Section 351 of California’s Labor Code prohibits employers from taking any gratuity patrons leave for their employees, and provides that such gratuity is “the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for.”  A number of Courts of Appeal have consistently held that this prohibition does not extend to employer-mandated tip pooling — where employees must pool and share their tips with other employees.  Louie Hung Kwei Lu, a former card dealer with Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc., decided to test these rulings.

Continue Reading No Private Cause of Action Against Employers for Taking a Dip in the Tip Pool

Though the primary focus of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) is the reduction of systemic risk in financial markets and increased regulation of large financial institutions, Dodd-Frank also contains executive compensation, corporate governance and enforcement provisions applicable to most public companies.  Some of these provisions are highlighted below.  For more insights on the full range of business and legal issues associated with current market and regulatory changes, including the Dodd-Frank Act’s executive compensation, corporate governance and enforcement provisions, please visit Hunton & Williams LLP’s Financial Industry Resource Center.

Continue Reading Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance And Enforcement Provisions Of The Dodd-Frank Act Affecting Public Companies

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act just signed into law by President Obama, H.R. 4173, 111th Cong. (2010) (“Dodd-Frank”), creates new statutory rights and incentives for whistleblowers and also expands already existing rights, such as under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).  Now more than ever, clear policies and procedures backed by strong audit, compliance and investigatory functions are critical to managing the anticipated increase of regulatory enforcement and private party whistleblower litigation that this expansive legislation likely will create.

Continue Reading Financial Reform: What Employers Can Expect

As a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit makes clear, the fact that an employer prevailed against an employee’s Sarbanes-Oxley claim in an administrative proceeding cannot be used to bar a new trial of the claim in federal court.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed a former employee’s SOX lawsuit on the ground that it was precluded by an administrative law judge’s granting of the employer’s motion for summary decision.  The Court of Appeals, in a ruling of first impression, held that the lower court erred and vacated its dismissal in Stone v. Instrumentation Lab Co., 4th Cir., No. 08-1970, 12/31/09.

Continue Reading ALJ’s Decision in Employer’s Favor Does Not Preclude Employee’s New Sarbanes-Oxley Lawsuit in Federal Court

A recent decision of the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia has cast doubt on the view that employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy in work email accounts.  Specifically, in Convertino v. United States Department of Justice,  Judge Royce C. Lamberth held that an employee’s communications with his attorney, sent to and received on the employee’s work email account, were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege, even though the employer regularly accessed and saved such email communications.

Continue Reading Can Employees Claim Privilege On Work Email Accounts?