Posts from February 2011.
02.25.2011

Not every cloud has a silver lining, but some do, and the California Court of Appeal's decision today in Thomas McGann v. United Parcel Service, Inc., contains a terrific silver lining for employers. Thomas McGann was employed by United Parcel Service, Inc., ("UPS") for a number of years and worked as an On Road Supervisor. UPS classified Mr. McGann as an exempt employee and therefore did not pay Mr. McGann ...

02.18.2011

As we previously reported here and here, two recent decisions of the California Court of Appeal hold an employee may seek Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA") penalties for alleged violations of an Industrial Welfare Commission ("IWC") wage order requirement that employers provide employees suitable seats in the workplace when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats. For example ...

02.18.2011

On February 17, 2011, the California Court of Appeal ordered published (and therefore citable) its previously unpublished (and therefore not citable) decision in Drake Price v. Starbucks Corporation, a decision that should prove helpful to employers defending against claims for allegedly non-compliant wage statements, which are nearly always included in wage and hour class action lawsuits.

Labor Code

02.17.2011

Labor Code section 226.7 states that if an employer fails to "provide" an employee a meal period or a rest period in accordance with an applicable Industrial Welfare Commission wage order, "the employer shall pay the employee the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided."

In our experience, many if not most ...

02.17.2011

Today, in Kevin Tien v. Tenet Healthcare Corporation, et al., the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of class certification of the plaintiff's claims and held an employer's obligation to "provide" non-exempt employees all meal periods required by Labor Code section 512 and by the applicable Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order means the employer is required to make such meal ...

02.15.2011

On February 7, 2011, in Arechiga v. Dolores Press, Inc., the California Court of Appeal upheld California’s “explicit mutual wage agreement” doctrine.  “Under that doctrine,” said the court, “an employer and [non-exempt] employee may lawfully agree to a guaranteed fixed salary so long as the employer pays the employee for all overtime at least one and one-half times the employee’s basic ...

02.15.2011

Relying on data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Daily Journal reports sexual harassment claims have generally declined over the last decade from 15,222 claims in 1999 to 11,717 claims in 2010 (a decline of approximately 23%).  However, in 2010, sexual harassment claims by men rose to an all-time high of approximately 16% of the sexual harassment claims filed.  The Daily Journal ...

02.11.2011

Hopefully, most employers are aware of California's laws requiring employers to reasonably accommodate an employee who desires to express milk for the employee's infant child. In a nutshell, California Labor Code sections 1030 and 1031 require an employer to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee's desire to express milk for her infant child and to provide the employee the use ...

02.10.2011

On July 22, 2008, in Brinker v. Superior Court, the Court of Appeal held that while an employer is required to "provide" to non-exempt employees at least one an unpaid, duty-free meal period of at least 30 minutes each workday of more than 6 hours, the obligation to "provide" required meal  periods means to make the required meal periods available and not to ensure that employees take all required meal periods.  ...

02.05.2011

In Arzate v. Bridge Terminal Transport, Inc., a wage and hour class action case brought by members of the Teamsters Union who own and operate their own trucks against defendant Bridge Terminal Transport, Inc., a common carrier engaged in the business of transportation, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, holding that whether the plaintiffs were employees ...

02.03.2011

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been named to the 2011 edition of Southern California Super Lawyers: Steven D. Atkinson, Michael J. Baker, Helen R. Frazer, Edward C. Ho, Thomas W. Kovacich, Irma Rodríguez Moisa, Mark T. Palin, Robert R. Roginson, and Robert L. Wenzel.

Southern California Super Lawyers is an annual publication produced by Thomson Reuters ...

02.02.2011

In another case brought by the Ralph’s grocery chain challenging the enforceability of California’s anti-labor injunction statutes, a California appellate court held on January 27, 2011 that Labor Code Sections 527.3 and 1138.1 are unconstitutional because they grant greater free speech rights in “public forums” to unions engaged in labor disputes than are allowed to others. In Ralphs Grocery ...

02.02.2011

Is the fiancé of an employee who has made a sex discrimination charge against her employer protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal anti-discrimination law? Yes, said the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Thompson v. North American Steel decided January 24, 2011.

The case was filed by Eric Thompson, who was terminated three weeks after his bride-to-be Miriam Regalado filed a charge with ...

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