RPNA’s Drew Pomerance Speaks At RIMS 2017 National Conference

RPNA joined forces with Lockton to present an informative session at this year’s National RIMS Conference in Philadelphia, titled “Walking the FMLA-ADA-Workers’ Compensation Tightrope.“

RPNA Co-Managing Partner Drew Pomerance and Lockton Vice President Tamara Johnson discussed the interactive process between FMLA, the ADA, and workers’ compensation claims. They offered effective strategies and processes to minimize exposure to civil claims while improving claims outcomes for guaranteed cost, self-insured retention or qualified self-insured coverage. Additionally, they helped risk managers unravel the confusion caused by increased regulation and shared their insights on how to equip workers with the correct information and benefits, while being an advocate for their recovery.

Drew Pomerance & Michael Adreani Win Landmark CA Supreme Court Rest Break Class Action

Supreme Court Reinstates $89 Million Judgment in Landmark Class Action Employment Suit

Decision expected to carry significant ramifications for the California workplace for years to come.

The Supreme Court of California today overturned an appellate court ruling in the landmark case of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, ending an eleven-year battle and upholding the trial court decision that “on-duty” rest breaks are in violation of California wage and hour laws. The court reinstated the trial court’s award of $89.7 million in wages, interest and penalties to a class of approximately 15,000 former and present ABM security guards. Lead counsel for the class were Drew Pomerance and Michael Adreani of Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye & Adreani, LLP (RPNA).

The Supreme Court’s precedential decision clarifies and sets forth the standard for all California employers to easily follow: that employees need to be relieved of all duties during their rest break.

Supreme Court Issues Key Ruling Affecting Employers

It is time to carefully review arbitration agreements and class action waivers.

A few days ago the California Supreme Court delivered its highly anticipated ruling in the Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive case on the issue of whether it is the court or the arbitrator who decides whether an employment law case can proceed as a class action, or whether the plaintiff can only proceed on an individual basis.

Sandquist was filed as a discrimination claim by an employee who pled both individual and class claims against his employer. The plaintiff employee had signed an arbitration agreement. The defendant employer filed a motion to compel arbitration, and dismiss the class action.

Nicholas Roxborough Honored by United Cerebral Palsy

RPNA co-managing partner, Nick Roxborough, was honored by United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles at the 20th Annual UCP Golf Tournament on June 6. More than 300 people attended the tournament and gala dinner that followed, raising approximately $400,000 for the organization.

As the former President of the Spastic Children’s Endowment Foundation, having served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and currently winding up his term as Chairman of the Board of Governors, Nick has been deeply committed to supporting the UCP Family and their mission for the last 28 years.

A highlight of the evening was a special video tribute to Nick by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who acknowledged Nick’s accomplishments and impact on the city of Los Angeles:

New Overtime-Pay Rule Expected to Swell Payroll Costs and Increase Wage and Hour Lawsuits

For the first time since 2005, the United States Department of Labor has issued an updated regulation automatically extending overtime pay eligibility to 4.2 million “white collar” workers previously exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay requirements. The updated regulation is almost certain to swell payroll costs and increase wage and hour lawsuits.

Under the current regulations, a “white collar” worker, otherwise meeting the standard duties test to be considered exempt from overtime, must be paid a salary of $455 per week ($23,660 annually for a full-year worker). The updated regulation more than doubled the minimum salary required for an employee to be exempt from overtime (to $913 per week, $47,476 annually for a full-year worker).

Arbitration Agreements Should Be Unambiguous And Definitive

Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive Inc. may seem like a typical employment lawsuit. However, it involves a very significant issue that has now been taken up to the California Supreme Court for resolution. The issue is who determines whether a class claim may be brought and heard before an arbitrator—the court or the arbitrator itself —when the arbitration agreement is unclear or silent as to whether class claims may be brought through arbitration. The high court’s ruling will potentially affect all employers.

The underlying facts of the Sandquist case revolve around a discrimination claim by an employee, pled as both individual and class claims. The plaintiff had signed an arbitration agreement, and as such, the defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration, which was granted by the court. Of significance is the court’s ruling that the plaintiff was bound to an individual arbitration claim and could not pursue a class claim at all.

9th Circuit Scores One For Employers!

With the prevalence of class action lawsuits in an employee-friendly state like California, employers must be aware of proper time card rounding policies and what work is being conducted off the clock by their employees.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal recently issued a pro-employer decision approving the use of time card rounding and solidifying the application of the de minimis rule in California.

Courts Decide Whether Arbitration Clauses Are Unenforceable, Not Arbitrators

RPNA attorneys Nicholas Roxborough, Joseph Gjonola and Ryan Salsig won a victory for California workers’ comp policyholders with the recent court decision stating Applied Underwriters, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, can’t enforce the arbitration provision in side agreements that were not filed with the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB).

What makes this March 16 decision in RPNA’s case Luxor Cabs v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company significant is that it’s the first decision in a California court to state expressly it is the court, not arbitrators, who will decide whether or not arbitration clauses are enforceable. It is also the first California decision to state expressly that arbitration clauses are void and unenforceable when the underlying agreements have not been filed with the WCIRB, an issue being litigated in many other jurisdictions across the country.