News & Analysis as of

California Employers Must Reimburse Employees for Mandatory Work-Related Cell Phone Use

In a ruling that may spawn a wave of California employment-related class action litigation, a California Court of Appeal has ruled that employers must always reimburse employees for “some reasonable percentage” of their cell...more

On whose dime? Court rules California employers must pay employee cell phone expenses

In a world where mobile devices outnumber both personal computers and humans, it’s not surprising that we use our mobile devices for both business and pleasure. In a published opinion sure to wreak havoc with workplace bring...more

Eleventh Circuit Upholds $83,000 Fine Against Employer for Failure to Send COBRA Dental Coverage Notice

Employers know that the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires them to send qualifying employees notice of their ability to continue group medical, dental and vision plan coverage at their own expense...more

Prompt Payment Requirements That Apply to Employees Who Quit Also Apply to Employees Who Retire

California’s Third District Court of Appeal recently concluded that the final wage payment requirements and waiting time penalties prescribed by Labor Code sections 202 and 203 apply not only to employees who quit, but also...more

Think Before You “Snail Mail” Those FMLA Notices

When I conduct employment trainings, I often caution executives and managers to think before they email. In my experience, people tend to be more casual and to use poorer judgment when they email than when they write a memo...more

Sexy ADA Issue: Bad Breakup May Not Justify Employer-Mandated Medical Exam

Rarely does one get a case that involves a cutting-edge Americans with Disabilities Act issue combined with wild, crazy, passionate, irrationally exuberant, tempestuous, adulterous romance. Well, folks, today is your lucky...more

The California Court of Appeal Finds That an Employee Expense is an Employee Expense is an Employee Expense

On Tuesday, August 12, 2014, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) published a decision that could impact many employers in California. The threshold question at issue in the case was whether an employer...more

Partial-Day Leave Deductions Lawful for Exempt Employees

A California court of appeal recently confirmed that employers may require exempt employees to use accrued leave for partial-day absences, even if shorter than four hours. In Rhea v. General Atomics, plaintiff Lori Rhea, on...more

Court of Appeals Rejects Mandatory Treble Damages Under Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last week, in the case of Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., the Court of Appeals had another opportunity to reflect on the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) and specifically discuss the application of...more

Let’s Shake On It: Texas Case Exemplifies the Perils of Adopting a Company-Wide Practice of Oral Agreements

An opinion out of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals demonstrates why employers need to be weary of developing a practice of oral agreements in regards to compensation upon which at-will employees may detrimentally rely. The...more

Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc.; Court Tells Employers to Pay Part of Employees’ Cell Phone Bills - Action required:...

Labor Code section 2802 requires an employer to reimburse an employee who uses a personal cell phone for work-related calls, according to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District....more

Third Circuit Says Classwide Arbitration a Matter for Courts to Decide

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled last week that courts, not arbitrators, should determine whether an agreement between two parties to arbitrate employment disputes allows for classwide arbitration....more

Employers May Deduct from Vacation Pay for Exempt Employee's Partial Day Absences of Less than Four Hours

An employee’s exempt status under both federal and California law is dependent on the employee’s duties falling within one of the exemptions (administrative, professional, executive) and the employee being paid on a “salary...more

Third Circuit Holds that Courts, Not Arbitrators, Should Rule on Classwide Arbitration

In Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that where an arbitration clause is silent as to the availability of classwide arbitration, that issue should...more

Fourth Circuit Says University President has Broad Authority to Require Medical Examinations Under ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from requiring employees to submit to medical examinations in the absence of business necessity. In an unpublished decision released last month, the Fourth Circuit Court...more

Sixth Circuit Voids FLSA Collective Action Waiver Signed as Part of Separation and Release Agreement in Killion v. KeHE...

On July 30, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a collective action waiver signed as part of a separation and release agreement. The ruling is significant because it is the first time a federal appellate...more

NJ Appellate Courts Permit Employers to Shorten Statute of Limitations Period Through Employment Applications

A New Jersey Appellate Court recently held that a provision in an employment application shortening the statute of limitation from two years to six months was enforceable under New Jersey law. As a result, the employee’s...more

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

Second Circuit Finds Auditors Exempt and Endorses Limits on Class Discovery

While the number of class or collective action lawsuits has exploded, decisions from Circuit Courts of Appeal, particularly on procedural issues, are still infrequent enough to warrant comment. In Pippins v. KPMG, Case No....more

Employers May Require Exempt Employees to Use Accrued Leave for Absences Shorter Than Half a Day

On July 21, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held that overtime exempt status is not undermined by requiring employees to use accrued leave for absences of less than half a day. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of Restrictions on Federal Agency Rulemaking in Mortgage Loan Officer Overtime Case

In our July 2013 alert, we reported on a federal appellate court ruling in Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris. Mortgage Bankers Association challenged a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 2010 opinion letter in support of...more

Rampant Sexual Misconduct in Indiana Prison Shows Pitfalls for Employers

Believe it or not, this is not a scene from the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s actually the opening lines from Orton-Bell v. Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014), an opinion authored by Judge Manion, and...more

Failure to Provide Anticipated Date of Return to Work Does Not Disqualify Employee From FMLA Leave

Under the Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act rules, employees who request foreseeable FMLA leave need to provide their employers with an anticipated date of return to work. These regulations, however, do not...more

Second Circuit Finds Possible Pretext in Vague Justification for Non-Transfer

On July 14th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated an award of summary judgment for the defendants in Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, et al., Case No. 13-111, holding that...more

Employment Law – Delivery Drivers Wrongfully Classified as Independent Contractors Rather Than Employees

Fernando Ruiz, et al. v. Affinity Logistics Corp. - United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (June 16, 2014) - The causes of action that can be asserted against an employer often depend on whether...more

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