LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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)...

Ninth Circuit Upholds California Rule on Unenforceability of PAGA Representative Action Waivers

On September 28, the Ninth Circuit issued a surprising decision (disagreeing with the view of many California district courts), holding that the California Supreme Court’s Iskanian v CLS Transportation decision is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In Iskanian , the California...

California Legislative Update: Fair Pay Act, Right to Cure Wage Statement Defects, Paid Sick Leave, and More

As California’s current legislative process heads into its final days, we have a few updates on employment-related matters relating to paid sick leave, wage statement violations, meal period waivers in the health care industry, and the Fair Pay Act. Paid Sick Leave – “24 Hours or...

California Bolsters Women With Fair Pay Act

by Arthur F. Silbergeld and Bennett J. Kaspar California, always a leader in employee-friendly laws and regulations, has enacted a bill to fortify the state's existing equal pay laws, adding strong anti-retaliation protections that allow employees to more freely discuss pay equity in the workplace...

Mandatory Employment Arbitration Survives California Challenge

For now, California employers may continue to require new hires to enter into binding mutual agreements to arbitrate all disputes. In a veto action that was somewhat unexpected, California Governor Edmund G. ("Jerry") Brown declined to sign AB 465, the proposed legislation that would have...

California Legislative Recap

We previously reported on several employment-related bills passed by California's Legislature and signed by the Governor. These include AB 304 (which clarifies certain aspects of the state paid sick leave law), AB 1506 (which provides a limited right to cure certain wage statement violations), SB...

California’s DLSE Issues Updated FAQ on Paid Sick Leave

As California employers know, California enacted a paid sick leave law that took effect this year and required that employees start accruing paid sick leave July 1, 2015. Later in July, California’s Governor signed urgency legislation amending the paid sick leave law. Those amendments did not change...