The Blog

New Law 2014 – Labor Code 218.5 Is Now Effectively a One Way Attorney’s Fees Statute (SB 462)

Employee sues employer and wins.  Employee gets their attorneys’ fees in nearly all cases. 
Employee sues employer and loses, i.e. gets zero.  Employer doesn’t get their attorney’s fees in nearly all cases. 
One of lone exceptions to this uneven rule (as of 12/31/2013) used to be Labor Code section 218.5.  Labor Code section 218.5 used to say in actions for …

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New Law 2014 – “Recovery Period” Added to Rest/Meal Periods Requirements (SB 435 )

SB 434 amends Labor Code section 226.7 (formerly addressing rest and meal periods only) to add a new “recovery period” obligation on employers.  So like rest and meal periods, California employers are now required to provide “recovery periods.”
A “recovery period” is defined as “a cool down period afforded an employee to prevent heat illness.”  Talk about a vague and …

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New Law 2014 – Liens Against Employer Property for Wage Judgments (AB 1386)

Employees may file claims for wages and other Labor Code violations either in court or before the California Labor Commissioner, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).  If an employee elects to sue before the Labor Commissioner/DLSE, an administrative hearing is held.  The hearing is known as a Berman Hearing and is heard by an administrative law judge appointed by the …

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New Law 2014 – Liquidated Damages for DLSE Minimum Wage Citations (AB 442)

Here’s another reason for California employers to know their California minimum wage obligations and to comply with them.
For a while now, a failure to pay minimum wage carried with it the penalty of having to pay not only the minimum wages owed but “liquidated damages” in the same amount (LC 1194.2).  Thus, if an employer failed to pay $250 in …

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New Law 2014 – Immigration/Retaliation (AB 263)

Federal immigration law makes it unlawful for employers (including those in California) to hire and retain workers who are not permitted to work in the United States (including within the state of California).
California law under AB 263 makes it unlawful for California employers (all of whom must comply with federal immigration law) to engage in “unfair immigration-related practices.”  “Unfair immigration-related …

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New Law 2014 – Domestic Worker Bill Of Rights (AB 241)

A new California law just changed the ball game for in home care for the elderly who are unable to care for themselves. 
What happens when your parent would like to remain in their own home but they cannot care for themselves and need someone to care for their personal needs like eating, bathing, using the toilet or otherwise just moving …

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Employees Owe Your Business A Duty Of Loyalty

California employers, did you know your employees owe you a duty of loyalty?  In California, there is not much you can do to prevent your employee from leaving to work for your competitor.  But while they are employed, they owe you a duty of loyalty and once they leave they cannot use your trade secrets to compete against you.
A recent …

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2014 California Minimum Wage Increases – Give Your Exempt Employees A Raise!

Now that the California minimum wage will increase to $9/hour on July 1, 2014 and to $10/hour on January 1, 2016, California employers must gear up for pay raises to their exempt employees.  That’s a 12.5% legally mandated pay raise in 2014 and another 11.1% in 2016.
How so you ask?

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Arbitration Or Labor Commissioner Berman Hearing?

Can an employer and employee agree to litigate wage claims before an arbitrator rather than the Labor Commissioner? 
Two days ago, the California Supreme Court issued its Sonic-Calabasas II decision that was supposed to answer that question.  But the case creates more confusion in an already uncertain and hotly litigated area of law.

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EDD Independent Contractor Ruling Foils California Labor Commissioner

Who is an “independent contractor?”  This is a very misunderstood question in employment and labor law.  And no, just because you “1099” them does not make them an independent contractor.
There are legal rules that determine who is an independent contractor.  And if the worker is not an independent contractor, they are your employee. 
Just because you meet the legal test …

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