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Governor Brown Signs Law Amending the Private Attorneys General Act

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016

On June 27, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill No. 836.  The law amends the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).  PAGA permits employees to sue their employers for Labor Code violations on behalf of themselves and other employees as representatives to California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”). (more…)

Social Media as the Next Judicial Frontier

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016

As the use of social media increases, its influence in the judicial system has greatly increased. As is to be expected with new technology, the issues brought about by social media are new and unique. (more…)

Court of Appeals finds a Duty to Accommodate Employees Associated With Disabled Individuals

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016

A California Court of Appeal held that under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), an employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate an applicant or employee who is associated with a disabled person.   Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Case Nos. B261165, B262524 (2nd App. Dist., April 6, 2016).

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Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo: High Court Allows Representative Evidence to Prove Class Allegations

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court upheld class certification and damages awarded to a class of plant workers alleging off-the-clock donning and doffing. Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, __ S.Ct. ___ (2016).  In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court held that representative statistical evidence may be used to fill an evidentiary gap created by employer’s failure to keep records when that same evidence could have been used by a class member to prove liability in an individual action.

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Get Ready For New FEHA Regulations Effective April 1, 2016

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016

New amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) Regulations will take effect on April 1, 2016.

Generally, the FEHA applies to California employers with 5 or more full or part-time employees. The law prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of various protected characteristics, including, age, race, religion, gender, and disability.  It also requires employers to engage in the interactive process to determine a reasonable accommodation for an employee who is disabled, and to accommodate the employee.  Further, the law prohibits retaliation against an employee who engages in a protected activity, such as requesting an accommodation or objecting to conduct prohibited by the FEHA. (more…)

Bay Area Minimum Wages on the Rise: 2016 Increases to California and Local Minimum Wages

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016

Effective January 1, 2016 California minimum wage increased to $10 per hour. In addition, many California cities have enacted ordinances that increase minimum wage requirements for local employers.  Typically, for an employer to be covered by a local ordinance, its employee must perform at least 2 hours of work per week within a city’s geographic limit. (more…)

Use of Employer-Provided Vehicle to Commute May Be Compensable

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015

On September 3, 2015, the Ninth Circuit provided additional guidance into compensability of commute time under the California Labor Code in Alcantar v. Hobart Service, 800 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2015).

Plaintiff Alcantar was a service technician who performed certain maintenance and repair services.  Although he was assigned to a branch, Alcantar spent most of his time driving between his home and customer locations in an employer-provided vehicle where he carried various tools and replacement parts for the repairs he was required to perform.  Hobart Service paid Alcantar for the time spent driving from his home to the first customer location and from the last customer location back to his home only if the commute exceeded his commute to and from his assigned branch. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court’s Upcoming Labor & Employment Cases for October 2015 Term

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2015 Term began hearing arguments on October 5, 2015. As with most of the Court’s terms, there are at least four or five labor and employment cases that may have significant impact for employers. Below, are a couple of these cases: (more…)

Gov. Brown Declines to Sign AB 465 Which Would Have Prohibited Arbitration Agreements as a Condition of Employment

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015

On October 11, 2015, Gov. Brown declined to sign AB 465. The proposed legislation would have made it unlawful to require: “another person to waive any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of any provision of [the California Labor Code], as a condition of employment, including the right to file and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Labor Commissioner, state agency, other public prosecutor, law enforcement agency, or any court or other governmental entity.”  In other words, the legislation sought to make arbitration agreements as a condition of employment a violation of California law. (more…)

Strategies for Complying with the Fair Pay Act

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015

On October 6, 2015, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 358 (the “Fair Pay Act”). The Bill makes a number of changes to existing law as discussed in our previous blog. The Fair Pay Act will take effect on January 1, 2016 and will be one of the strongest equal pay laws in the nation. Once in effect, employers may begin to see more complaints filed with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and in court alleging failure to provide equal pay. (more…)