Archives: California

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Minimum Wages To Rise On Both Coasts

Over the past few years, numerous states and municipalities have increased the statutory minimum wage.  Further, through Executive Order, President Obama increased the federal minimum wage applicable to federal contractors.  Consistent with this trend, the governors of both California and New York have now reached new legislative deals with their respective legislative branches which provide … Continue Reading

Uber Litigation Continues To Serve As Legal Lightning Rod for “On Demand” Economy

Cases challenging the independent contractor status of certain service providers under the wage-and-hour laws are likely to continue in the near future due to the difficulties in applying the law to complex factual patterns. The Department of Labor recently provided additional guidance for determining contractor status in the form of an Administrator’s Interpretation (and the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Finds That Insurance Claims Adjusters Are Exempt Administrative Employees Under California Law

Applying California’s administrative exemption test, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently concluded an insurance company properly classified its claims adjusters (who handled and processed disability claims) as exempt from the overtime provisions of the California Labor Code, notwithstanding the clerical duties the adjusters performed and their characterization of their work as … Continue Reading

Utah Federal Court Reiterates That Employees Are Only Entitled to Tips Under FLSA If A Tip Credit Is Applied

While many state laws regulate the distribution of gratuities (as well as service charges and other fees), the overwhelming judicial view, as originally set forth by the Ninth Circuit in Cumbie v. Woody Woo and joined by district courts in other jurisdictions, holds that an employee’s right to tips under the FLSA flows exclusively from … Continue Reading

California Intermediate Appellate Court Reverses Ruling Finding “On Call” Rest Breaks Violated State Law

Confronting a novel issue of state law in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s 2012 decision addressing California’s meal-and-rest break requirements, an appellate panel of the California Court of Appeal’s Second District ruled that a security firm did not violate rest break requirements where its security guards were “on call” during the required rest … Continue Reading

Interpreting Oracle, California Court Limits Application Of State Wage Laws Vis a Vis Out of State Employees

The California Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Sullivan v. Oracle signaled, but did not conclusively rule, that no circumstances could support a California Labor Code claim by an employee working outside the State of California.  However, a new California federal court decision emphatically holds that the application of California’s Labor Code should end at the … Continue Reading

California Court Upholds Employer’s Classification of Registered Dietitians as Exempt ”Professionals”

As the healthcare field continues to expand to meet evolving standards of care and government regulations, industry employers have created or modified categories of professional employees to meet business and medical needs.  New positions have been created which are not addressed by name in existing DOL regulations and case law concerning applicability of the learned … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Requires Reimbursement of H2A Expenses

In the latest in a series of decisions addressing the proper allocation of travel and immigration fee expenses between employers and employees utilizing the H2A agricultural guestworker program, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the largest federal circuit, encompassing Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii) ruled an employer must … Continue Reading

California Judge Finds Financial Advisors Were Independent Contractors Under California Law

Financial services and insurance industry employers regularly classify service providers, including financial advisors and independent insurance agents, as independent contractors, especially if such individuals cultivate and service their own clientele with a high degree of autonomy. Despite that autonomy, knowledgeable industry professionals and their counsel are aware of the legal risks associated with the independent contractor … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Provides Guidance on Scope of State Administrative Exemption to IT Workers

Applicability of various FLSA white collar exemptions to workers in the information technology sector continues to be a detailed and difficult analysis, in part due to the Department of Labor’s rules regarding the “computer professional” exemption, which have failed to keep up with the  rapidly evolving workforce in the technology sector of the economy. The computer … Continue Reading

California Trial Court Applies Pro-Employer Brinker Decision to Deny Class Certification

As with the United States Supreme Court’s decision last year in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the employment law community eagerly awaits the impact of the California’s Supreme Court’s recent decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. on pending and new putative class actions alleging violations of California meal and rest period requirements. One early return favors employers, as a … Continue Reading

Despite Lack of Direct Care Duties, Case Managers Are FLSA Learned Professionals

As we frequently discuss in this space, application of the FLSA’s “learned” professional exemption is a frequent topic for litigation, including within the 9th Circuit. These disputes emanate not only from jobs not historically recognized by the DOL as learned professions, but even from within those areas, as exemplified by a new District Court decision in … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs’ Attorney Cannot Recover Fees Under Labor Code Fee Shifting Provision in California Meal and Rest Lawsuits

California’s Supreme Court has again spoken on meal and rest period litigation, this time holding neither employers nor employees may recover their attorney’s fees in cases requiring employers to provide meal breaks and rest breaks. In the wake of its highly publicized Brinker Restaurant Corporation decision, where the Supreme Court ruled California law requires employers to … Continue Reading

District Court Judge Defers to USDOL’s Continued Narrow Reading of “Retail or “Service” for Purposes of 7(i) Exemption

“Retail or service” is a classic example of a phrase of which the apparent plain language meaning does not bear a strong relationship to its legal or practical meaning for purposes of application of the 7(i) exemption. In determining whether an employee works in an industry properly deemed “retail or service” (and accordingly establishing eligibility for … Continue Reading

California Division of Labor Standards Issues Wage Theft Act Model Form

California has joined New York in requiring a new hire wage notification under its Wage Theft Prevention Act, with the California statute effective for all new hires on or after January 1, 2012. To assist employers, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has issued its model form complying with the new law. The DLSE’s model form … Continue Reading

Sullivan v. Oracle Confirmed As California Law by Ninth Circuit

In August, we discussed the California Supreme Court’s ruling addressing the circumstances under which a non-California resident can be covered by that state’s employee-friendly Labor Code.  Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 51 Cal. 4th 1191 (2011).  Yesterday, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit adopted the state court’s ruling, rejecting Defendant’s constitutional challenges to that … Continue Reading

California Enacts Eerily Familiar “Wage Theft Prevention Act”

In April, we addressed at length New York’s newly-enacted “Wage Theft Prevention Act.” Now, through Assembly Bill 469, California has adopted a nearly identical law, the California Wage Theft Prevention Act. Effective January 1, 2012, the law increases the penalties available under existing provisions of the California Labor Code, and adds a detailed notice requirement to employees, echoing … Continue Reading

California Enacts Written Commission Plan Law

As discussed by our colleagues at the California Workplace Blog, California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1396, requiring all employers doing business in California to draft written contracts for any agreements with employees that involve commissions as a method of payment for services.  California joins New York in the vanguard of making … Continue Reading

California Court Finds State Meal and Rest Period Requirements Preempted by Federal Motor Carrier Regulation

While states generally are free to enact wage and hour laws providing greater protections than contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act, sometimes such laws run afoul of federal statutes governing particular industries. In a recent decision exemplifying this type of preemption, a judge in the United States District Court of the Southern District of California … Continue Reading

Clarity to California’s “Meal and Rest” Requirement Coming In 2012

As noted by our colleagues at http://www.californiaworkplacelawblog.com/, California’s highest court has scheduled oral argument in the Brinker Restaurant Corporation litigation, addressing the state’s meal and rest requirement, for November 8, 2011.  By rule, the Court must issue its decision within 90 days of oral argument, or, by February 6, 2012.  The decision should provide long-awaited … Continue Reading
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