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, Inc. v. Busk, the Court unanimously ruled that when hourly employees waited for and then went through an antitheft security screen at Amazon.com warehouses, they were engaged in “noncompensable postliminary activities” under the federal Portal-to Portal Act because the screenings “were not the ‘principal activity or activities which [the] employee is employed to perform.’”   The ruling reversed a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Continue Reading Security Screening Time Need Not Be Paid, SCOTUS Rules – Expect California Law to Differ

On July 9, 2014, a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California truck drivers are entitled to meal breaks and rest periods under California state law despite federal deregulation of the trucking industry. Prior to the Court of Appeals ruling in Dilts v. Penske Logistics, Inc. (July 9, 2014), several federal judges in

On April 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated a lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Ronald El-Malik Curtis against the City of Oakland, and several individual city officials on the ground that facially-neutral conduct could support a finding of racial animus sufficient to sustain a hostile work environment claim when

With increasing frequency, California courts (especially federal district courts) are enforcing binding arbitration agreements between employers and employees.  In Richards v. Ernst & Young, No. 11-17530 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2013), the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a denial of the employer’s motion to compel arbitration of the employee’s wage and hour claims.  In so

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

The Ninth Circuit has recently requested the California Supreme Court to address the proper method of calculating employee commission payments to determine qualification for California’s commission salesperson exemption set forth in the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Order Nos. 4 and 7. An employee generally can qualify for this exemption if: (1) they work for

In a decision that many employers have been waiting for since the Ninth Circuit’s decision certifying a class of approximately 1.5 million women, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected class action certification in “one of the most expansive class actions ever.” See Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, No. 10-277 (June 20, 2011). The case involved allegations of gender discrimination