Category: California

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California Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1522 (the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014”) and made California the second state in the nation (after Connecticut) to enact a state-wide law requiring most California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.  This marks the latest development in a growing trend that … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies When a Franchisee’s Employees Can Bring Employment Claims Against the Franchisor in Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC

In Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court restricted the ability of a franchisee’s employees to sue the franchisor based on theories of vicarious liability and the theory that the franchisor was an “employer” under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). With this decision, franchisors can breathe a sigh of relief as … Continue Reading

9th Cir. Finds FedEx Delivery Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

Last week, the 9th Circuit held in two related cases from California and Oregon that FedEx misclassified approximately 2,600 delivery truck drivers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The cases—Alexander v. FedEx and Slayman v. FedEx—are an important reminder for employers that reality matters more than labels when it comes to classifying workers.  On that … Continue Reading

A Not-So Happy New Year for California Employers: 2014 Legislative Update

It has become an annual New Year’s tradition in California — employers getting up to speed on a host of new employment laws that will affect them in the coming year. The California Legislature was busy in 2013 imposing new burdens on employers for 2014 and beyond. We previously blogged about an increase in the state minimum … Continue Reading

New California Law Provides that Sexual Desire Is Not a Required Element in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

In a same-sex sexual harassment case, does the plaintiff need to prove that the alleged harasser’s conduct was motivated by sexual desire?  Under SB 292, a law signed by Governor Brown a few days ago, the answer in California is "no."    A key question when dealing with a sexual harassment claim under California’s Fair Employment … Continue Reading

California: New Requirements For Commission Agreements To Take Effect

Companies with employees in California who are paid on commission should be aware of a new law requiring commission agreements to be in writing.  As we’ve blogged about previously, California AB 1396 was enacted last year with a deferred effective date of January 1, 2013.  That deadline is now coming up quickly, and affected employers should … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies Meal and Rest Break Requirements Under State Law

In its long-anticipated decision in Brinker v. Superior Court, a unanimous California Supreme Court has clarified the scope of an employer’s obligation to provide meal and rest breaks to non-exempt employees in California.  The Court’s full opinion is available here. Meal Breaks California law requires employers to provide employees with a meal period of not less than … Continue Reading

Seasons’ Greetings From The California Legislature–New Laws That Apply To Employers In January 2012

The California legislature has done plenty this year to leave in employers’ stockings for the holidays–new employment laws that will become effective January 1, 2012.  In addition to the new California Transparency in Supply Chains Act we blogged about earlier, after some eggnog and holiday cheer, employers will need to be aware of new legal … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Ensure Compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

Under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, beginning January 1, 2012, large retailers and manufacturers that do business in California must disclose information on their websites about what they do to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains. The new law applies to companies with worldwide gross receipts of over $100 million. The … Continue Reading

California: “Suitable Seating” Class Actions on the Rise

California employers need to be mindful of a new kind of wage-hour class action – class claims arising from the “suitable seating” requirements of the California Industrial Welfare Commission’s wage orders.  The wage orders set forth what employers must do with respect to employees’ wages, hours and working conditions. There are 17 wage orders, applying to … Continue Reading

California Overtime Rules Apply To Work Performed In California By Out-Of-State Employees

The California Supreme Court has ruled that California’s daily overtime requirements apply to work performed in California by non-residents.  In Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., three employees of Oracle who were not residents of California worked as “instructors” and trained Oracle’s customers in the use of the company’s products.  Required by Oracle to travel, the plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Victory For Employers in Washington Medical Marijuana Case

In a victory for employers, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (“MUMA”) does not protect medical marijuana users from adverse hiring or disciplinary decisions based on an employer’s drug test policy. Click here to download a copy of the decision in Roe v. Teletech Customer Care Management. The lawsuit and … Continue Reading

California: Employee’s E-Mails With Lawyer Are Not Privileged When Sent Via Company Computer

A clear and comprehensive computer policy is an essential component of any employee handbook. Last week, a California appellate court ruled that when such a policy is in place, an employee who uses the company computer to e-mail her attorney about perceived harassment and discrimination in the workplace waives the attorney-client privilege. In Holmes v. Petrovich … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Issues Split Decisions on Compensation for Travel Time and “Off-the-Clock” Work

  Employees who drive company vehicles between home and work will find little to cheer about in a recent Ninth Circuit decision . . . unless they live in California.  In Rutti v. Lojack Corporation, a three-judge panel refused to relax the rule that commuting time is non-compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   The employee, who installed vehicle recovery systems, contended … Continue Reading

9th Circuit: No Compensatory or Punitive Damages in ADA Retaliation Cases

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently limited the remedies available to employees who sue for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ruling that the statute does not provide for punitive damages, compensatory damages or a jury trial in ADA retaliation cases.  Click here to read the decision in Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Co.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Review Text Message Case; Primarily of Interest to Public Employers

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a police officer has a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages sent using his department-issued pager.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the officer had such a privacy right.  Click here to read the opinion below in City of Ontario, California v. Quon.  In Quon, … Continue Reading

California DLSE Reverses Itself Regarding Schedule and Salary Reductions for Exempt Employees

The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has issued an opinion letter in which it concludes that California law does not prohibit an employer from temporarily reducing the work schedule of an exempt employee from five days a week to four days a week, and correspondingly reducing the employee’s salary by 20 percent.  The … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court: No Privacy Violation for Employer’s Placement of Video Camera in Employees’ Office

The California Supreme Court has issued its decision in Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc., finding that an employer’s placement of a hidden camera in an office used by two employees did not violate the employees’ right to privacy.  This case has been closely watched (OK, pun intended) as it worked its way through the appellate courts.  Like all workplace privacy … Continue Reading
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