Archives: Wage and Hour

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Court of Appeal Affirms “Waiting Time” Penalties Where Employer Unaware of Wage Law Amendment

In its May 24, 2018 opinion in the matter of Diaz v. Grill Concepts Services, Inc. (Case no. B280846, 2nd Dist.), the California Court of Appeal shed further light on the standard to impose so-called “waiting time penalties” on employers who neglect to pay wages due upon discharge or resignation.  Diaz affirmed the maxim that … Continue Reading

Does The De Minimis Defense Apply To California Labor Code Claims?

The California Supreme Court recently heard the case of Troester v. Starbucks Corporation which could significantly increase employers’ exposure to claims by hourly paid employees for small pre-shift and post-shift tasks that are currently treated as insignificant and not compensable. The de minimis doctrine, an established defense under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), permits … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Applies “ABC” Test When Assessing Independent Contractor Status

The California Supreme Court, in Dynamex Operations v. Superior Court, held that for purposes of claims under the California Wage Orders “engage, suffer or permit to work” determines employee status, thus requiring a defendant who disputes that a worker is an employee (rather than an independent contractor) to prove (A) the worker is free from … Continue Reading

Employers Cannot Consider Prior Salary History to Justify Wage Gap under the Federal Equal Pay Act

On April 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Rizo v. Yovino, holding that employers cannot consider an employee’s prior salary either alone or in combination with other factors to justify salary differentials between men and women for the purposes of the federal Equal Pay Act. Aileen Rizo was hired … Continue Reading

Balancing Client Needs with Employee Needs

A decision out of the Northern District of California serves as a reminder that service industries need to carefully balance their commitment to client care with wage and hour obligations. A case manager at a large medical facility filed a class action claim under the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) against the facility for … Continue Reading

Calculating Overtime Value of Flat-Sum Bonus Must Be Based on Actual Non-Overtime Hours Worked, California High Court Holds

The California Supreme Court has held that, under state law, when an employee earns a flat sum bonus during a pay period, the overtime pay rate will be calculated using the actual number of non-overtime hours worked by the employee during the pay period. Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 1123 (Cal. Mar. … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Holds Labor Code § 558 Claims Are Indivisible Claims and Not Arbitrable

In Lawson v. ZB, N.A. (2018) 18 Cal.App.5th 705, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently ruled that the two elements comprising damages under Labor Code § 558 – (a) underpaid wages and (b) denominated assessments – are indivisible. Because a claim under Labor Code § 558 is indivisible and it is a civil penalty … Continue Reading

Exemption, Not Pre-Emption: California Federal Court Clarifies Meal and Rest Break Rules May Be Exempt From Labor Code Enforcement For Employers With Valid Collective Bargaining Agreements

In a recent decision, Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the United States District Court for the Central District of California clarified an available avenue for employers with collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) to combat the growing trend of wage and hour lawsuits in California. In granting defendant Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.’s (“Kiewit”) motion for summary judgment … Continue Reading

It’s Cut and Dry: Ninth Circuit Adopts “Primary Beneficiary” Analysis, Concludes Cosmetology and Hair Design Students Were Interns, Not Employees

Former students at a cosmetology and hair design school with locations in California and Nevada were interns and not employees entitled to wages under the FLSA or state law, the Ninth Circuit has held.  Benjamin v. B&H Education, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25672 (9th Cir. Dec. 19, 2017).  To read more please visit this article … Continue Reading

California to Hold Direct Contractors Jointly Liable for Subcontractor’s Unpaid Wages and Fringe Benefits

Beginning with contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, direct (general) contractors in California will be held jointly liable for their subcontractors’ unpaid employee wages, fringe benefit or other benefit payments or contributions under Assembly Bill 1701, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 14th. This joint liability requirement is codified…… … Continue Reading

Is Your Piece Rate Plan Up To Date?

A piece rate exists where an employee is paid a fixed amount for each unit produced or action performed. Industries that commonly use piece rates include agriculture, automobile repair, trucking, manufacturing, and call centers. A new law went into effect this year requiring employers to provide additional pay for rest periods and recovery periods to … Continue Reading

Court May Make Reasonable Inferences about Employee’s Exempt, Non-Exempt Activities

A trier of fact can make reasonable inferences about employees’ duties to determine status for overtime pay under California labor law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming the trial court’s holding. Batze v. Safeway, Inc.,  No. B258732 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 4, 2017). A group of assistant store managers claimed they should have … Continue Reading

The City of Los Angeles Quietly Updates Its Rules and FAQs Regarding the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

The sick leave landscape is constantly evolving, and the City of Angeles is no exception to that rule. This past month the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards  revised its rules and regulations as well the FAQs regarding its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Learn what that means for employers here at … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Clarifies Wage Statement Requirements for Use of Unique Employee Numbers, Hourly Rates for PTO or Vacation

The California Court of Appeal has held that: (1) the use of payroll service provider generated unique employee file numbers on employee wage statements, in lieu of the employer’s internal employee identification number or last four digits of employee social security numbers, is legally permissible under California law; and (2) employers are not required to … Continue Reading

Separate Compensation for Rest Breaks and Non-Productive Time Required for Non-Exempt Commissioned Employees

Non-exempt commissioned employees must be paid separately and specifically for rest breaks and non-productive time, a California appellate court has ruled.  The court found that a compensation plan that does not pay employees directly for rest periods undermines the public policy of encouraging employees to take their rest breaks.  In Vaquero, et al. v. Stoneledge … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: For California Employers, Pay Equity Keeps Getting More “Comp”licated

Understanding the recent California Fair Pay Act amendments and the rising tide of equal pay claims is “comp”licated. Employers want to ensure they pay employees fairly and without discrimination. The latest broad expansion of California’s Fair Pay Act (CFPA) is making sure employers do that, and more. In January 2016, the CFPA, went into effect … Continue Reading

Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P.: Employees’ Wage Statements Need Not Include Accrued Vacation Time Prior to Termination

All California employers should know by now that if they have a paid vacation policy, the vacation benefits constitute a form of “wages” under California law. (See Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1094, 1103; Suastez v. Plastic Dress-Up Co. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 774, 784.)  California employers are also likely readily familiar … Continue Reading

Complimentary Webinar Series: California Legal Update

The California employment law landscape is ever-evolving. Watch a recording of our California Legal Update Webinar Series to learn about the latest changes and how they affect employers. California Legislative Update This presentation covers employment laws that have been enacted in California over the last year and proposed bills that, if passed, will affect California … Continue Reading

New Laws Enhance California’s Equal Pay Act

On September 30, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to address ongoing concern of pay inequity. A.B. 1676 amends the California Fair Pay Act by prohibiting employers from relying on an employee’s prior salary to justify a disparity between the salaries of similarly situated employees.  S.B. 1063 extends the Fair … Continue Reading

Farmworkers’ “Phase-In” Overtime Bill Officially Sprouts

Much like the agricultural harvest cycles it may affect, September 12, 2016, marks the planting season for the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016. Assembly Bill 1066 (“AB1066”), signed into law by Governor Brown, is an aggressive “phase-in” overtime bill, which will cultivate and change the wage and hour landscape for agricultural workers … Continue Reading
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