Employment Law

Employee or Independent Contractor? California’s New "ABC" Test

The decision whether to classify a worker as an employee or an independent contractor can have a significant impact on both the worker and the business. As an employee, a worker is entitled to the protections of the labor laws, including payment of minimum wage and overtime, meal and rest breaks, paid sick leave, and other workplace protections. An employer is also responsible for paying an employee’s federal Social Security and payroll taxes, employment taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and providing ...

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Expansion of the California Equal Pay Act

Expansion of the California Equal Pay Act

In 2017 California enacted several amendments to Labor Code section 1197.5, which resulted in significant expansion of the California Equal Pay Act. While the old law prohibited wage disparity between employees of the opposite sex, under the new law, the protections have been expanded to prevent a wage disparity between employees who are of a different race or ethnicity.

In deciding to expand the protections of Equal Pay Act, the California legislature found that ...

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Los Angeles Mandates Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave

Los Angeles Mandates Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave

New Minimum Wage Ordinances in the City of Los Angeles have increased the minimum wage for employees who work for an employer within the City limits for a minimum of two hours during any particular week. The new ordinances also require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave.

Under the new ordinances, which first went into effect on July 1, 2016, the minimum wage rate will continue to ...

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Court of Appeals Reinstates NFL's Four-Game Suspension of Tom Brady

Court Reinstates NFL’s Four-Game Suspension of Tom Brady

In overturning the lower court’s decision and reinstating the NFL’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, ruled that NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, “properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement” and that his procedural rulings did not deprive Tom Brady of fundamental fairness.

The Court reasoned that “In their collective bargaining agreement, the players and the League mutually decided many years ago that the Commissioner should ...

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Changes to California Equal Pay Act

California recently passed Senate Bill No. 358, which amends Labor Code Section 1197.5 known as the California Equal Pay Act, to make it easier for an employee to successfully pursue a wage discrimination claim.

According to the California legislature, in 2014 the gender wage gap in California was at 16 cents on the dollar. That means a woman working full-time earned an average of 84 cents to every dollar a man earned. The wage gap extended across almost all occupations and was far worse ...

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Federal Court Vacates Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension by NFL

In a decision and order published this morning, Federal Court Judge, Richard M. Berman, ruled in favor of Tom Brady and against the NFL, vacating Tom Brady’s four-game suspension imposed by the NFL in connection with his role in the alleged use of under-inflated footballs by the New England Patriots.

In reaching his decision, Judge Berman found that Tom Brady had inadequate notice of the possible discipline for the alleged offense, or that a four-game suspension could be imposed. Moreover, Judge Berman found ...

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Employment Law Updates

The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act 2014

The Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act of 2014 went into effect on July 1, 2015. Under the new law, California employers are now required to provide paid sick days to certain employees.  Paid sick time accrues at a minimum rate of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employees are entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment. Accrued paid sick days will carry over to the following year of ...

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Supreme Court rules against Abercrombie

The United States Supreme Court rules against Abercrombie & Fitch in a case of religious discrimination. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., operates several lines of clothing stores, each with its own “style.” Consistent with the image Abercrombie seeks to project for each store, the company imposes a Look Policy that governs its employees’ dress. Abercrombie’s Look Policy prohibits employees from wearing “caps” as too informal for Abercrombie’s desired image. Samantha Elauf is a practicing Muslim woman who wears a headscarf ...

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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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