• Posts by Lauren Fierro
    Posts by Lauren Fierro
    Senior Associate

    Lauren Fierro is an associate in the Commercial and Complex Litigation Practice Group where she divides her practice between private labor and employment litigation, advice and counsel, and business and commercial litigation ...

How to Reduce the Risk of Future Litigation When Reducing Your Workforce

Given the current state of the economy, many employers are considering reductions in work hours and potential layoffs.  As businesses consider taking action to save money and prevent potential closure, they must do so carefully in order to manage and reduce risk of future litigation related to its actions.  This blog discusses the appropriate steps that a business must take when conducting a reduction in force (“RIF”).

Question and Answers: What You Need to Know Before Conducting a Group Layoff

Recent mass layoffs by tech companies, such as Twitter and Meta, have made headlines.  The massive layoff by Twitter on November 4, 2022 has already resulted in a lawsuit filed by former Twitter employees for violations of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act.  The WARN Act requires certain employers to provide 60-day advance notice in cases of qualified plant closings and mass layoffs, allowing employees and their families with transition time to seek alternate employment or skills training.

California Court of Appeal Confirms That 2018 Federal Regulation Preempts California Meal and Rest Break Laws for Truck Drivers but Holds Regulation is Not Retroactive

On December 28, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) issued a regulation under the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (49 U.S.C. § 31101, et seq.) that preempted California’s meal and rest break rules.  In doing so, the FMCSA decided that California may no longer enforce its meal and rest break laws with respect to drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles.

In Magadia v. Wal-mart Associates, Inc., et al., No. 19-16184, 2021 WL 2176584 (9th Cir. May 28, 2021), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the district court’s award of $102 million to an employee who sued the company alleging that he and other employees did not receive compliant wage statements or meal periods.  Unlike the district court, the Ninth Circuit found that the former employee who sued Walmart had suffered no meal period violations, and thus the employee had no standing to sue on behalf of others.  The Ninth Circuit also held that the district court incorrectly concluded Walmart’s wage statements did not comply with California law.

Categories: Litigation, PAGA
President Biden’s Administration Halts Department of Labor’s Final Rule for Worker Classification

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced the new final rule for worker classifications called the “economic reality” test. The new DOL final rule provided that two core factors were to be examined to determine whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor under federal law: (1) the nature and degree of control over the work; and (2) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment. As previously discussed here, these requirements are much less stringent than the “ABC” test adopted by California, which requires that the worker perform work outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business and that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature.

Categories: Wage & Hour

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) just announced a “final rule” setting forth the standard for worker classifications – employee versus independent contractor – under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The FLSA establishes federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for the public and private sectors.  All employers in the United States must abide by the FLSA; however, many states, including California, set forth more stringent requirements for worker classifications. 

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