Tag Archives: Wage and Hour

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

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

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

Santa Monica, California, Joins Patchwork of Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws

California’s City of Santa Monica’s City Council has adopted an ordinance that enacts minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements for covered employees as well as new regulations pertaining to service charges and surcharges. Ordinance Number 2509 became effective on February 25, 2016, although its provisions will not be implemented until July 1, 2016. The … 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

California Court of Appeal Rules PAGA Claims Must Be Stayed Pending Outcome of Individual Arbitration on Underlying Individual Wage and Hour Claims

On February 26, 2015, in Franco v. Arakelian Enterprises, Inc., Case No. B232583, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District held that trial court proceedings on claims pursuant to the California Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) (Labor Code § 2698 et seq.) must be stayed pending individual arbitration of the underlying individual wage and … Continue Reading

Oakland’s New Law Raises the City’s Minimum Wage, Provides for Paid Sick Leave, and Addresses Hospitality Services Charges

In November 2014, Oakland voters passed Measure FF, which went into effect on March 2, 2015, and made changes to the City’s minimum wage, paid sick leave laws and hospitality service charges. Minimum Wage Increase Effective March 2, 2015, the minimum wage in Oakland was raised from $9.00/hour to $12.25/hour for any employee who performs … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Holds That A Holding Company With No Employees May Be Vicariously Liable For Alleged Wage and Hour Violations of a Subsidiary

While reversing summary judgment in favor of a holding company, in Castaneda v. The Ensign Group B249119 (Cal. Ct. App. Sep. 15, 2014), the California Court of Appeal held that a “corporation with no employees [that] exercises some control over [a] corporation with employees, [] may be the employer of the employees of the corporation … Continue Reading

CA Truck Drivers Entitled to Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

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 California ruled … Continue Reading

California Tide is Turning in Favor of Arbitration

In a decision that should not go unnoticed in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC which rejected prior limitations on class action waivers but held representative actions under California’s Private Attorneys General Act cannot be waived, the California Court of Appeal in Malone v. Superior … Continue Reading

First Do No Harm – Dental Practice Goes Too Far in its Communications to Employees About Class Action

No employer welcomes the news that it’s just been served with a wage and hour class action. Many employers naturally desire to communicate with their employees to provide their perspective and to explain why employees may not want to participate in the class action. Before launching such employee communications, however, companies should always consult with legal … Continue Reading

Court Easily Finds Sufficient Allegations of Willful FLSA Violations, Denies Dismissal Motion

We’ve seen the claim often in class action wage hour disputes over proper classification of workers: the plaintiff and those similarly situated could not have been exempt managers because the employer didn’t provide adequate staffing, and so plaintiff had to spend more of her time as a worker bee than as a manager because the … Continue Reading

California District Court Holds that Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act Preempts Drivers’ Minimum Wage Claims

J.B. Hunt Transportation, like many trucking companies, pays its drivers “a certain amount for every mile they drive, in addition to lump sums for every delivery they make.” Consequently, “drivers are not directly compensated for certain job-related activities, including loading and unloading freight, or waiting for a customer.” Relying on Armenta v. Osmose Inc., 135 Cal. App. … Continue Reading

New Event: Wage and Hour Update: What You Need to Know Now to Avoid Claims in 2014 (San Francisco, Palo Alto and Walnut Creek)

Worried about potential wage and hour issues at your company? Do you stay awake at night wondering whether you’ve properly classified your independent contractors or whether your non-exempt employees are using their smartphones from home? Have no fear, as you will come away from this presentation with a better understanding of how to navigate the … Continue Reading

Spanish-Speaking Employees and English Arbitration Agreements

On April 21, 2014, a California Appellate Court held that an arbitration agreement is unconscionable and an employer cannot compel arbitration when the employer failed to translate the entirety of an English-language employment agreement containing an arbitration agreement, confidentiality clause, and enforceability provision for its Spanish-speaking employees. In Esteban H. Carmona et al. v. Lincoln … 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

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

California Courts Continue to Embrace Binding Arbitration Agreements

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 doing, … Continue Reading

Court Rules Common Issues Didn’t Dominate in Proposed Class

Class certification is unwarranted where auto center managers and assistant managers alleged they were improperly classified as exempt and denied overtime and meal and rest breaks in violation of the California Labor Code, the California Court of Appeal has ruled in Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck and Co.Statistical Sampling Could Not Establish Liability in Wage-Hour Class … Continue Reading

A California Appellate Court Creates a New Test for Sabbaticals

For the first time, a California appellate court has addressed when paid leave offered as a sabbatical is considered “paid vacation.” The distinction is important because California has long held that separating employees must be paid for any accrued “paid vacation," whereas leave granted as part of a true sabbatical may be forfeited if not used … Continue Reading

Updates From the Front Lines of California Class Action Litigation and Practical Lessons

An employer who is strategic and proactive in California wage and hour compliance can avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential liabilities and defense costs. For example, there is significant litigation regarding employment applications in California especially the limitations regarding criminal convictions set forth at California Labor Code Section 432.7, et seq. and Section … Continue Reading
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