$300,000 punitive damages award to sexual harassment victim

Court upholds $300,000 punitive damages award to sexual harassment victim under Title VII.

Angela Aguilar was employed by Asarco, LLC at the Mission Mine complex near Tucson, Arizona from December 2005 through November 2006. The Mission Mine includes a copper mine from which copper ore is extracted and a mill facility in which the ore is crushed, filtered, and refined. Ms. Aguilar started as a mill laborer and became a car loader operator in March 2006. She then became a ...

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Security guards entitled to compensation for on-call hours

Security guards entitled to compensation for on-call hours

CPS Security Solutions, Inc., employed on-call guards to provide security at construction worksites. Part of each guard’s day was spent on active patrol. Each evening, guards were required to be on call at the worksite and to respond to disturbances should the need arise.

While on-call, the guards were required to reside in onsite trailers provided by CPS.  An on-call guard who wanted to leave the worksite had to ...

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Supreme Court denies wage claims by Amazon.com warehouse workers

The United States Supreme Court denies wage claims by Amazon.com warehouse workers. 

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held that warehouse workers who packaged deliveries for Amazon.com customers, were not entitled to compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) for time spent undergo­ing security screenings before leaving the warehouse each day. 

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., required its hourly warehouse workers, who retrieved products from warehouse shelves and packaged them for delivery to Amazon.com customers, ...

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The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act 2014

The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act 2014

California enacted The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act of 2014 granting employees mandatory paid sick days.

Beginning on July 1, 2015, California employers will be required to provide paid sick days to certain California employees. Employees who work for 30 or more days within a year from the date of commencement of employment are entitled to receive paid sick days. The paid sick days accrue at a rate of no less ...

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FedEx Drivers are Employees Not Independent Contractors

FedEx Drivers are Employees Not Independent Contractors

In a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of approximately 2300 full-time FedEx delivery drivers in California between 2000 and 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that by law the FedEx drivers were employees under California’s right-to-control test.  The Court held that labeling of the drivers as independent contractors in FedEx’s Operating Agreement did not make them so.

The Court explained that the most important factor in determining employee versus independent contractor status is the right-to-control test. The ...

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Employees must be reimbursed for cell phone use

Employees must be reimbursed for cell phone use

The California Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who is required to use a personal cell phone for work-related calls, must be reimbursed by their employer. This applies even when an employee has a cell phone plan with unlimited minutes. The reimbursement amount owed by the employer is a reasonable percentage of the employee’s cell phone bill.

The Court’s ruling is based on Section 2802(a) of the California Labor Code, ...

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Court upholds $60,000 award to victim of sexual harassment wrongful termination

Sexual harassment Wrongful termination

Plaintiff Esther Kim was hired in 2006 to work as an account manager, processing phone and email orders for defendant, Konad USA Distribution, Inc. From 2007 to 2010 Kim was subjected to numerous incidents of sexual harassment by her boss Dong Whang. Kim was terminated in 2010.  Following her termination, Kim filed a lawsuit against her employer for, among other things, sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Following trial, the court awarded plaintiff Esther Kim $60,000 in damages against her former employer and ...

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Summary of California's Equal Pay Act

An Employee’s Right to Equal Pay

California and Federal laws generally prohibit an employer from paying its employees less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex. This applies when the employees’ jobs require substantially similar work, when considering their skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar working conditions. (Cal. Labor Code section 1197.5.) As an example, an employer would not be permitted to pay a female secretary less than a male secretary working in the same office ...

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