Pages Navigation Menu

Legal Update

Young v. UPS – The Solicitor General (and EEOC) Get Caught Overreaching

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015

Despite how it may read on its face, the Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. United Parcel Service is not as far-reaching in some jurisdictions, such as California, as one may expect. In fact, a solid argument can be made that the Supreme Court decision mirrors California law requiring employers to give pregnant women on the job accommodations (such a light duty assignments) just as for other workers injured on the job. (more…)

California Appellate Court Holds that Homeless Individuals’ Allegations of Selective Enforcement Sufficient to State Equal Protection Challenge to Municipal Camping Ordinance

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015

On February 6, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, in Allen v. City of Sacramento, held that Plaintiffs, consisting of 22 homeless individuals and two people providing services to the homeless, had adequately stated a cause of action for declaratory relief based on allegations of selective enforcement of the City of Sacramento’s camping ordinance as applied to them. (more…)

New Revised Rules to CFRA Regulations Effective July 1, 2015

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015

With the new paid sick leave rule preoccupying the minds of most California employers, another set of rules is scheduled to also go into effect on July 1, 2015. Recently enacted on March 10, 2015, these rules are amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations. The rules are intended to more closely align the CFRA regulations with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations. These changes have long been sought by employers, who have grappled with the overlay of the FMLA regulations (amended in 2008) and the pre-2008 CFRA regulations (which did not incorporate the FMLA’s 2008 amended regulations). (more…)

UPDATE: Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service: Reimbursement of Personal Cell Phone Expenses for Work-Usage

Posted by on Mar 8, 2015

You may recall our discussion of the ambiguous Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services, Inc., the class action cell phone reimbursement case (you can read about it here). In Cochran, Colin Cochran filed a class action against his employer on behalf of himself and 1,500 customer service managers who sought reimbursement for expenses relating to the use of their personal cell phones for work. Among other alleged statutory violations, Mr. Cochran claimed that his employer, Schwan’s Home Service, violated Labor Code section 2802. The appellate court held that employees who are required to use their personal cell phones for work are entitled to reimbursement for “some reasonable percentage” of their personal cell phone bill. (more…)

What Employers Can Expect from the California Supreme Court in 2015

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015

California may be known as an employee-friendly state, but every once in a while the California Supreme Court will render a decision favorable to employers. In 2014, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank indicated that certifying wage and hour claims had become far too easy for plaintiffs to obtain. The Duran decision now requires trial courts to consider whether the trial of a certified claim can be one that is manageable – an issue that has been largely neglected until this decision. In another (somewhat) employer-friendly case, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, the California Supreme Court followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion in ruling that an class action waivers contained in arbitration agreements are enforceable. At the same time, Iskanian also held that a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) is not subject to mandatory arbitration and therefore, an employee’s right to file a PAGA claim cannot be waived by arbitration.

2015 promises to bring further changes in the following areas of employment law: (more…)

6 Tips to Consider for Your Employee Handbook

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) focused on a wide range of employer policies and procedures. For example, recently in December 2014, the NLRB held that if an employer allows its employees to use its email system at work, the employer must presumptively allow use of that employer-provided email system for “statutorily protected communications on non-working time.” Back in January 2014, the NLRB also struck down hospital rules that prohibited employees from making “negative comments about coworkers and from engaging in or listening to negativity or gossip.” (more…)

Retirement Benefits and the Basics of Contract Law

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015

An agreement to provide benefits for today does not insure that benefits will be provided next year. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court Keeps PAGA Representative Claims Intact From Arbitration

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015

On January 20, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, S204032 (June 23, 2014), a key California Supreme Court decision concerning class action arbitration waivers in California. (more…)

Employee’s On-Call Hours Spent On-Premises Counts as Hours Worked

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015

The California Supreme Court recently held unanimously in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. that the California wage order covering security guards entitles them to be compensated for any on-call hours spent at their assigned worksites. (more…)

Nonseverable Arbitration Clause Waiving Right to Bring PAGA Claim is Unenforceable

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015

California courts continue to wrestle with the enforceability of class action and representative action waivers that employees consent to when they enter into arbitration agreements. In a decision rendered just two days ago on January 7, 2015, the California Court of Appeals in Montano v. The Wet Seal Retail Inc. ruled that an employee’s waiver of his or her right to bring a representative action under the Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA” or California’s “Sue Your Boss” law) is unenforceable. (more…)