Posts from July 2010.

On July 28, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have removed the exemption for agricultural employees from overtime and meal period requirements under California law. 

Late last week, Governor Schwarzenegger approved a clarification of the law on appeals of Labor Commissioner decisions.  Meanwhile, SB 1121, concerning overtime for agricultural workers, reached the Governor's desk on July 20, and the Senate amended a bill concerning background checks.  A summary of these bills and key developments follow below.

In one of the first decisions interpreting the legal enforceability of California’s anti-labor injunction statute, a California appellate court held on July 19, 2010 that the law did not prevent a grocery store from obtaining an injunction against a union for picketing on its private property. The court specifically held that the statute, Labor Code section 1138.1, was unconstitutional as applied to that dispute because it conferred greater legal protection on picketing than other forms of speech, and declared labor protests on private property to be legal even though a similar protest concerning a different issue would constitute trespassing.

Sometimes, in refusal to hire cases, older applicants argue that they were victims of age discrimination if they were not offered job interviews or considered for the position applied for. In the case of Reeves v. MV Transportation, Inc. filed July 9, 2010, a California appellate court rejected just such a claim, in the case of a transportation company who hired a younger attorney for an in-house general counsel position based on a favorable general impression and a recommendation from a known colleague.

Two employment-related bills we have been tracking were sent to Governor Schwarzenegger this month:

AB 2772 (Swanson) Appeal Bonds - This bill would clarify that an employer wishing to appeal an administrative judgment by the Labor Commissioner is required to first post a bond.

Labor Code Section 98.2 currently provides: "Whenever an employer files an appeal pursuant to this section, the employer shall ...

When employers seek to compel employees to arbitrate their claims under an Arbitration Agreement, they are often met with arguments that they have “waived” their right to arbitrate by waiting too long to seek it or by engaging in acts inconsistent with the arbitral process.  In the recent case of Zamora v. Lehman, filed June 29, 2010, the California Court of Appeal held that just such a waiver occurred, by virtue of a party having sought extensive discovery in court proceedings before it tried to enforce an arbitration agreement.

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