California Employment Law Report

California Employment Law Report

The latest litigation trends, court decisions, & issues on California Employment Law

Archives: Class Actions

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Friday’s Five: Five recent employment law developments employers should heed

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Class Actions, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
This Friday’s Five covers five employment law developments that occurred in August 2015 that will have an impact for employers in California. 1)     NLRB ruling widens which companies may be considered “joint employers” In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB ruled that Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. was a joint employer with a staffing agency, Leadpoint… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Issues That Should Be On Every Employer’s Radar

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Meal and Rest Breaks, Wage & Hour Law
Speaking with some clients, I sense their overwhelming confusion in setting up employment policies in California. While it can be a daunting task, I remind them that the key is to approach it in a systematic process, and once the system is in place, compliance can be very easy. While there are many issues employers… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: When employers may be required to pay employees to “do nothing”

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
Even though employers allow employees to watch TV, surf the Internet, or even sleep, depending on the circumstances such on-call time, even if the employee is not doing any work, still may be required to be paid by the employer.  It has been clear since the 1940’s that employers have the obligation to pay employees… Continue Reading

The Department of Labor’s proposed salary increase for exempt employees

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Exempt Employees, Wage & Hour Law
In July 2015, the Department of Labor proposed regulations that would increase the salary amount employers would need to pay for employees to qualify as exempt.  If adopted, the proposal would require that employees would have to earn at least $50,440 per year in order to qualify for most exemptions in 2016.  This episode discusses… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: on-call time under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
Businesses that have employees on standby waiting to be called for work must review whether this on-call time needs to be paid time.  It is a very fact intensive inquiry, that employers must ensure they get correct.  Any mistake in not paying employees for compensable on-call time can result in potential exposure for overtime, minimum… Continue Reading

Five employment related bills California employers must monitor

Posted in California Legislation Update, Class Actions, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
With summer upon us, the California legislature is busy working on bills that could impact employers.  Here are five employment bills being considered by the state legislature that California employers should keep an eye on: 1. SB 3 – Increase in minimum wage and indexing to inflation Currently, California minimum wage is set to increase… Continue Reading

Five reminders about conducting background checks under federal and California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions
Based on last week’s post about the lawsuit filed against LinkedIn alleging that it violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), I thought it would be good to point out a few issues the arise when employers conduct background checks.  This article is not comprehensive, and this area of the law is very detailed,… Continue Reading

Five things employers must understand about LinkedIn’s job reference lawsuit

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Technology & Law
Recently, the issue raised in Sweet v. LinkedIn is whether the Reference Searches functionality offered by LinkedIn is governed by the regulations set forth in the FCRA.  The Reference Search feature allows users who pay a fee to search for references that have worked with any other LinkedIn member.  The results list common employers and… Continue Reading

5 common questions about class actions every employer should understand

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Class Actions, Uncategorized
1. What is a class action? To understand what a class action is, it is better to start with the basic individual litigation concept. Normally, parties bring their own disputes to court and litigate the case against the other parties who have been officially designated a parties and served with process and understand that they… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Uber and Lyft class actions show the difficulties of classifying independent contractors in new “sharing economy”

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Uber and Lyft have been sued in separate class action lawsuits in California by drivers challenging the two companies’ classification of the drivers as independent contractors. The plaintiffs in the two cases argue that the drivers should be classified and paid as employees, which triggers many additional Labor Code provisions for the drivers than if… Continue Reading

Personal cell phones at work: Five lessons employers should take away about expense reimbursement set forth in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Colin Cochran brought a putative class action against his employers, Schwan’s Home Service, on behalf of 1,500 customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses pertaining to the work-related use of their personal cell phones. He alleged causes of action for violation of Labor Code section 2802; unfair business practices under Business and Professions… Continue Reading

Five issues employers should become familiar with under California’s Labor Code provisions regarding one day of rest every seven days of work

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the California Supreme Court to clarify three questions pertaining to California’s little known, and very rarely litigated, laws regarding a day of rest every seven days. The case is Mendoza v. Nordstrom. The California Supreme Court’s clarification could result in a new-found focus on these laws, and… Continue Reading

Five exempt employee classifications all California employers should understand

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Exempt Employees, Wage & Hour Law
I apologize for the long post in advance, but I’ve been receiving many questions about exempt vs. non-exempt classification of employees lately. This article is the first in a series of articles to help employers tread through this technical area, hopefully in a manner that makes it at least somewhat easier for employers to understand.… Continue Reading

Five errors that make defending an employment lawsuit harder

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
In litigation, the following five issues make defending an employment lawsuit much more difficult. 1. No documentation. No matter what type of employment litigation is at issue – wage and hour claims, leave issues, or harassment claims – the amount of documentation an employer has dramatically increases the odds of prevailing in litigation. I would… Continue Reading

Five New Year’s resolutions for California employers in 2015

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
Happy New Year.  I started the Friday’s Five articles at the beginning of last summer, and the interest in the articles has been astounding, so I appreciate everyone who has read them and provided comments and feedback. If you have any topics you would like me to address, please let me know. With that said,… Continue Reading

Top five employment law class action claims for California employers in 2014

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Let me start with the lawyer’s disclaimer up-front: this Friday’s Five list has no scientific or statistical backing whatsoever, I generated it based on the cases I’ve been litigating in 2014. My experience may be (and probably is) skewed a bit, but nevertheless California employers should pay attention to the following areas of potential litigation.… Continue Reading

Steps California employers should take to comply with employment law changes in 2015 – part one

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases
The laws passed in 2014 added some new posting requirements and resulted in the need to revise some of the notices California employers are required to provide to employees. This Friday’s Five Best Practices article sets out five items California employers should review before the start of 2015: 1. Review newly published frequently asked questions… Continue Reading

Five lessons for employers from new meal break decision: In re Walgreen Co. Cases

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases
An appellate court upheld a trial court’s denial of class certification in a case brought against Walgreens. The appellate court’s decision provides a few good lessons for employers defending class action allegations. 1. Meal break cases are harder to certify as class actions after the Brinker decision. The California Supreme Court held in Brinker Restaurant… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five items employers need to understand about automobile and mileage reimbursement under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, Wage & Hour Law
Expense reimbursement may seem like a small issue in comparison with the other areas of liability facing California employers, but the exposure for not appropriately reimbursing employees can be substantial. In Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc., the California Supreme Court clarified the parameters of mileage reimbursement under California law, as well as the three different… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five areas of liability facing California employers

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Wage & Hour Law
1. Meal and rest breaks. If you did not know of this exposure already existed in California, can I recommend some reading here, here and here? 2. Exempt vs. non-exempt classification of employees. The default under California law is that every employee is entitled to overtime pay at a rate of time and a half… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five California Labor Code provisions employees cannot waive

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
Here is a list of five rights provided to employees under the California Labor Code that the employee may not waive by agreement with an employer. 1. Minimum wage Labor Code Section 1194 provides a private right of action to enforce violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. That statute clearly voids any agreement between… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five rules every California employer should know about providing final wages to employees

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
This Friday’s Five is coming out a little late in the day, but as they say, better late….  I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about final wage payment requirements.  So here are five rules every employer should know about providing final wages to employees: An employee who is discharged must be paid all of… Continue Reading

Complying With California’s Minimum Wage Increase

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
Here is a short video regarding some items California employers should consider about the minimum wage increase taking effect July 1, 2014.  For more information about the minimum wage increase: Five issues California employers should review before the minimum wage increases July 1, 2014… Continue Reading

Five Things You Need To Know About Arbitration Agreements After The California’s Supreme Court’s Ruling In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
1. Arbitration Agreements: What Are They? Employers can agree that they and any employees who enter into an arbitration agreement will resolve their differences before a private arbitrator instead of civil court. There are many different arbitration companies to choose from, but the American Arbitration Association and JAMS are two of the larger ones that… Continue Reading
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