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Wilcox, California Employment Law

Wilcox, California Employment Law provides thorough coverage of California's extensive private employment laws and regulations. It discusses key statutes, regulations and case law, with practice notes and commentary throughout. It also covers key topics, including wage and hour laws; employee illnesses...

California Passes Comprehensive Social-Media Privacy Laws

California is now the third state to pass legislation banning employers from requesting or requiring the social-networking passwords of employees and applicants. The bill was passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday, reports the WSJ Blog . Maryland was the first state to pass a social-media password...

CA enacts workplace social media protections; NJ gets closer

Last week, CA became the third state to pass a law that bans employers from requesting online usernames and passwords from employees and job candidates. Maryland was the first state to pass such a law; Illinois was the second. As in the other two states, not only is it illegal to request online information...

California Court Holds That Piece Rate Workers Must Be Paid at Least Minimum Wage for Non-Piece Rate Work Time

In early April, a California court issued a published decision holding that an employer who employs piece rate employees must compensate those employees at the piece rate for all piece rate work and at a rate of at least the minimum wage for each hour of non-piece rate work. It is not sufficient...

California Considering Minimum Wage Hike

California's Legislature is considering AB10 this session, which would increase California's minimum wage from the current $8 per hour to $8.25 per hour next year, to $8.75 per hour in 2015, and to $9.25 per hour in 2016. Beginning in 2017 and thereafter, the minimum wage would be automatically...

Employer Hit with Unpaid Vacation Wages Even Though Union Agreed Vacation Was Properly Paid under CBA

California employers should all be aware that California law requires employers to pay out all accrued, but unused, vacation pay immediately upon termination of employment. In other words, use it or lose it policies and/or policies that provide for forfeiture of vacation on termination of employment...

California Court Ruling Provides Reminder That Exempt Employees Must Be Paid on a “Salary Basis”

There has been a lot of litigation in California concerning the exempt status of various categories of employees, with plaintiffs' attorneys filing class action after class action seeking to recover four plus years of overtime compensation stemming from employers allegedly misclassifying employees...

Duo of Unfavorable Class Certification Decisions Handed Down

Two steps forward, one step back. That seems to be the pace of wage and hour class certification decisions for California employers these days. In recent months, both the Ninth Circuit and some California Courts of Appeal have issued employer-friendly decisions holding that class certification is...

Make Way for Ducklings (and Other Assistive Animals) in the California Workplace

California's newest regulations pertaining to the rights of the disabled in the workplace require employers to allow "assistive animals" in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation to certain disabled employees. See CCR 7293.6 & 72940(k). While service dogs for the visually...

Prevailing Employer in Wage Case Can Only Recover Attorneys’ Fees if Claim Was Brought in Bad Faith

Employers may recall recent publicity in California over the extent to which an employer may recover its attorneys’ fees after prevailing in a wage and hour action. This is because Labor Code section 218.5 on its face provides that the prevailing party in any action brought for nonpayment of wages...

California Governor Approves Minimum Wage Hike, Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and Expansion of Paid Family Leave Benefits

This week, California's Governor signed into law legislation (1) increasing the state minimum wage, (2) providing overtime compensation for many household employees, and (3) expanding the scope of California's paid family leave insurance program. With respect to minimum wage (which is currently...

California Supreme Court Narrows Commissioned Salesperson Exemption

Last week the California Supreme Court continued its trend of issuing employee-friendly decisions, this time in a case involving the commissioned salesperson exemption. In Peabody v. Time Warner Cable , the plaintiff was a commissioned salesperson who sold advertising spots for Time Warner Cable [ an...

New Case Highlights Duty to Reimburse Employees for Using Personal Cell Phones for Work Purposes

Last week a California Court of Appeal held that class certification was appropriate in a case alleging that the employer failed to reimburse employees for expenses associated with using their personal cell phones for work calls. At the trial court level, the employer successfully opposed class certification...

Is This the End of the Independent Contractor As We Know It?

In Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package Sys. (8/27/14) , the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that FedEx’s delivery drivers are employees of the company, not independent contractors [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers] . The opinion’s introductory...

Employment-Related Bills Pending Signature By California Governor

The California Legislature has passed the following notable labor and employment bills, which are now awaiting approval or veto by Governor Brown: AB 1897 – This bill would expand liability for a contractor’s wage and hour violations to make the hirer of the contractor jointly liable for...

California Enacts New Law Mandating Paid Sick Leave for Employees

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. As a result, most employers in California will be required to provide up to 24 hours (3 days) of paid sick leave to their employees beginning July 1, 2015. The following are some...

New California Law Makes Companies Liable for Wage Violations of Contractors

Yesterday, California’s Governor signed AB 1897 into law, notwithstanding tremendous opposition from business and trade groups. Under AB 1897, which takes effect January 1, 2015, a client employer will share civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by a labor contractor...

It Pays to Sleep on the Job in California

Today the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc ., addressing the issue of whether security guards working 24-hour shifts have to be paid for all 24 hours or whether 8 hours of sleeping time (during which the security guards are simply on-call) may be...

Court Says PAGA Representative Action Waiver Is Unenforceable Even Though Plaintiff Had Ability to Opt Out of Arbitration Agreement

by Robin Largent Last week a California Court of Appeal addressed various issues relating to the enforceability of an employment arbitration agreement containing a class action and representative action waiver in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation...

California Makes Anti-Bullying Training A Component Of Mandatory Harassment Training

by Marlene Nicolas and Will Kim California employers with more than 50 employees must include “abusive conduct” prevention training in their mandatory harassment prevention training. Assembly Bill No. 2053 expanded the scope of training required by Government Code Section 12950.1, which...

Employment-Related Bills Pending Before the California Legislature

There are a number of employment-related bills pending before the California legislature this session. While it is too early to tell which of these bills ultimately will be passed and signed into law, California employers may wish to follow the progress of some of these bills and/or to submit comments...

California Supreme Court Makes It Harder For Prevailing FEHA Defendants To Recover Their Costs

by Evan Mix Under section 1032(b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure, “a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding” unless some statute expressly says otherwise. It has been California’s rule for over a decade that this...

Implementing California’s Paid Sick Leave Law: 10 Action Items

by Lucas V. Muñoz , Margaret A. Keane , Ben Gipson , and Daniel Lac Beginning July 1, 2015, employers in the State of California are required to provide employees with paid sick leave (PSL) under the California Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014. In short, every employee who works...

Amendments to California’s Paid Sick Leave Law Have Been Enacted and Are Effective Immediately

This week, California’s Governor signed into law urgency legislation passed by the legislature (AB 304) to amend California’s recently enacted paid sick leave law. These amendments take effect immediately and are intended to clarify some areas of ambiguity in the law as originally enacted...

Class Certified on Claim That Employer Lacked a Policy of Paying Meal Period Premium Pay

California courts unfortunately have issued a number of poor class certification decisions in wage and hour cases, and now there's another one to add to the list. In one of the most unbelievable class certification cases this author has read, the court in Safeway Inc. v. Superior Court (Esparza)...