Employment Law Commentary - Volume 24, No. 2 - February 2011


In this issue:

Employees Can Now Sue for Suitable Seating (Among Other Things): Bright v. 99 Cents Only Stores and Home Depot U.S.A. v. Superior Court (Harris); Home Depot U.S.A. v. Superior Court (Harris); Update: The NLRB and Facebook; and What Should Employers Do Now?.

Excerpt from 'Employees can Now Sue...':

California employers should be aware of two recent decisions issued by the Second District Court of Appeal that allow employees a private right of action to pursue monetary remedies under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) for violations of the Industrial Wage Commission (“IWC”) Orders: Bright v. 99 Cents Only Stores and Home Depot U.S.A. v. Superior Court. The IWC Wage Orders are generally known for establishing minimum wage and overtime requirements. However, they also establish standard labor conditions for employees. For example, IWC Wage Order 7-2001 requires that all retail employers in California provide: facilities for securing hot food and drink for meal periods between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., lockers or closets for safekeeping of employees’ outerwear, resting facilities for employees in an area separate from the bathroom, “suitable seating” for employees, and a temperature of not less than 68º in the toilet, changing, and resting rooms. The wage order itself does not provide damages for violations of these standards and only provides penalties if an employee is underpaid. The Bright and Home Depot decisions will now allow employees to pursue civil penalties under PAGA when employers do not meet these obscure standards.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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