Posts from July 2011.
07.27.2011

As we previously reported here, the California Court of Appeals decided in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court that an employer's obligation to "provide" to non-exempt employees meal periods required by the Labor Code and the applicable Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders is to make those meal periods available and not to ensure that employees take the meal periods provided to them.  

07.27.2011

As we previously reported here and here, in May, the National Labor Relations Board filed complaints against at least two employers alleging the employers violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") by disciplining employees on account of disparaging statements the employees posted on Facebook statements criticizing their employers. In one of those cases, the employer terminated an employee for ...

07.20.2011

As we previously reported here, the California Court of Appeals decided in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court that an employer's obligation to "provide" to non-exempt employees meal periods required by the Labor Code and the applicable Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders is to make those meal periods available and not to ensure that employees take the meal periods provided to them.  

07.16.2011

Employment litigation often gives rise to discovery demands by the plaintiff(s) seeking information about the employer's other current and former employees who are not parties to the litigation and, often, employment records of such non-party employees. This occurs in both class action cases and in non-class action cases. In many cases, such discovery demands are little more than thinly disguised fishing expeditions at the employer's expense. Although existing case law recognizes the privacy rights of non-party current and former employees and generally requires courts to balance those privacy rights against the legitimate discovery needs of plaintiffs in employment cases and to employ certain safeguards, those laws are not always consistently applied by trial courts.

07.14.2011

In Zullo v. Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal once again struck down an employer-employee arbitration agreement based on the court's conclusion that the arbitration agreement was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable and therefore unenforceable. The decision serves as a reminder to employers that arbitration provisions considered to be overly one-sided in favor of the employer are likely to be struck down by California courts.

07.13.2011

Today, the California Court of Appeal held in Brown v. Ralph's Grocery Company that the decision of the trial court denying enforcement of a class action waiver contained in an arbitration agreement between Ralph's Grocery Company and its employees was not supported by substantial evidence but held, also, that a provision of that arbitration agreement barring employees from pursuing claims under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 ("PAGA") is unenforceable because, according to that court, the recent decision of  Supreme Court of the United States in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, previously discussed here, does not apply to representative actions brought under PAGA. Further, the Court of Appeal remanded the case back to the trial court for a determination of whether the arbitration agreement is enforceable except for the PAGA waiver or is unenforceable in its entirety because of the PAGA waiver.  

07.13.2011

The Daily Journal issued today its annual list of leading California Labor and Employment Law attorneys. We are pleased to report that two AALRR attorneys were recognized on this year's list, Nate J. Kowolski, a partner in the Firm's Employer Services Practice Group, and Howard A. Sagaser, also a partner in the Firm's Employer Services Practice Group. Click here to read more.

07.12.2011

In another of several recent decisions in class action cases issued by California appellate courts, the Second District Court of Appeal last week upheld the denial of class certification in a case brought on behalf of accountants for unpaid overtime. (Soderstedt v. CBIZ, July 7, 2011).  The court found that because the responsibilities of each of the alleged class members differed with their levels of ...

07.11.2011

The National Law Journal announced today it named Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo to The National Law Journal's 2011 Midsize Hot List.  The National Law Journal reports it "settled on 20 firms that demonstrated excellence in the courtroom or boardroom; that spotted a niche that eluded their competitors or that excelled on many fronts . . . firms that clearly stand apart from your everyday law firm."

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