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Legal Update

Substantial New Limitations on Conducting Mental Examinations Involving Children 15 or Younger in California

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017

Beginning January 1, 2018, defendants will face new and rigorous obstacles to presenting a complete defense for their client in sexual misconduct lawsuits involving children 15 years of age or younger.  At the behest of the plaintiff’s bar, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 755 this summer, which will become Code of Civil Procedure § 2030.020.  That legislation creates new hurdles for conducting mental examinations of children under 15 years of age. (more…)

California Court of Appeal Reverses Trial Court Decision Finding City Tree was a Work of Public Improvement that Supported an Inverse Condemnation Claim

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017

On August 24, 2017, the California Court of Appeal decided Mercury Casualty Company v. City of Pasadena and reversed a trial court judgment that had found the City of Pasadena (“City”) liable under a theory of inverse condemnation for damage to a resident’s home by a city-owned tree which had fallen during a storm. The Court held that a city tree is a work of public improvement only when the tree is deliberately planted by or at the direction of the government entity as part of a planned project or design serving a public purpose or use. (more…)

Mid-Year Local Minimum Wage Increases

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

Effective July 1, 2017, minimum wage rates for certain employees working within geographic boundaries of several California cities and the County of Los Angeles (unincorporated) will increase.  These cities and counties are:

  • County of Los Angeles (unincorporated) – employers with 26 or more employees shall pay $12.00/hour, employers with 25 or fewer employees shall pay $10.50/hour;
  • City of Emeryville – employers with 56 or more employees shall pay $15.20/hour, employers with 55 or fewer employees shall pay $14.00/hour;
  • City of Los Angeles – employers with 26 or more employees shall pay $12.00/hour, employers with 25 or fewer employees shall pay $10.50/hour;
  • City of Malibu – employers with 26 or more employees shall pay $12.00/hour, employers with 25 or fewer employees shall pay $10.50/hour;
  • City of Milpitas – regardless of employee headcount employers shall pay $11.00/hour;
  • City of Pasadena – employers with 26 or more employees shall pay $12.00/hour, employers with 25 or fewer employees shall pay $10.50/hour;
  • City of San Francisco – regardless of employee headcount employers shall pay $14/hour to most employees;
  • City of San Jose – regardless of employee headcount employers shall pay $12.00/hour;
  • City of San Leandro – regardless of employee headcount employers shall pay $12/hour to most employees;
  • City of Santa Monica – employers with 26 or more employees shall pay $12.00/hour, employers with 25 or fewer employees shall pay $10.50/hour.

As noted above, some of the local minimum wage laws have narrow exemptions for certain categories of employees, and certain categories of employers.  Employers should review their compensation practices to make sure they comply with the local minimum wage laws.  If you have questions about the contents of this alert, please contact Oleg I. Albert at (415) 697-2000 or oalbert@aghwlaw.com.

This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions. It is intended to provide general information about legal developments and is not legal advice.

California Supreme Court Clarifies Employer Obligation to Provide Rest Days To Employees

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the California Supreme Court answered several unsettled question concerning the construction of the state’s day of rest statutes, Labor Code §§ 550–558.1, at the request of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In pertinent part, these statutes prohibit an employer from “caus[ing] his employees to work more than six days in seven” (§ 552), but do not apply “when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof” (§ 556). (more…)

Another Chapter in When the EEOC Comes Knocking…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017

In this case, McLane’s employee (Ochoa) returned from a three month maternity leave but could not pass a physical examination to return to work.  After failing that physical examination three separate times, she was fired, and filed a Title VII sex discrimination charge with the EEOC.

An EEOC investigation followed into her charge, with a request to McLane for so-called “pedigree” information seeking the names, addressed, phone numbers and social security numbers of all persons asked to take the evaluation.  Not content to focus on the former employee’s own charge, the EEOC expanded the scope of the investigation to cover McLane’s nationwide operations and included a claim for age discrimination. McLane refused to voluntarily provide the pedigree information. The EEOC issued subpoenas and when McLane refused to provide the “pedigree” information, the EEOC sued to enforce its subpoenas. The District Court declined to enforce the subpoenas, finding the pedigree information was not relevant to the charges. The Ninth Circuit reversed, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. (more…)

Government Employee Communications on Personal Devices May Be Discoverable

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017

On March 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court held in City of San Jose v. Superior Court 2017 DJDAR 1896, that when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about “the conduct of public business”, the writing may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. (more…)

California Supreme Court Clarifies Employer Obligation to Provide Non-Exempt Employees Duty Free Rest Breaks

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017

On December 22, 2016, in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., Case No. S224853, the California Supreme Court held that employers “must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time.” (more…)

Minimum Wage Rates on the Rise: 2017 Increases to California and Local Minimum Wages

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016

Effective January 1, 2017 California minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.  Employers of 25 employees or less will not see a change to the California minimum wage during 2017, which is currently $10.00 per hour. (more…)

Mistakes Do Not Equal Negligence in Minnegren v. Nozar

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016

While a defendant’s admissions of “bad judgment”, making a “mistake”, along with a finding of speeding may appear to be detrimental to a defendant’s motor vehicle accident case, they were not fatal in Minnegren v. Nozar,  (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) 208 Cal.Rptr.3d 655. (more…)

California Employers Beware of the FLSA “White Collar” Exemption, California Minimum Wage, and City Wage Ordinances

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016

On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a Texas federal judge entered a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a controversial rule that would have raised the salary level for federal “white collar” exemptions from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year effective December 1, 2016.

However, California employers should be aware of the increase to California minimum wages that goes into effect January 1, 2017 for employers of 26 or more employees ($10.50/hour), and January 1, 2018 for employers of less than 26 employees ($10.50/hour). Accordingly, effective January 1, 2017 California employers of 26 or more employees must pay a salary of no less than $43,680 per year to their overtime-exempt employees.  Employers of less than 26 employees will have to increase salaries to $43,680 per year effective January 1, 2018.

Further, California employers should remain vigilant of city ordinances that require payment of minimum wages higher than those required by California state law.  Although local ordinances do not impact the salary calculation for overtime-exempt employees, the ordinances prescribe the minimum wages for non-exempt employees working within the geographic boundaries of these cities.

This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions. It is intended to provide general information about legal developments and is not legal advice. If you have questions about the contents of this alert, please contact Oleg I. Albert at (415) 697-2000 or .