Latest Publications


Calculating Overtime Pay When Paying a Flat Sum Bonus in a Single Pay Period

Failing to comply with last week’s California Supreme Court order concerning overtime pay and lump sum bonuses may expose you to costly class actions like so many other California employers....more

Minimum Wage In The Many 'States' Of California

Once upon a time, employers could determine the minimum wage they needed to pay their employees by looking to the single state in which they conducted business. No more....more

Electronic Wage Statements — The Next Trap For Employers?

An employer dodged a bullet before a California jury this week. But the fact that a class was certified and went to a jury suggests that the plaintiff’s bar is increasingly focused on the adequacy of electronic wage...more

Ninth Circuit Says Plaintiff Might Get Fooled Again

Last week the Ninth Circuit reopened a key avenue in consumer false advertising class actions – injunctive relief. A growing number of trial courts had dismissed those claims, reasoning that plaintiffs who know of the alleged...more

Ninth Circuit: Procedural Violations Can Meet Standing Test

This week the Ninth Circuit offered plaintiffs who wish to bring both individual and class actions a potentially broad path to establish Article III standing based on mere allegations of procedural statutory violations. In...more

The War Between PAGA and Arbitration in California Continues - This Time Employers Win

Employers finally won a key victory in California courts in the continuing conflict between mandatory arbitration/class waiver agreements versus representative actions brought under the California Private Attorneys General...more

California Vacation Vesting Ruling Highlights Importance of Clear Policy Language

Can your employees claim they are owed vacation pay from their first day at work? Last week, the California Court of Appeal reminded employers in California of the importance of a clear vacation policy to avoid that...more

Unanimous California Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Plaintiffs to Discover Employee Contact Information - Williams v. Superior...

In a big blow to employers, the California Supreme Court unanimously held today that plaintiffs and their lawyers must be given access to companywide employee contact information—including addresses and phone numbers—at the...more

New Criminal History Hiring Regulations for California Employers

Employers hiring in California must be aware that on July 1, new California Fair Employment and Housing Council regulations take effect, limiting use of criminal history when making employment decisions. Every nationwide...more

California Supreme Court Puts to Rest Labor Code Interpretation

Like the Good Lord, California employees are guaranteed one day of rest every workweek under a new California Supreme Court decision, which will have broad implications for employers in California, especially those in the...more

Federal Court Holds California Insurance Code Bars Duty to Defend Against False Claims Act Violations

The Central District of California held that Section 533 of the Insurance Code eliminated any potential for coverage for suit under the state False Claims Act. On January 4, the U.S. District Court for the Central...more

California Supreme Court Holds that Whether Arbitration Will Proceed on Class Basis is an Issue for Arbitrator, not Court

California’s back-and-forth on arbitrations and class actions continued again this week. In a key 4-3 decision the California Supreme Court held that the arbitrator—not the court—can decide whether an arbitration...more

Court Finds that False Claims Act Suit Alleges Uninsurable “Willful Acts”

A federal court has ruled that a whistleblower suit under California’s False Claims Act alleged a “willful act” that cannot be covered by liability insurance. In Office Depot Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Company, Case...more

2015 Food Industry Decisions With Bite

Food for Thought is a review of significant court decisions affecting the food, beverage, dietary supplements and personal care products industry. Although many cases in this edition focus on class certification, others...more

Supreme Court Confirms Enforceability of Class Action Waivers

For the second time in four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled a California decision that refused to enforce an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) trumps...more

Food for Thought: Organic Food Act Doesn't Preempt Certain State Law Mislabeling Claims

On December 3, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that state law claims of intentional mislabeling produce as organic are not preempted by the Organic Food Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6522). In Quesada v. Herb...more

California Supreme Court Endorses More Consumer Class False Advertising Litigation in Organic Food Decision

“Labels matter,” the California Supreme Court began its unanimous December 3 opinion. Expect that to be the new rallying cry of plaintiff class action lawyers when suing consumer companies for alleged false advertising....more

CFPB Proposes Banning Use of Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements in Consumer Class Actions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) announced today that it is considering rules prohibiting application of pre-dispute arbitration agreements to class litigation involving certain consumer financial...more

California Employment Law and Arbitration: The Battle Intensifies

Tuesday, by a two-to-one vote, the Ninth Circuit joined the California Supreme Court in holding that Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims are an exception to the Federal Arbitration Act. In Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail...more

California Employment Law and Arbitration: The Battle Intensifies

Yesterday, by a two-to-one vote, the Ninth Circuit joined the California Supreme Court in holding that Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims are an exception to the Federal Arbitration Act. In Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail...more

Employment Settlement "Don't Reapply" Clauses Threatened by Ninth Circuit Expansion of California's Business and Professions Code...

Settlements of most employment claims include the employee’s promise not to reapply to the settling employer. The reason is if the employee reapplies after getting the settlement money and is then denied new employment, the...more

California’s Inconsistent Treatment of Pre-Dispute Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Will Remain in Place

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant review in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, leaving in place a California Supreme Court holding that pre-dispute arbitration agreements cannot require...more

Legislation Reforms California’s Insurance Community Investment Program

On September 17, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation intended to reform the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) program. The COIN program is a partnership among the California Department of...more

California Law on Arbitration Changes... Again

The California Supreme Court today confirmed the validity of an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action contained in an arbitration agreement. That’s the good news. However, the court also held that these...more

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