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Legal Update

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 .

Employers Need Not Include Monetary Value of Employee Accrued Paid Vacation or PTO on Itemized Wage Statement

Posted by on Oct 22, 2016

In a case of first impression, Lidia Soto v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., the California Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District has found that California Labor Code Section 226(a) does not require employers to include the monetary value of an employee’s accrued paid vacation time in an employee wage statement until such time when the payment is due at the end of the employment relationship. (more…)

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).

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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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