The Blog

California Law & Employee-Seating Requirements

Don’t Sit on California’s Employee-Seating Requirement
Are you complying with California labor law’s seating requirement?
Perhaps the question surprises you. Most California wage orders require an employer to provide “suitable seats” when the “nature” of an employee’s job “reasonably permits” their use. The California Supreme Court recently clarified what each of these terms mean and what is required of California employers.
California Wage …

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Social Media for Employers – Too Much Risk for the Reward?

Suppose you own a restaurant. To drive sales and improve customer satisfaction, you set up a company Twitter account to notify customers of deals and to allow for feedback. One day, your manager (who monitors the account) notices an employee of yours has been posting critical remarks about management. For example, after a customer posts a statement of gratitude for …

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Avoid “Whistleblower” Liability Under Labor Code 1102.5

Imagine this scenario:
One of your employees receives an expensive ring for her 25th wedding anniversary. She wears the ring to work every day. On an otherwise normal Monday, the ring goes missing. The employee suspects a coworker and files a police report. On at least two occasions, officers show up to investigate and question you and your employees. Naturally, you …

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2016 California Minimum Wage Increase – Give Your Exempt Employees a Raise, Again!

California’s minimum wage rises to $10 per hour starting January 1, 2016. Once again, California employers must gear up for pay raises, not just for employees paid on an hourly basis at minimum wage, but also for exempt employees. We explained why this is the case two years ago when California’s minimum wage last rose. The lesson is important, so we’ll adjust the …

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“Piece Rate” Employers: Use Your New Affirmative Defense!

In California, piece rate compensation plans have been on the chopping block since 2013. That’s when two California courts ruled that piece-rate employers had to separately pay employees for rest and recovery periods and “nonproductive” time. Back then we wrote those decisions put the “nail in the coffin” for piece rate compensation in California.
Those 2013 decisions also opened the flood gates for class …

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Paystub Errors, Penalties & Claims

Win for Employers – Avoid PAGA Penalties By Curing Paystubs Errors!
On October 2, 2015, California passed a new law that helps California employers. The law (AB 1506) amends the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) to reduce frivolous PAGA claims. The new law took effect immediately.
Passed in 2004, PAGA allows an employee to seek civil penalties against an employer not only …

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California Mandates Paid Sick Leave Effective July 1, 2015

The Governor signed AB 1522 into law on August 30, 2014, stating: “Tonight, the Legislature took historic action to help hardworking Californians. This bill guarantees that millions of workers – from Eureka to San Diego – won’t lose their jobs or pay just because they get sick.”
In the author’s experience, there aren’t many businesses that terminate hardworking employees “just because …

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Lodging Credit Against Minimum Wage for Apartment or Hotel/Motel Employees

If you own an apartment or hotel/motel and provide free lodging to your employee(s), pay attention. Otherwise, the rest of you California employers can take a breather.
A common practice in the apartment/hotel/motel industry is to allow the manager to live in one of your apartments or hotel/motel room rent free. Also common is the belief this “free rent” is part …

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Avoid “Off The Clock” Claims Through Written Policies

An “off the clock” claim occurs when the employee claims more time worked that what appears on their daily time record. The time records show one thing but the employee claims they worked more hours. Sometimes those “off the clock” hours result in an overtime claim.

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Arbitration Delegation Clauses — Another Employer Tool To Enforce Arbititration Agreements

More good news for California employers on the employment arbitration front.
Within one month, we have two California courts of appeal ensuring employment arbitration agreements are enforced according to their terms, as they should be.

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