California Employment Law Report

California Employment Law Report

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

Archives: Wage & Hour Law

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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: Credit checks for applicants or employees

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
This Friday’s Five discusses five issues California employers should remember about whether they may require credit checks from applicants or employees.  And if employers can obtain the information, what additional considerations they should take into account when using this information for employment decisions and privacy concerns. 1.      Credit checks are different than background checks. Since… 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

Five items that should be on every employer’s end of employment checklists

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Terminations, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
Many employers have new hire packets and hiring procedures, but just as important, and often overlooked by employers, is to have a process for departing employees. It is important to ensure an employee departing the company provides all items back to the company and is provided any legally required documentation, and is a good opportunity… Continue Reading

Five wage deductions California employers cannot make

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Wage & Hour Law
1)      Gratuities All tips are the employee’s property, and cannot be taken by the employer.  Labor Code section 350 states unequivocally that “Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees for whom it was paid, given or left for.” In addition, Labor Code section 351 clearly states that… Continue Reading

Presentation: General rules to comply with California’s paid sick leave law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Resources, Wage & Hour Law
I’ll be posting some short clips of a recent presentation I conducted on complying with California’s paid sick leave law.  In this first video, I discuss some general rules California employers need to consider to comply with the July 1, 2015 deadline to offer paid sick leave to employees.  Topics include: how to calculate pay… 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

Labor Commissioner’s ruling against Uber widely misunderstood by media

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Earlier this week Uber appealed a California Labor Commissioner ruling against it holding that a driver was misclassified as an independent contractor.  In this video, I briefly discuss the ruling and the lesson it holds for employers. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors can carry many damages and penalties.  For example, Sections 226.8 and 2753… Continue Reading

Five most targeted industries for government wage and hour audits

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Meal and Rest Breaks, Wage & Hour Law
Is your company in an industry that is likely to be targeted by the Department of Labor (DOL) for FLSA violations, or by the California Labor Commissioner for California Labor Code violations? A review of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour statistics for fiscal year 2014, in connection with California’s Division of Labor Standards… Continue Reading

Los Angeles moves closer to super-minimum wage, but major issues still surround the proposed law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Wage & Hour Law
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a panel of city lawmakers approved a draft of the ordinance that would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 per hour by 2020, moving the ordinance one step closer to passage.  There was a backlash this week against the labor unions that were pushing hard… Continue Reading

Five statutes that can shift attorney’s fees to employers

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Exempt Employees, Resources, Technology & Law, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
You may recall from your college business law class of the “American rule” regarding attorney’s fees: generally in the United States each side is responsible to their own attorney’s fees, and unlike other countries, the loser does not have to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees. Employers can basically ignore this general rule in employment… Continue Reading

Five legal concepts every California employer needs to understand

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour Law
You’ve set up a successful company and begin hiring employees. To be a successful operator in California, a company’s management needs to be familiar with the critical legal concepts in order to successfully navigate California’s complex employment laws. You never wanted to go to law school, but time to hit the, ahem, books (or the… Continue Reading

Five things every employer with IT workers must understand about the computer professional exemption under California law

Posted in California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour Law
Recently I published a list of common exemptions under California law. This list of exemptions did not delve into the details of each exemption in detail, so I will be returning to a few of the exemptions to add more explanation about each exempt classification. I’m currently reading Paul Graham’s Hackers and Painters, Big Ideas… 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

Five areas of employee compensation or off-work conduct that cannot be regulated by an employer under California law; plus: Ben Horowitz, the Shmoney Dance and How to Manage

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
I just discovered How to Start a Startup, which is a series of videos published by Stanford University on YouTube with some outstanding speakers. The problem is that the class videos are so great, I have a hard time turning them off. Case in point, this week I watched Ben Horowitz’ lecture: How to Manage. … 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 documents employers should provide to employees separating from the company

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
There is always a lot of attention paid to what notices and forms should be given to new-hires. However, today’s Friday’s Five post I want to focus on the documents that should accompany an employee’s separation from employment: 1. Paycheck for all hours worked until separation including all accrued but unused vacation time. Generally, the… Continue Reading

Five pointers to know before attending a Labor Commissioner hearing

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Wage & Hour Law
This Friday’s Five is a bit early this week, but I have to post today as my blog is going through some upgrades and I will not be able to post this tomorrow (Friday). I’ve previously written about what Labor Commissioner hearings are (also known as Berman Hearings here in California) and how to prepare… Continue Reading

Five rules for drafting vacation policies the right way under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
One policy that I find is usually not given the attention it deserves when drafting employee handbooks is the policy for vacation time. There are numerous rules about how employees earn vacation, and it is often tricky to draft a proper policy without someone experienced in this area. Many out-of-state employers assume that their policy… Continue Reading
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