Recent Blog Posts
- California Supreme Court’s Clarification of De Minimis Doctrine Leaves Many Questions Unanswered – and Does Little to Ease Plaintiffs’ Path to Class Certification Continue Reading… On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation, ostensibly clarifying the application of the widely adopted de minimis doctrine to California’s wage-hour laws. But while the Court rejected the application of the de minimis rule under the facts presented to it, the Court did not reject the doctrine outright. Instead, it left many questions unanswered.
And even while it rejected the application of the rule under the facts presented, it did not... More
- The Ninth Circuit Concludes That the Terms of Taco Bell’s On-Premises Meal Periods Comply with California Meal Period Laws Continue Reading… On July 18, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion in Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp., approving Taco Bell’s on-premises meal periods for employees who choose to purchase discounted food.
Like many food services employers, Taco Bell offers discounts on its food to its employees. And it requires that employees consume such food on premises.
In Rodriguez, employees contended that requiring employees to consume discounted meals on premises results in a meal period or unpaid wage violation, arguing that employees must... More
- California Court of Appeal Concludes That There Is No Wage Statement Violation When an Employee’s Paystubs Accurately Reflect the Wages That Employee Was Paid Continue Reading… When California employees bring lawsuits alleging minimum wage, overtime, meal period or rest period violations, they typically bring additional claims that are purportedly “derivative” of these substantive claims. One of these derivative claims is for wage statement (i.e., paystub) violations, alleging that because the employee was paid not all wages he or she allegedly earned, the wage statements he or she was provided were not accurate.
The maximum penalty for a wage statement violation under the California Labor Code is $4,000... More
- California Supreme Court Adopts “ABC Test” for Independent Contractors Continue Reading… On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, clarifying the standard for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees or as independent contractors for purposes of the wage orders adopted by California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”). In so doing, the Court held that there is a presumption that individuals are employees, and that an entity classifying an individual as an independent contractor bears the burden... More
- Federal Court Concludes That 7-Eleven Franchisees Are Not Employees of 7-Eleven Continue Reading… In November 2017, four convenience store franchisees brought suit in federal court against 7-Eleven, Inc., alleging that they and all other franchisees were employees of 7-Eleven. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, entitled Haitayan, et al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc., case no. CV 17-7454-JFW (JPRx).
In alleging that they were 7-Eleven’s employees, the franchisees brought claims for violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the California Labor Code, alleging... More
- Labor Issues in the Gig Economy: Federal Court Concludes That GrubHub Delivery Drivers are Independent Contractors under California Law Continue Reading… Recently, a number of proposed class and collective action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of so-called “gig economy” workers, alleging that such workers have been misclassified as independent contractors. How these workers are classified is critical not only for workers seeking wage, injury and discrimination protections only available to employees, but also to employers desiring to avoid legal risks and costs conferred by employee status. While a number of cases have been tried regarding other types of independent contractor... More
- California Passes New Law Making Contractors Jointly Liable for Their Subcontractors’ Failure to Pay Wages Continue Reading… On October 14, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1701, which will make general contractors liable for their subcontractors’ employees’ unpaid wages if the subcontractor fails to pay wages due. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
Specifically, section 218.7 has been added to the Labor Code. Subdivision (a)(1) provides the following:
For contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, a direct contractor making or taking a contract in the state for the erection,... More
- Nike Prevails in California Bag Check Case Continue Reading… Because of concerns about employee theft, many employers have implemented practices whereby employees are screened before leaving work to ensure they are not taking merchandise with them. While these practices are often implemented in retail stores, other employers use them as well when employees have access to items that could be slipped into a bag or a purse.
Over the last several years, the plaintiffs’ bar has brought a great many class actions and collective actions against employers across the country,... More
- California Court of Appeal Concludes That a Collective Bargaining Agreement Can Waive an Employee’s Right to Bring Statutory Claims in a Judicial Forum Continue Reading… As courts continue to address whether and when employers can compel employees to arbitrate their wage-hour claims, the California Court of Appeal has issued a decision in Cortez v. Doty Bros. Equipment Company, No. B275255, ___ Cal. App. 5th ___ (2017), that should be of great help to many California employers with collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) that include arbitration provisions.
The United States Supreme Court and multiple California courts have held that a CBA may require arbitration of an employee’s statutory... More
- California Court of Appeal Reverses Previous Decision and Affirms the Use of Second Meal Period Waivers for Health Care Employers Continue Reading… A little more than two years ago, we wrote about how a California Court of Appeal’s decision exposed health care employers to litigation if they relied upon IWC Wage Order 5 for meal period waivers. That decision was Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (“Gerard I”), where the Court of Appeal concluded that IWC Wage Order 5 was partially invalid to the extent it authorized second meal period waivers on shifts over 12 hours. Much has happened since then.