Recent Blog Posts

  • Kevin Sullivan The cities of Santa Monica, Pasadena, and San Diego have each recently passed ordinances increasing the minimum wage effective July 1, 2016. And two of them have passed ordinances providing for paid sick leave beyond that required by California state law. Santa Monica The City of Santa Monica has passed a new ordinance providing for a city-wide minimum wage of $10.50 beginning July 1, 2016, $12.00 beginning July 1, 2017, and $13.25 beginning July 1, 2018, $14.25 beginning July 1, 2019,... More
  • Kevin Sullivan On March 31, 2016, the California legislature passed a bill that will gradually increase the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill on April 4, 2016. This increase will impact employers statewide. Not only will it affect the wages of many non-exempt employees, but it will also result in an increase in the minimum salary paid to employees who qualify for most overtime exemptions. The bill calls for the... More
  • On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, a donning and doffing case in which a class of employees had been awarded $2.9 million following a 2011 jury trial that relied on statistical evidence. (A subsequent liquidated damages award brought the total to $5.8 million.) In a 6-2 opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed that award.  While the Supreme Court’s decision may not have been the outcome many were expecting, the... More
  • On October 2, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1506, insulating employers from Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”)lawsuits based on employee wage statements if employers cure certain defects in the wage statements within 33 days of being put on notice of them. The law is being celebrated by some as a major development that will significantly reduce the number of PAGA lawsuits filed against California employers.  Unfortunately, there may be a bit of a misunderstanding about what the new law does... More
  • On June 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished opinion in Lemus v. Denny’s, Inc. The opinion provides guidance to California employers that require their employees to wear non-slip shoes as a condition of employment. California law generally requires that an employer must reimburse employees for “necessary expenditures.”  However, not all expenses are reimbursable. In addressing Denny’s requirement that employees wear non-slip black shoes for which they are not reimbursed, the Court noted that, under California law, a “‘restaurant employer must only... More
  • On June 8, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Tyson Foods’ petition for review of the Eighth Circuit’s decision affirming the district court’s class and collective certification of a donning and doffing case under what Tyson Foods has described as “seriously flawed procedures.” While it does not appear that the Supreme Court’s review will deal directly with the standards for donning and doffing – i.e., the practice of employees putting on and taking off their uniforms and/or personal protective equipment... More
  • On April 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted the employee’s petition for review of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., which reversed a near-$90 million judgment awarded in the favor of a certified class of current and former security guards on rest period claims, and also held that while “an on-call guard must return to duty if called to do so, [] remaining available to work is not the same as actually working.”... More
  • It is not often that long-standing laws cause a federal court to throw up its arms, but for the second time in little over a year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has done just that in attempting to understand a California employment law. Last year, the Ninth Circuit threw up its hands and asked the California Supreme Court to clarify California’s obscure “suitable seating” laws, about which we wrote here. Now, in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the Ninth Circuit has thrown... More
  • Employers in California – and healthcare employers in particular – have been besieged by wage-hour class actions for more than a decade. They have been sued repeatedly on claims that they have not complied with the terms of Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders. Now, as a result of a new decision from the California Court of Appeal, they may face lawsuits based not on a failure to comply with the language of a Wage Order, but because they in... More
  • On January 29, 2015, the California Court of Appeal published its long-awaited decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., reversing a near-$90 million judgment awarded in the favor of a certified class of current and former security guards on rest period claims. The decision is a welcome development for California employers, particularly those who ask employees to remain on-call while on breaks in case they are needed. The Court of Appeal explained that the trial court’s judgment had rested on... More