Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts for: California

Photo of Sean Brown
Jul 16 2019
Wage and Hour  

California employers must pay, even for brief periods of work

Nonexempt employees must be paid for all time worked under California’s Labor Code, even very brief periods of work, according to a recent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In general, nonexempt employees (often called hourly employees) must be paid for all time spent performing work, but federal law…

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Photo of Jodi Slavik
Jun 21 2019
Wage and Hour  

$102M awarded for wage statement and meal violations in California

A federal district court in California recently awarded Wal-Mart employees $102 million in damages and penalties for missed meals and insufficient wage statements. The class action claim was divided into three parts: missed meals, wage statements missing hourly rates, and final pay statements without pay period start and end dates.…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
May 06 2019
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Termination was for threats, not age discrimination

A drug store pharmacist who had been employed by a company for 34 years was terminated for threatening to use a gun at work, not because of his age or for reporting discrepancies in the store’s drug inventory, ruled a federal district court in California. A coworker reported to HR that the…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Jul 03 2018
Wage and Hour  

Penalty for missed rest periods in California includes all compensation

A federal district court in California has ruled that when calculating the additional one hour of pay at the regular rate for missed rest periods under California Labor Code 226.7, an employer must include not only base pay, but also commissions, incentives, and bonuses. A group of 4,481 home mortgage…

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 29 2018
Harassment & DiscriminationWage and Hour  

Brace for impact of pay equity laws

With Starbucks’ recent announcement that the company has achieved 100 percent pay equity by race and gender for U.S. workers performing similar jobs, most employers are left wondering how Starbucks got there—and how they can get there, too. The topic of equal pay continues to make headlines, and California, Oregon, and Washington are at the…

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 11 2018
Wage and Hour  

California employers can’t rely on federal law to pay OT on flat bonus

The California Supreme Court has rejected federal law on overtime calculations for flat sum bonuses, ruling that state law requires a more worker-friendly calculation. An employer offered a flat bonus of $15 per day of weekend work for employees who worked a full shift on a Saturday or Sunday. Because…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Mar 13 2018
Termination & ResignationWage and Hour  

No extra OT owed for bonus based on % of earnings in California

An employer’s award of a bonus based on a percentage of overtime earnings didn’t require any extra overtime payments, ruled a federal district court in California. The decision illustrates how a dispute over 12 cents can literally turn into a federal case. During one particular workweek, an employee earned $4.745 in overtime.…

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Oct 19 2017
Harassment & DiscriminationHiringImmigrationLeave LawsWage and Hour

California Governor signs a slew of new legislation in 2017

The 2017 California legislative session has drawn to a close, and Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a slew of new bills affecting private employers. Below are the major employment-related bills that affect most California employers. All of them take effect on January 1, 2018. AB 168: Bans employers from asking job…

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Aug 24 2017
Harassment & Discrimination

Objective layoff criteria fend off age discrimination claim in California

A California employer successfully defended itself against an age discrimination claim when it relied on objective reasons to implement a reduction in force (RIF). A 60-year old employee claimed that his hotel employer selected him for a RIF due to his age and that this violated California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act…

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Aug 17 2017
Wage and Hour

California Forces Employers to Grapple With Complex Pay Equity Requirements

Passed in 2015 and amended in 2016, California’s Fair Pay Act (FPA) is one of the toughest laws of its kind in the nation. California employers face much greater obligations under the FPA than ever before. The FPA is a complex law that expanded an older law that had been around…

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