Tag Archives: Labor Code

California Expands Upon Lactation Accommodation Requirements

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1976, expanding California employer obligations respective to employee lactation accommodation. Under preexisting California Labor Code section 1031, an employer was required to make available a private location, other than a toilet stall, for an employee to express milk for an infant child, and provide employees with … Continue Reading

Public Sector Union Fees Continue to Hang in the Balance With Scalia’s Passing

The recent death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia will give public sector unions a short respite in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al., a case that was likely to limit public sector unions’ ability to require mandatory fees from public workers. Following last month’s oral arguments before the High Court, many legal analysts expected … Continue Reading

Why You Should Take a Closer Look at California’s New Piece-Rate Legislation

Employers doing business in California have seen a barrage of class actions and representative claims for various alleged wage and hour Labor Code violations. Some cases are premised solely on “technical” wage statement violations, where the employer may not have even realized the practice was occurring or was unlawful.… 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

Proposed Amendment to Labor Code: Three-Year Statute of Limitations on Liquidated Damages Claim for Failure to Pay Minimum Wage

Last week, California’s legislature submitted a bill for the Governor’s approval, Assembly Bill 2074, which would amend Labor Code section 1194.2 dealing with the provision of liquidated damages arising out of an employer’s failure to pay minimum wage. Employees who believe their employer did not pay them all of their wages may bring a civil … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendment to Labor Code Section 226 Could Permit Employers to Recover Attorneys’ Fees

California Labor Code section 226 requires employers to provide accurate wage statements, and enumerates specific requirements for such wage statements.  The statute also provides for penalties should an employer violate section 226, and allows a prevailing employee to recover attorneys’ fees in connection with prosecuting claims for alleged wage statement violations. On May 6, 2014, … Continue Reading

Organ Donor’s Association-Disability Discrimination Claim Can Proceed, California Court Rules

Timing is not everything. In Rope v. Auto-Chlor of Washington System of Washington, Inc., the employer fired an employee for purported performance reasons on December 30, 2010 – two days before California’s Michelle Malkin Donor Protection Act became effective.   The timing was significant because when the employee was hired in October of 2010, he had told … Continue Reading

Protected Status for Veterans

On October 10, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, A.B. 556, to add “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). When this bill becomes operative on January 1, 2014, the FEHA will prohibit harassment and discrimination in employment … Continue Reading

Overtime Requirements in the Home

On September 26, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, A.B. 241, to give overtime pay to domestic workers such as caregivers, childcare providers, and housekeepers who work in private homes. The bill enacts California Labor Code Sections 1450-1454 and will take effect on January 1, 2014. Under the new sections, domestic employees must be … Continue Reading

Don’t ask (about my expunged, sealed or criminal records)!

Labor Code section 432.7 prohibits employers from considering, or asking applicants about, information concerning: (1) arrests or detentions not leading to conviction or (2) referral to, or participation in, a pretrial or post-trial diversion programs.  Newly passed SB 530 adds to these restrictions, amending section 432.7 to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about criminal … Continue Reading

California Governor Signs SB 435 Which Expands the One Hour Pay Penalty in Labor Code 226.7 to Missed “Recovery Periods”

Labor Code 226.7 provides that an employee should receive one hour of pay as a penalty for not receiving rest or meal periods in accordance with California law. Yesterday, Governor Brown signed into law SB 435 which expands the one hour of pay penalty to missed “recovery periods.”  The new law applies to any meal, rest … Continue Reading

You’re going to hear from (but not pay for) MY attorney

A radio program employee who faced substantial liability arising from a tragic on-air “water drinking contest” that ended in a tragic death was named an individual defendant in the survivors’ lawsuit.  The employer offered to defend the employee with a competent attorney of its choosing.  However, the employee took the position that Labor Code section … Continue Reading

We’ll always have Harris

In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, 56 Cal. 4th 203 (Cal. 2013), the California Supreme Court ruled that, to prevail in a mixed motive employment discrimination action, the employee must show that unlawful discrimination was a substantial factor motivating the adverse employment decision.  Further, in mixed motive cases, if the employer proves that it … Continue Reading

Are you ready? Additional Issues if the California State Minimum Wage Changes, Part 2

If the California state minimum wage changes, are you ready?  Employers may need to review the salaries of certain exempt employees to ensure compliance with the minimum salary basis test under the Executive, Administrative, and Professional overtime exemptions. On September 16, 2013, AB 10, the California state minimum wage increase legislation,  was enrolled meaning it … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Demands Strict I-9 Compliance

Ketchikan Drywall Services v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, No. 11-73105 (9th Cir. Aug. 6, 2013):  Ouch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld $172,000 in penalties against the employer for failing to maintain correctly completed I-9 Forms.  The employer argued that it substantially complied with the law by copying the relevant documents … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Legally-Married Same-Sex Spouses Entitled to Federal Recognition and Lifts California Ban on Same-Sex Marriages

On Wednesday the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions that expand same-sex marriage rights. In the first, United States v. Windsor, the Court ruled unconstitutional a law denying federal recognition of legally-married same-sex couples. In the second, Hollingsworth, et al. v. Perry, the Court…   Click here to read the full article.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Adopts “But-For” Causation Test for Title VII Retaliation Cases.

In a welcome decision, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. v. Nassar, No. 12-484 (June 24, 2013), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must be established using a “but-for” causation standard, denying the argument asserted by plaintiff and the EEOC that the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court narrows definition of “supervisor” for Title VII purposes. Will California courts follow?

In Vance v. Ball State University, No. 11-556 (June 24, 2013), the United States Supreme Court defined “supervisory” authority under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1962 as requiring the power to make “a significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a … Continue Reading

Public Employer Required To Provide Union With Addresses and Phone Numbers of Union and Non-Union Employees Alike

The California Supreme Court has just ruled that Los Angeles County must provide the union representing its employees under an “agency shop” agreement with the home addresses and telephone numbers of all county employees, including non-union employees. County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Comm’n (Serv. Employees Int’l Union, Local 721), No. S191944 (Cal. May … Continue Reading

Forum Selection Clause Trumps California Public Policy. Really.

Score one for Washington in a recent dispute between competing employers from Washington and California.  In Meras Engineering, Inc. v. CH20, Inc., a Northern District of California Court enforced a forum selection clause designating Washington as the venue for all disputes — rejecting the California parties’ argument that litigating in Washington would defeat California’s strong public policy against covenants not … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget the Salary Basis Test!

Most litigation over whether employees are classified properly as exempt from overtime turns on whether employees spend the majority of their work time performing exempt duties. However, employers should not forget the salary basis requirement. In Negri v. Koning & Associates, No. H037804 (Cal. Ct. App. May 16, 2013), the California Court of Appeal assumed … Continue Reading

CBAs Must Clearly Spell Out Waiver of Unpaid Vacation

California law prohibits “use it or lose it” vacation policies and, under Section 227.3 of the California Labor Code, requires all accrued vacation to be paid on termination of employment, “unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement.” Examining the meaning of the collective bargaining exception for the first time, the California Court of Appeal … Continue Reading

Handbook Policy Rescues Binding Arbitration Agreement

While employees continue to challenge binding arbitration agreements with gusto, California courts have shown a consistent willingness to enforce agreements where fundamental fairness exists. In Serpa v. California Surety Investigations, Inc., No. B237363 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2013), a California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court order denying the employer’s motion to compel … Continue Reading
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