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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 .

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…)