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Legal Update

Salary Equity Law Signed by Governor Brown Affecting Private Schools

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016

Private schools and their teachers welcome the passage of recent legislation, signed by Governor Brown, amending Labor Code Section 515.8. The legislation addressed the impact of California’s increasing minimum wages on private schools and teachers. In general, teachers have been professionals, exempt from overtime, provided they earn at least two times the state minimum wage. However, because of increases to California’s minimum wage law over the next five years, private schools (especially those operating in urban areas with financially-challenged parents and guardians) were concerned with their ability to provide affordable education in their communities. This vitally important compromise was reached for private schools and their teachers, retaining their exempt status, but creating “salary equity,” by benchmarking the private school teachers’ future compensation to the future compensation of their counterparts in public schools. (more…)

Governor Brown Signs Legislation Providing Additional Workplace Protections for Victims of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016

On September 14, 2016 Governor Brown signed AB 2337 into law.

The bill amends existing law which prohibits employers from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for specified purposes related to addressing the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. (more…)

Police Can Use Illegally Seized Evidence to Defend § 1983 Claims

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016

On June 27, 2016, the Ninth Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of police officers in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Lingo v. City of Salem, 2014 WL 1347468. In reaching its decision, the Ninth Circuit held that the exclusionary rule does not apply in § 1983 cases. (more…)

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).


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.


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…)