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California Legislative Update: August 2014

AB 2074 amends Section 1194.2 of the California Labor Code to allow an employee who alleges minimum wage violations to file suit for liquidated damages any time before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the...more

8/29/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Health Insurance Legislative Agendas Liquidated Damages Minimum Wage Pending Legislation Wage and Hour Waiting Periods

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

8/29/2014 - Appeals Corporate Counsel Dominos Employer Liability Issues Fast-Food Industry FEHA Franchises Restaurant Industry Vicarious Liability

California Court Interprets Vague Language in Arbitration Agreement in Favor of Employee

Rebolledo v. Tilly’s Inc., No. G048625 (July 8, 2014): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal held that an employer cannot compel arbitration of a wage claim when the language in the parties’ arbitration agreement...more

8/29/2014 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employer Liability Issues Putative Class Actions Wage and Hour

A Bird’s Eye View of the DFEH: An Interview with Patti Perez (Part 2)

In part one of our interview with Patti Perez, Esq., SPHR, president and CEO of Puente Consulting, and member of the DFEH’s Fair Employment and Housing Council, Perez shared insights on her role as a DFEH councilmember and...more

8/29/2014 - CFRA DFEH Fair Housing New Regulations Proposed Regulation

A Bird’s-Eye View of the DFEH: An Interview with Patti Perez

From defining accommodation provisions for assistive animals to calculating pregnancy disability leave, the matters addressed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) regulations are extensive. In this...more

8/1/2014 - DFEH Fair Housing

Ninth Circuit Allows Deputies to Proceed with Sex Discrimination Suit

Anderson v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 11-16746 (July 2, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) may have violated Title VII of the...more

8/1/2014 - Civil Rights Act Employer Liability Issues Sex Discrimination Title VII

California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

7/31/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Rights Healthcare Healthcare Reform Jerry Brown Legislative Agendas Same-Sex Marriage

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

7/30/2014 - Appeals Employer Liability Issues FAAAA Independent Contractors Misclassification Trucking Industry Unfair Competition Wage and Hour

California Governor Signs Bill Giving Small Businesses Extra Time To Comply With ACA

On July 7, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will give small business owners additional time to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill takes effect immediately as an urgency statute. Senate Bill...more

7/14/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates New Legislation Small Business

Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee From Unemployment Benefits, California High Court Rules

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided whether a single act of disobedience by an employee constitutes misconduct within the meaning of section 1256 of California’s Unemployment Insurance Code, thereby...more

7/7/2014 - Employee Benefits Unemployment Benefits Unemployment Insurance

California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status

On June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing how trial courts should determine the appropriateness of class certification in cases where workers claim they were improperly classified as...more

7/2/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Employer Liability Issues Exempt-Employees Media Misclassification Newspapers Non-Exempt Employees Wage and Hour

California Supreme Court: Undocumented Worker May Recover Lost Wages for Period Up to Employer’s Discovery of Immigration Status

Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., S196568 (June 26, 2014): On June 26, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that federal immigration law does not preempt a California law that extends state law protections to...more

6/30/2014 - After-Acquired Evidence Employer Liability Issues FEHA Immigration Records Lost Wages Unclean Hands Undocumented Immigrants

Two California Appellate Decisions “Delegate” Authority From Courts to Arbitrators

Two divisions of the California Court of Appeal recently issued two significant decisions on arbitration agreements. Both courts held that a trial court lacks authority to determine the enforceability of an arbitration...more

6/30/2014 - Administrative Authority Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements

Don’t Wait Until Trial Is Over to Raise Objection As to Court’s Jurisdiction, Says California Court

Kim v. Konad USA Distribution, No. G048443 (June 12, 2014): In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal held that an employer that waited until a trial ended to raise an objection about exhausting administrative...more

6/30/2014 - Administrative Remedies Appeals Employer Liability Issues FEHA Jurisdiction

California Labor Commissioner Aims to Reach Broad Range of Workers With New Website

On April 30, 2014, California Labor Commissioner Julie Su launched a new website called Wage Theft Is a Crime. The website aims to educate workers in low-wage industries such as agriculture, hospitality, and construction...more


Arbitration Agreement Only Partially Translated to Spanish Raises Red Flag With California Court

Carmona v. Lincoln Millennium Car Wash, Inc., B248143 (pub. order May 9, 2014): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s finding that an arbitration agreement was unconscionable....more

6/2/2014 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Contract Hiring & Firing Putative Class Actions Translations Wage and Hour

Settlement Agreements: Forgetting Costs May Cost You in California

DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, No. H038184 (May 2, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of whether one of the parties in a litigation can be considered to be...more

6/2/2014 - Appeals Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Legal Costs Litigation Fees & Costs Prevailing Party Settlement

Let the Countdown Begin — Only a Few Weeks Before California’s Minimum Wage Increase

In one month, minimum wage earners in California will get a “raise.” On July 1, 2014, the state’s new minimum wage will increase from $8 per hour to $9 per hour. (The minimum wage will get another bump in January 2016, when...more

6/2/2014 - Employee Rights Minimum Wage

California Supreme Court Preserves Employer’s Right to Litigate Defenses in Class Action Trial

Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. S200923, California Supreme Court (May 29, 2014): On May 29, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that employers that are defending class action claims of...more

6/2/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Employer Liability Issues Misclassification

Contract That Shortens Time For Bringing Employment Claims Rejected By California Court

Ellis v. U.S. Security Associates, No. A136028 (March 20, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently held that an employer cannot contractually shorten the amount of time that an employee has to bring an action under the...more

5/1/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract FEHA

California Court Finds Employers Can Seek Evaluation After Employee Returns From FMLA Leave

White v. County of Los Angeles, B243471 (April 15, 2014): In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal held that an employer can seek a second opinion of an employee’s fitness for duty after the employee returns from...more

5/1/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA

California Court Gives The Green Light For Arbitration Of Wrongful Termination Suit

Sanchez v. CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, B244772 (March 4, 2014): The California Court of Appeal recently found that an employer’s arbitration agreement and dispute resolution rules and procedures (DRRP) are not...more

4/17/2014 - Arbitration Employer Liability Issues Termination

Continuous Video Surveillance Of Truck Drivers Does Not Violate California Law

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently issued a published opinion on whether continuous video surveillance of truck drivers during their on-the-job driving constitutes a misdemeanor under California Labor Code...more

3/31/2014 - Surveillance Trucking Industry

Former University Employee Ordered To Pay $100,000 In Attorneys’ Fees For Bringing Frivolous FEHA Action

Robert v. Stanford University, H037514 (February 25, 2014): The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed an award of $100,000 in attorneys’ fees to a prevailing employer in a case where a former employee brought a...more

3/31/2014 - Attorney's Fees FEHA Frivolous Lawsuits

Ninth Circuit Rejects Suit Brought By Worker Who Expressly Declined To Take FMLA Leave

Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Nos. 11-17608 and 12-15320 (February 25, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee can affirmatively decline to use leave under the Family and...more

3/28/2014 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA Waivers

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