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California Court of Appeal Significantly Broadens the Scope of Employees Entitled to Reporting Time Pay

Many classes of California workers are entitled to “reporting time pay,” which is partial compensation given to employees who go to work expecting to work a certain number of hours but are deprived of working the full time due to inadequate scheduling or lack of notice by the employer.  Prior to the California Court of … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Announces Zero-Tolerance Approach to Sexual Harassment in Places of Public Accommodation

The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits “places of public accommodation” from discriminating against their customers on the basis of several protected characteristics, including, without limitation, sex, race, national origin, and sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is one prohibited form of such sex-based discrimination.  Generally speaking, a place of public accommodation is any business that is … Continue Reading

California Employers: Ignore Piece-Rate Compensation Rules at Your Peril

A recent California Court of Appeal decision upheld the state’s complex rules for compensating piece-rate employees.  In Nisei Farmers League v. California Labor & Workforce Dev. Agency, 2019 Cal.App. LEXIS 10 (Cal.Ct.App. Jan. 4, 2019), the Court held that the Labor Code’s requirement that piece-rate employees be separately compensated for “nonproductive time” was not unconstitutionally … Continue Reading

Pay Equity: 10 Things for Oregon Employers to Do Before the End of the Year

Oregon’s new Equal Pay Act and “Pay Equity Analyses” are all the rage in Oregon right now. The majority of the Act’s new requirements go into effect January 1, 2019. Let’s talk about 10 things you should do before the end of the year to make sure you are in compliance with the law. If … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Calls into Question the Validity of Employee Non-Solicitation Provisions

California Business and Professions Code section 16600 invalidates any contract restraining anyone from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business.  While this language has been understood to prohibit non-compete agreements, it was generally understood that it still permitted employee “non-solicitation agreements,” which are agreements preventing former employees from poaching employees from their former employers.  … Continue Reading

California Courts Slowly Interpret Dynamex

Almost six months ago, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Dynamex, which dramatically altered the landscape pertaining to the classification of California workers as either employees or independent contractors.  This past Monday, the California Court of Appeal issued one of the first decisions interpreting that seminal case. In Dynamex, the California Supreme Court … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Resolves Conflict Regarding California’s Background Check Laws

In Connor v. First Student, Inc., the California Supreme Court resolved a conflict in Court of Appeal decisions relating to the constitutionality of California’s background check laws. Employers frequently request background information from job applicants.  California has two primary laws regulating the collection and distribution of this background information:  the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act … Continue Reading

California Labor Commissioner Issues $1.9 Million Citation to Contractor for Wage Theft

Continuing its aggressive enforcement of California wage and hour laws, the Labor Commission issued wage theft citations of $1.9 million to Fullerton Pacific Interiors, Inc. for failing to pay minimum wage and overtime and failing to provide rest periods to 472 workers on 26 construction projects throughout Southern California. Fullerton Pacific Interiors provided drywall work … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Determines that the Federal De Minimis Doctrine Does Not Apply to California Wage Claims

In Troester v. Starbucks Corp., the California Supreme Court determined that the federal de minimis doctrine does not apply to California wage claims.  While this ruling does not completely eviscerate this legal defense for California employers, it places a very high burden on employers who are brave enough to raise this defense in California courts. … Continue Reading

California Enacts New Law Protecting as Privileged Workplace Sexual Harassment Complaints

On July 9, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2770.  This bill extends privileged communication status to certain communications by employees and employers regarding alleged sexual harassment and continues California’s efforts to address claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Prior to AB 2770, California law protected as privileged an employer’s responses to … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Suspends Enforcement of Certain Provisions in California’s Sanctuary Laws

On July 5, 2018, a federal judge in the Eastern District of California granted the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) request to temporarily prevent the state of California from enforcing key provisions of AB 450, one of three “sanctuary” laws that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on October 5, 2017, and which took effect … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Adopts New Standard for Defining “Cause” in Employment Cases

On June 28, 2018, the Idaho Supreme Court issued an opinion in a case entitled Lunneborg v. My Fun Life that outlines how cause will be defined in employment cases.  Simply put, this case could be a real game changer for employers and particularly those that have employment agreements with senior management or other executives. … Continue Reading

Oregon’s Secure Scheduling Law Goes into Effect July 1: Are You Ready?

The 2017 Oregon legislature passed a “secure scheduling” or “fair work week” law that imposes significant requirements on certain categories of large employers.  The law, available here, goes into effect July 1, 2018.  We previously blogged about the law here. Are You a Covered Employer?  The law applies to retail, hospitality, and food services employers … Continue Reading

No Peace for Piece-Rate Pay in Washington Agriculture

In yet another blow to agricultural employers, grab your stopwatches. In Carranza v. Dovex Fruit Co., the Washington Supreme Court has just held that agricultural employers are required to compensate piece-rate workers on a separate hourly basis for time spent performing tasks outside the specific scope of the piece-rate work. In a narrow 5-4 majority, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Embraces New Employee-Friendly Worker Classification Standard

In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Lee, the California Supreme Court created a new employee-friendly test for determining whether workers are properly classified as employees or independent contractors.  While providing a level of certainty lacking in the prior standard, the Court’s new test significantly increases the burden on California employers in demonstrating that their workers … Continue Reading

Washington Legislature Enacts Multiple Anti-Employer Statutes

No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session. · Judge Gideon J. Tucker In the recently concluded session, Washington legislators enacted numerous laws that will adversely affect employers of all sizes across the State. With so many changes, it is key that employers stay up to date and understand … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Instructs Employers How to Calculate Employee Overtime Pay Rate

In Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California, the California Supreme Court determined how employers must calculate an employee’s overtime pay rate when the employee earns a bonus during a single pay period. While the holding was fairly fact specific, it is a reminder on an often ignored (but critical) issue in California employment law: … Continue Reading

California Proposes New Legislation Prohibiting Confidentiality Provisions in Settlement Agreements

In the face of a continuing wave of highly publicized complaints of sexual misconduct in the workplace, California state senator Connie M. Leyva introduced Senate Bill 820.  If passed, this law would prohibit the inclusion of nondisclosure terms in settlement agreements relating to actions alleging claims of sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace.… Continue Reading

California Implements Significant Changes in the Employment Application Process, Employee Training, and Protected Leaves

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several bills regulating a wide range of employer actions, everything from the labeling of cleaning fluids to the employment application process.  While compliance with all of these new laws is important, four are of particular importance as they directly impact the information employers can seek from … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Puts a Small Crack in the Glass Door

An employer who unfairly and inaccurately is slammed by a former employee (or maybe even a current employee!) on a job-posting or employer-rating website will often look to its lawyer for help.  Surely the law protects against outrageous false statements that harm the employer’s ability to recruit new talent?  Maybe not—and if there is, it … Continue Reading

Oregon Amends Sick Leave Law: 5 Key Clarifications

Oregon recently passed amendments to its statewide sick time law, clearing up several areas of uncertainty for employers.  The amendments clarify that: Employers may cap employees’ annual accrual of sick leave at 40 hours. The pre-amendment version of the sick leave law stated that employees had the right to “earn and use up to 40 … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Oregon Legislature Passes Employee Scheduling Bill

Oregon is poised to become the first state to enact a “secure scheduling” or “fair work week” law that will impose significant new employee scheduling requirements on certain categories of large employers.  Senate Bill 828, which will set new scheduling standards for employers with 500 or more employees worldwide in the retail, hospitality, or food … Continue Reading

Washington State to Consider Paid Family Leave

Last week, representatives of the business community and employee groups completed negotiations to create a paid family and medical leave insurance program in Washington. Many details need to be worked out, the actual legislation has not yet been drafted, and the Washington Legislature has a number of other issues demanding its attention. Nonetheless, there are substantial … Continue Reading
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