Category Archives: Wage and Hour

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California Court Reaffirms And Extends Rounding Rules

In AHMC Healthcare, Inc. v. Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, extended a prior line of California cases holding that California law follows federal law with respect to evaluating the lawfulness of time clock rounding systems. You can read our prior article about See’s Candy Shops I here. Specifically, … Continue Reading

Minimum Wage Inches Closer to Reality for Tipped Workers in the District of Columbia

On June 19, 2018, District of Columbia residents voted to pass (by a 55.14% to 44.86% margin) Initiative 77, providing for a single minimum wage for all employees, including tipped workers. The restaurant industry led the opposition to the Initiative noting that the additional labor costs of the minimum wage will need to be sourced … Continue Reading

Court Expands Reach of California PAGA Representative Actions

The California Court of Appeals recently decided a new case potentially expanding the scope and impact of Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims brought by an employee against his employer. In Huff v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., the court posed the question of “whether a plaintiff who brings a representative action under PAGA may … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Enforceability of Mandatory Employment Class Action Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court upheld the legality of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Gorsuch, the Court held that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings were valid, and neither the Federal Arbitration Act’s (“FAA”) savings clause, nor the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) suggest otherwise.… Continue Reading

Court Rejects Plaintiffs’ Attempt to Double-Dip in Settlement Pool

It is a rare occasion that the phrase “joint employer” has positive implications for any business. However, a panel sitting on the California Court of Appeals recently gave one party in a joint employer arrangement cause to celebrate when it held in Castillo v. Glenair, Inc., 22 Cal. App. 5th 348 (2018) [1], that the settlement … Continue Reading

The Dynamex Decision: The California Supreme Court Restricts Use of Independent Contractors

On Monday, April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the matter of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. In a voluminous, 82-page decision, the California Supreme Court reinterpreted and ultimately rejected the Borello test for determining whether workers should be classified as either employees or independent … Continue Reading

California Legislature Introduces Bill That Could Result In Massive Penalties For Employers For Late Payment of Wages

Currently working its way through the California Legislature is AB 2613, a potentially massive expansion of liability on employers and individuals for underpayment of wages. AB 2613 seeks to amend the California Labor Code in three separate ways. First, Labor Code Section 210 would be amended to provide that an employer “or other person acting … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Offers Employers Clarity By Resuming Its Practice of Issuing Opinion Letters

In a welcome departure from its recent practice, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently issued its first new opinion letters in almost ten years. In addition to issuing three new opinion letters earlier this month, on January 5, 2018, WHD reissued seventeen opinion letters previously withdrawn under the Obama administration. … Continue Reading

Chicago Considering Predictive Scheduling: What Employers Need to Know

Following a growing nationwide trend, the Chicago City Council is considering new legislation that would require employers to pay employees for any scheduling changes made with less than two weeks’ notice.  If passed, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2018, and the city will join the likes of San … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Prior Salary Cannot Justify Wage Differences

Enacted in 1963, the Equal Pay Act prohibits differential payments between male and female employees doing equal work except when made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a fourth, catch-all exception for “a differential based on any other factor other than … Continue Reading

New Tip Pooling Guidelines For Employers

The recent passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (“H.R. 1625”), an 878-page omnibus spending bill, significantly changes the rules for tip pooling under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”). While the conditions for taking a tip credit toward federal minimum wage obligations remain essentially unchanged, H.R. 1625 appears to permit the inclusion … Continue Reading

Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California

On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California case. The Court’s decision will have far reaching consequences for employers throughout the state by fundamentally changing how overtime is calculated. In short, the Court held that when calculating overtime in pay periods in which … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces New Payroll Audit Pilot Program

On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its launch of the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program (“PAID” or the “Program”) – aimed at increasing employers’ FLSA compliance and timely payment of back wages to employees. The Program, which will start with a six-month pilot period prior to evaluation and … Continue Reading

PAGA Claim Defeated Based on Insufficient Notice to the LWDA

Last month, the California Court of Appeal determined in Khan v. Dunn-Edwards Corp., 2018 Cal.App. LEXIS 44 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 4, 2018)(certified for publication), that a former employee’s claim under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) failed due to insufficient notice to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”). Plaintiff’s Lawsuit & … Continue Reading

New Year, New Minimum Wage Rates in California

Beginning January 1, 2018, the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 26 or more employees will be $11.00 per hour and the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 25 or fewer employees will be $10.50 per hour. As we previously reported, effective January 1, 2017, the California state minimum wage began … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules That Hearst Interns Are Not Employees

In a decision issued earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that participants in unpaid internship programs offered by the Hearst Corporation could not be classified as “employees” of Hearst and therefore were not entitled to compensation for their internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Second Circuit’s decision in … Continue Reading

Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of Dollar Tree in Electronic Wage Statement Class Action

On November 7, 2017, after a four-day trial, a federal jury in Los Angeles, California returned a verdict in favor of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. in a class action filed against the company by former employee Francisca Guillen. The case was pending in the Central District of California before Hon. Michael W. Fitzgerald.… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Provides Clarification On Legality Of Draw-On-Commission Policy

Last month, the Sixth Circuit revived a lawsuit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) alleging that a retailer’s commission policy was unlawful in Stein v. hhgregg, Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19908 (6th Cir. Ohio Oct. 12, 2017). The decision provides support for the legality of taking a draw on an employee’s future … Continue Reading

Promoting Wellness, Not Litigation

With ever-increasing employer health care costs, it’s not surprising that Workplace Wellness Programs are becoming more common and comprehensive. According to Fidelity Investment’s fifth annual wellness survey, 95% of companies plan to offer some kind of health improvement program for their employees, and plan to spend an average of $594 per employee on wellness-based incentives. … Continue Reading

Bay Area Local Law Update: Emeryville’s “Fair Workweek Ordinance”; San Francisco Bans Salary History Inquiries; And Additional Accommodations For Lactating Employees

Over the past few years, one of the biggest trends in employment law has been the proliferation of local ordinances imposing workplace standards beyond those mandated by state and federal laws. While many state governments have moved to preempt such regulations, California’s legislature has openly encouraged them, particularly in the wage and hour context. Unsurprisingly, … Continue Reading

Mendoza v. Nordstrom – Day Of Rest Rule

The California Supreme Court issued its long awaited ruling in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, in which it clarified California’s so-called “day of rest” rule, which guarantees employees “one day’s rest therefrom in seven,” prohibits employers from “causing” its employees to work more than six days in seven, and exempts employees when, inter alia, the total hours … Continue Reading

Unfair Scheduling: How New York City’s New Predictive Scheduling Law Continues The Trend And Makes Operations More Difficult For Employers

In November 2014, San Francisco passed the first predictive scheduling legislation in the country. Since that time, other states and municipalities have followed San Francisco’s lead, and have either proposed or enacted some variation of a predictive scheduling law. On March 3, 2017, New York became the most recent major city to introduce predictive scheduling … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Labor Rolls Back Obama-Era Guidance on Joint Employers and Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced today that it was rolling back an Obama-era policy that attempted to increase regulatory oversight of joint employer and contractor businesses. Courts and agencies use the joint employer doctrine to determine whether a business effectively controls the workplace policies of another company, such as a subsidiary or sub-contractor. … Continue Reading
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