In Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, 2018 Cal. LEXIS 9500 (Dec. 10, 2018), the final chapter of long-running saga that has produced multiple published decisions, the Supreme Court of California finally brought clarity to an unresolved question for California’s health care employers: can health care employees lawfully waive their second meal period for shifts longer than 12 hours? In Gerard, the Supreme Court of California answered with a clear “yes.” Continue reading →
Beginning January 1, 2019, California now imposes broader requirements on employers for providing lactation accommodations to employees needing to express milk for their newborn children. Continue reading →
California law mandates that employers reimburse employees for work-related expenses. Under section 2802 of the California Labor Code, “[an] employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties.” Cal. Lab. Code § 2802(a). Among the items that may require reimbursement in California are office supplies, uniform costs, travel expenses, and mandatory training. In addition, an employer must reimburse its employee for a reasonable percentage of the employee’s cell phone bill where personal cell phone use is required as part of the employee’s job duties. Employers are also required to reimburse employees for costs associated with use of a personal vehicle for work-related purpose. The duty to reimburse for business expenses arises where an employer “know[s] or ha[s] reason to know that the employee has incurred an expense.” Stuart v. Radioshack Corp., 641 F. Supp. 2d 901, 904 (N.D. Cal. 2009). Continue reading →
Executive Summary:On September 30, 2018, California Governor Edmund J. Brown, Jr. signed into law eight new bills involving gender and sexual harassment training and related issues. The Governor also signed into law two bills amending California’s lactation accommodation requirements. These laws were submitted by the legislature on the heels of the #MeToo movement, and the majority of these new laws were largely written to address workplace issues with respect to sexual harassment in particular. Continue reading →
Executive Summary: In recent years, courts throughout the nation have grappled with the interplay and potential conflict between state employment laws and the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”), which generally prohibits states from enforcing any law “related to” a motor carrier’s “price, route, or service. . . with respect to the transportation of property.” 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1). The issue typically arises when a state employment law imposes employee requirements or restrictions that have an actual or potential impact on how a motor carriers operate or the price they charge. Continue reading →
Executive Summary: On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that Starbucks must pay employees for minutes, maybe even seconds, spent on off-the-clock “work” by determining that the Plaintiff’s alleged class action state wage claims are not barred by the de minimis doctrine. Continue reading →
Executive Summary: Under California law, employers are required to pay employees for “all hours worked” when subject to the employer’s “control.” This raises the question: if an employer uses a timekeeping system that automatically rounds employee time punches up or down to the nearest quarter hour, is that lawful? The California Court of Appeals recently said “yes”—depending upon whether the rounding policy and practice are both neutral.