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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

Time to Revise Your Job Applications: Oregon Prohibits Salary History Inquiries in Effort to Address Systemic Wage Inequality

“Equal pay for equal work.”  Everyone – employees and employers alike – can agree that no workers should be paid less than others simply because of their gender, race, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.  But the reality of the pay gap is more complicated.  Employers make salary decisions based on a number of … Continue Reading

Washington State Enacts Its Own “Blacklisting” Statute

Although federal contractors were able to breathe a sigh of relief after the current administration put a stop to President Obama’s “Blacklisting” executive order, employers in the state of Washington must now comply with their own “blacklisting” law.  On May 8, Washington state signed into law Senate Bill 5301 (“SB 5301”), which bans employers from … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies California’s Day of Rest Statutes

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the California Supreme Court answered three questions from the Ninth Circuit concerning California’s “day of rest” statutes.  The Court’s decision clarifies a significant ambiguity for employers regarding the obligation to provide employees with their statutorily mandated day of rest. Mendoza involved a putative class action filed by former Nordstrom employees alleging … Continue Reading

Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Expands in Oregon

We are confident that employers already take employee reports of potentially unlawful activity seriously.  Such internal reports can help employers investigate and eliminate unlawful conduct in the workplace.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that retaliating against an employee for making an internal report of potentially unlawful activity—not a report to an external … Continue Reading

Breaking: Court Rules Against Double Overtime for Oregon Manufacturing Employers

Oregon manufacturing employers have been following the ongoing turmoil surrounding the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries’ (“BOLI”) recent interpretation of Oregon’s requirement that manufacturing employees receive overtime when they work more than 10 hours in a day.  In the latest turn, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that, contrary to BOLI’s advice, … Continue Reading

Oregon Legislature’s Attempt to Protect Pot Users Poses Challenges to Employers

Some Oregonians are no doubt breathing clouds of relief with the introduction of Senate Bill 301, the Oregon Legislature’s proposal to protect employees from being fired for personal marijuana use.  Employers, on the other hand, may find themselves in a sticky (icky) situation trying to comply with the proposed law, which, at first glance, seems … Continue Reading
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