the requesting party offered to pay the reasonable cost of translating the data into the requested form.  In Daniel Vasquez v. California … Continue Reading

Professor’s Refusal to Undergo Fitness-for-Duty Exam Warranted Termination, California Court Rules

A university properly terminated a professor for failing to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination after he had engaged in instances of threatening behavior, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of the University of San Francisco on a professor’s alleged disability discrimination claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). … Continue Reading

New California Law Requires Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Farm Labor Contractors

An amendment to the California Farm Labor Contractor Act requires that farm labor contractors participate in at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training each year. In addition, the amendment requires that an applicant for licensure as a farm labor contractor execute a written statement attesting that the contractor’s members of management have been … Continue Reading

California Law Protects Unpaid Interns and Volunteers from Harassment and Discrimination

California has become the third state in the country, after New York and Oregon, to ban sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace directed toward unpaid interns. The new law (AB 1443) extends workplace harassment and discrimination protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to unpaid interns, volunteers, and individuals in apprenticeship … Continue Reading

California Becomes First State to Require Credit Monitoring Services Information Following a Data Breach

An amendment to the California data breach notification statute requires companies that experience a data breach to include information in the notification that if identity theft prevention and mitigation services are provided, they must be provided for at least 12 months to affected persons at no cost if the breach exposed or may have exposed … Continue Reading

Deputy Sheriff Protected by Whistleblower Retaliation Law, California Court of Appeal Rules

The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014). The Court … Continue Reading

California Employers Must Update AB 1825 Training Programs to Include “Abusive Conduct”

AB 2053 (click for California new law) was recently signed into law which requires California employers to update their AB 1825 training programs to include “Abusive Conduct.” For purposes of the new law, “abusive conduct” means conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory as Heat Wave Arrives in Southern California

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from the risk of heat illness, as temperatures in parts of Southern California climb into the upper 90s today and will continue to rise through the weekend and into early next week. “California’s heat illness standards are the strongest in the country, and we will … Continue Reading

California Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

With the enactment of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB1522), California has become the second state in the nation, after Connecticut, to mandate employers provide their employees, including part-time and temporary workers, paid sick leave. The Act, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2014, requires that  employers, public or private … Continue Reading

California High Court Rules that Franchisors are Not Liable for Workplace Injuries Inflicted By Franchisees’ Employees

In a recent opinion with important implications for California businesses, the California Supreme Court held that franchisors are not vicariously liable for the conduct of employees managed by its franchisees. In Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, et al., the plaintiff, a service employee at a Southern California Domino’s Pizza franchise, alleged that she had been … Continue Reading

San Francisco Bay Area Employers Must Provide Commuter Benefits by September 30th

Employers with at least 50 full-time employees in the San Francisco Bay Area must offer commuter benefits, such as payments for commuter transit passes made with employees’ pre-tax earnings, to any employee who works at least 20 hours per week no later than September 30, 2014. Covered employers also must communicate commuter benefits information to … Continue Reading

Undocumented Worker Not Barred from Asserting Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., No. S196568 (Cal. June 26, 2014), the California Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration law did not preempt California law extending employee protections and remedies “regardless of immigration status,” except to the extent it authorized damages for any period after the employer’s discovery of an employee’s ineligibility to … Continue Reading

Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides Arbitration Agreement’s Enforceability, California Court Holds

A clause delegating to an arbitrator the authority to decide questions of an arbitration agreement’s enforceability was not unconscionable under California law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Malone v. Superior Court, No. B253891 (Cal. Ct. App. June 17, 2014). The Court affirmed an order enforcing the delegation clause and compelling arbitration. Significantly, the … Continue Reading

Protected Speech Does Not Include Extortion, California Appellate Court Rules

Be cautious with the employee who “doth protest too much.”  The law protects whistleblowers. Employers must be careful to avoid retaliating against employees who report good faith concerns, even when such concerns prove meritless. But this does not leave employees free to blackmail employers by threatening to makes claims unless the employer capitulates to settlement demands. In … Continue Reading

The “Dog Ate My Affirmative Action Plan” and Other Bad Excuses for Not Getting the Job Done

In a welcome common sense decision, the California Court of Appeal in Serri v. Santa Clara University affirmed summary judgment granted to Santa Clara University against its former Director of Affirmative Action. Why? Because as the University’s Director of Affirmative Action, she failed to file the University’s Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for three years in a … Continue Reading

An Employer’s Guide to California’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulations

As the days grow warmer, California employers with outdoor places of employment should think about compliance with California’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulations (Cal. Code of Regs. tit. 8, § 3395). To comply with the regulations, California employers should take four essential steps: Develop and implement written procedures for addressing heat illness prevention; Train employees and … Continue Reading

Settlement Agreements May Trap the Unwary Employer for Court Costs, California Court Instructs

Ambiguity in settlement agreements can sabotage finality and certainty as a recent California decision shows. Where a settlement agreement is silent regarding litigation costs, an employee may obtain mandatory costs as the prevailing party under state law as the settlement proceeds constituted the required “net monetary recovery,” the California Court of Appeal has ruled. DeSaulles … Continue Reading

10 Rules of Startup Employment Labor Law

Originally posted by SmartRecruiters Blog, the leading source for how to hire on the web. To view the original post, please click here. So you’re a startup. You’ve decided to take your world-changing idea and move it out of your dorm room/garage/favorite-table-at-Starbucks and start a legitimate business. So what next? If you plan on staying … Continue Reading
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