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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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

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 indispensable items employers must know about California’s Wage Theft Protection Act’s Notice to Employee

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
The Wage Theft Protection act of 2011 added Labor Code section 2810.5 requiring all private California employers to provide a written notice containing specific information to non-exempt employees upon hire. Below are five indispensable items employers should understand about the Notice to Employee (“Notice”) required under the law. 1. All private employers, regardless of size,… 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

Areas employers should review as part of their yearly audit – part two

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, Wage & Hour Law
In my last post, I wrote about what steps employers should talk to comply with the new employment laws for 2015. This post discusses more generally what employers should audit on a yearly basis. And with the year coming to a close, now is a great time to review these five items: 1. Expense reimbursement… Continue Reading

Sick leave poster and revised Notice to Employee published by Division of Labor Standards Enforcement: All California employers must use starting January 1, 2015

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) published a new poster employers are required to post regarding California’s new sick leave law. Under the new law (Labor Code Section 247) employers are required to display a poster in a conspicuous place requiring certain information about the new rights of employees to receive paid sick leave.… Continue Reading

Five things to know about time off for holidays and holiday pay under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
Happy Holidays! With the holidays upon us, it is a good time for employers to review their holiday schedule and these five reminders about holidays and holiday pay under California law. 1. California employers are not required to provide employees time off for holidays. There is no requirement that California employers provide time off (except… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five new laws for 2015 that employers should review

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Wage & Hour Law
Below are five new laws going into effect in 2015 that California employers should know about before the start of 2015. Employers should also take time and review their current policies to ensure compliance for the new year. 1. Mandatory paid sick leave. You’ve probably been beaten over the head from emails from your employment lawyer… 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 answers to common questions about severance pay and severance agreements

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
Severance pay is not required under California law. However, employers who have potential disputes with employees that are leaving employment should consider whether offering severance pay in exchange for a signed severance agreement containing a release of claims against the company may be useful in avoiding costly litigation. Here are answers to five common questions… Continue Reading

Five tips about tips under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Wage & Hour Law
Today’s Friday’s Five provides a few points for employers to consider who have employees that receive gratuities. California law is very specific regarding gratuities left for employees, and since tips are property of the employee, employers must approach this area with caution. Here are five “tips” about tips in California. 1. Tips are employee’s property.… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five ways employers can receive requests for employees’ personnel and wage records

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
Employers can receive requests for employment records of current and former employees though different ways. It is important for employers to first carefully review the request to understand what is being requested. It is important to understand who is making the request? Is the request only seeking a personnel file? Is the request only seeking… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five things every California employer needs to know about the newly enacted paid sick leave law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
On September 10, 2014, the Governor signed into law a bill that requires a minimum of three paid sick days per year for employees. The new law applies to all employers, regardless of size. Here are five essential points employers must understand to begin the process of meeting their obligations under the new law. 1. How… Continue Reading
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