Bonuses, Overtime Pay, and Class Actions

Overtime pay, or the alleged lack thereof, is an issue we regularly see pop up in the California courts. While California employers generally recognize that non-exempt employees (e.g. many hourly employees) who work overtime must receive overtime premiums on their base pay, not all are aware that these premiums may also be required on other, “supplemental” aspects of compensation to nonexempt employees. A common example? Bonuses.

PAGA Claims: Arbitration Not Allowed

The California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for alleged Labor Code violations. In other words, PAGA gives a private citizen the right to pursue fines that would normally only be available to the State of California, thereby allowing a private citizen to act as an “attorney general”. Defending these claims can be time consuming and costly for employers, and a California appellate court recently made things even more challenging for business owners across the state when it affirmed that arbitration is not permitted for PAGA claims. Indeed, arbitration clauses are undergoing a change up in employment agreements across the state, read more here.

San Fernando Valley Business Journal Features RPNA’s Supreme Court Win

RPNA’s $89 million judgment in a landmark class action employment suit was highlighted in the February 6, 2017 issue of San Fernando Valley Business Journal. The article discusses the impact of the 5-2 decision—which was argued in front of the California Supreme Court by RPNA partners Drew Pomerance and Michael Adreani—on how California employers approach meal and rest breaks. Specifically, it clarifies and sets…

Tracking Employees Offline

Thanks to technology, employers are essentially now able to track an employee’s every move. Whether it be on the internet, on sales routes, or in a production center, technological advancements have made it easy to monitor an employee’s movements in ways that could only be imagined a couple of decades ago. As we have discussed in the past, there are benefits and risks to tracking an employee through GPS software.

Benefits of Employee Monitoring

President Trump and Employment Policies to Watch

Since Election Day, speculation about the impact the Trump Administration will have on existing business and employment laws and regulations has abounded. Now that President Trump has taken office, what can we expect? Read on for my thoughts on how the Department of Labor, the EEOC, and the President’s own executive actions may have bearing in the areas of workplace disability and leave law.

Wage and Hour Class Actions and Smartphones

In today’s digitally-driven age, it seems that it would be surprising to have an employee who did not have a smartphone, tablet, or other similar device that allowed him to instantly ‘connect’. In fact, many California employers assume that it is a given that their employees own a smartphone and encourage them to also use it for work-related purposes. Unfortunately, doing so can land a business in legal hot water.

Is An Employer Responsible for Offering an Accommodation if an Employee Does Not Ask?

Most California employers seem to be cognizant of their legal responsibility to implement, if not vigorously consider, reasonable disability accommodations when an employee submits a related request. According to the EEOC, a reasonable accommodation is “any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability.” So what happens in the instance where the employee never asks? The employer might be expected to be a mind-reader, per a recent appellate court decision out of the Eighth Circuit.

Updating Employer Handbooks to Address New Domestic Violence Law

California business owners: Have you taken a look through your employee handbook in a while? Thanks, in part, to the numerous recent updates to state and federal employment law, it is probably time.

The new year is an ideal time to update employment policies. Maintaining current employee handbooks ensures that employees are aware of their rights—and those of their employer—under the law. For example, California law (in certain circumstances) allows employees to take time off work without retaliation. Additionally, as we discussed in this post on employees and the election, employees are allowed time off to vote and to serve on a jury. Most employees are also allowed unpaid, job-protected leave if they are disabled by pregnancy or other medical challenges. The employee handbook is a standard and effective means of sharing relevant company information with employees, and your attorney can help you update your handbook so it complies with both California and federal law.

California Labor Code Levels Playing Field on Choice of Law

On January 1, 2017, employers in California with headquarters outside of the Golden State will be treated the same as in-state employers insofar as applying California Law. Labor Code Section 925, which applies to employment contracts with employees who live and work primarily in California, prohibits the use of contract provisions that apply another state’s law or require adjudication of disputes in another state as a condition of the employment of an individual who primarily resides and works in California.