In Harstein v. Hyatt Corp., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Hyatt Corporation (“Hyatt”) violated California law, which requires the payment of all wages at separation, when one of its hotels failed to pay employees their accrued vacation pay after furloughing them in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Provides Critical Guidance on Events Triggering Waiting Time Penalties
Raymond Nhan is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Century City office.
In Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a circuit split over whether district courts must stay proceedings while an interlocutory appeal of a denial of a motion to compel arbitration is ongoing. The Supreme Court held they must.Continue Reading Supreme Court Eases the Ability for Employers to Appeal Denials of Motions to Compel Arbitration in Federal Court
In People ex rel. Garcia-Brower v. Kolla’s, Inc., the California Supreme Court resolved a split between the Courts of Appeal for the First and Second Districts over whether a protected “disclosure” under Labor Code section 1102.5(b) includes a report of unlawful activity made to an employer or agency that already knew about the reported unlawful activity. The Supreme Court held that it does.Continue Reading California Supreme Court Adopts Broader Definition of “Disclosure” Under State Whistleblower Law
Rounding is the practice of capturing time entries on a time clock and converting them to the closest five, ten, or fifteen minute equivalent. For example, both entries at 8:58 and 9:04 may be converted to 9:00 a.m. A recent California Court of Appeal decision, Camp v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., calls into question the continued viability of time-rounding policies in California. In 2012, the Court of Appeal held in See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 210 Cal. App. 4th 889 (2012), that an employer’s time rounding policy is lawful under California law when the policy is “fair and neutral on its face” and is used in a way that will not result, over a period of time, “in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked.” As generally applied, the See’s Candy test permitted time clock rounding systems so long as the rounding was to the nearest set increment as opposed to always rounding against the employee. Multiple appellate decisions after See’s Candy cited it favorably in granting summary judgment to the employer.Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Limits the Permissibility of Time Rounding
On May 23, 2022, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., P.3d (2022), the California Supreme Court issued an important wage-and-hour decision. In Naranjo, the Court held that meal break premiums that an employer pays to an employee for missed, late, or short meal breaks constitute wages. Consequently, an employer must report those premium payments on an employee’s wage statement pursuant to Labor Code section 226 and must promptly pay any owed premiums when an employee terminates employment or face waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203. Naranjo also concluded that the California Constitution’s default prejudgment interest rate of seven percent applies to calculating the prejudgment interest on claims for meal and rest break premiums.Continue Reading California Supreme Court Holds Meal Period Premiums Are “Wages” and May Trigger Wage Statement and Waiting Time Penalties
On December 15, 2021, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, a case which asks whether the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) requires the enforcement of bilateral arbitration agreements providing that an employee cannot raise representative claims, including under the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).
Continue Reading Supreme Court Grants Review in Important Arbitration Case Regarding PAGA
On November 30, 2021, the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, issued an important opinion in Moniz v. Adecco USA, Inc., __ Cal. App. 5th __ (2021), which will impact employers facing PAGA lawsuits. Moniz clarified several critical issues employers routinely face in PAGA litigation. First, departing from Turrieta v. Lyft, Inc., 69 Cal. App. 5th 955 (2021), Moniz held that a deputized aggrieved employee challenging a PAGA settlement has appellate standing to challenge another PAGA settlement that would wipe out their ability to pursue a PAGA claim. This may affect all employers facing more than one PAGA lawsuit at a time. Second, Moniz held that claims are validly released if they relate to the same primary right as the claims listed in the PAGA letter that the aggrieved employee sends to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (the “LWDA”). Finally, Moniz provided guidelines to assess whether a trial court should approve a PAGA settlement.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Provides Guidance, and Creates a Split, on Critical PAGA Issues