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In the wake of a deluge of sexual harassment accusations being leveled against high profile figures, and the ensuing #MeToo social media movement, some legislators and judges have been eager to expand protections for certain individuals they see as particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, including hotel workers.
Continue Reading Judges and Legislators in Chicago and California Seek to Expand Protections for Hotel Workers

Organized labor in the United States has experienced a steady decline in the last several decades, from a peak union membership rate of 35% during the mid-1950s to 10.7% in the year 2016.  For the private sector, the decline has been even more precipitous:  a mere 6.4% of private sector workers in the U.S. were members of a union in 2016.

On February 1, 2017, Iowa Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives that would likely deal a crippling blow to already weakened organized labor in the U.S.:  the National Right-to-Work Act (H.R. 825).  The full text of the bill is available here.  A Senate counterpart will be introduced shortly.


Continue Reading Congress Considers National Right-To-Work Bill: Beginning of the End for Unions?

This month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance that provides six weeks of parental leave for bonding with a new child at 100% of the employee’s rate of pay (subject to certain caps).  The ordinance which will take effect beginning January 1, 2017, will make San Francisco the first U.S. city to require employer-paid parental leave.
Continue Reading San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City To Require Employer-Funded Paid Parental Leave

In Verdugo v. Alliantgroup, L.P., the California Court of Appeal held that a forum selection clause in an employment agreement was unenforceable because the employer could not prove that the employee’s rights under the California wage and hour law “would not be diminished in any way” if the lawsuit proceeded in a non-California court.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Refuses to Enforce Forum Selection Clause Because Employer Would Not Stipulate to Apply California Law and Did Not Show that the Foreign State’s Legal Protections Were Equal to California’s

On July 14, 2014, the California Supreme Court held in Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc. that employees qualify for the California “commissioned employee” exemption in a pay period only if they receive “earnings [that] exceed one and one-half (1-1/2) times the minimum wage” in that two-week pay period.  The Court held that an employer may not satisfy the minimum earnings prong of the exemption by reassigning wages from a different pay period for employees who are paid commissions that are calculated monthly.  In addition, as explained below, while the Court expressly declined to address the issue, its reasoning will lead plaintiffs’ counsel to argue that more than half of an employee’s pay in a pay period must “represent commissions” if the employee is to meet the exemption in that pay period.
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Limits Application of Commissioned Employee Exemption