For decades, most federal courts have held the view that private settlements of Fair Labor Standards Act claims are unenforceable unless they are approved by the Department of Labor or a court.  However, some federal courts have recently begun to challenge this long-held view and have taken a more flexible approach that treats FLSA settlements no differently than settlements or releases involving other employment law claims.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Holds that Private FLSA Settlement With Union Bars Future FLSA Claims

On August 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down portions of the DOL’s Final Rule regarding who qualifies for COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, collectively referred to at the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Of particular importance to employers, the Court invalidated two provisions of the DOL’s Final Rule pertaining to: (1) conditioning leave on the availability of work and (2) the need to obtain employer consent prior to taking leave on an intermittent basis.
Continue Reading Federal Court Strikes Down Portions of Department of Labor’s Final Rule On COVID-19 Leave, Expands Coverage

The California Court of Appeals for the Second District evaluated the validity of unlimited vacation policies in a recent decision. Unlimited vacation policies operate how one might expect: instead of having a specific number of hours vest that the employee can use to take paid time off, an unlimited policy provides that the employee can take as much vacation per year as they would like to subject to company approval. In California, when vacation vests, it is treated as wages at termination and must be paid out. Since unlimited vacation does not vest, there is no payment due at termination.
Continue Reading Unlimited Vacation Policies in California – New Decision

The Ninth Circuit recently overturned a district court’s grant of class certification on a wage statement claim under California Labor Code §226 because there were no “real-world consequences” stemming from the alleged misidentification of the employer’s name on the wage statement.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Wage Statement Class Action for Plaintiff’s Failure to Show “Real World Consequences” to Establish Standing

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing recently updated its Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ guidance to address some of the questions surrounding SB 1343, which requires employers with five or more employees to provide classroom or “other interactive training” for all California employees (not just supervisors) every two years
Continue Reading California DFEH Updates FAQ on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in Light of New Deadline to Comply

A recent California appellate court decision has held that a banquet hall’s “mandatory service charge” could, under the right circumstances, be a “gratuity” that must be paid to employees under California Labor Code § 351.
Continue Reading California Appellate Court Rules that a Service Charge Could Be a Gratuity under the Labor Code

Imagine a future in which Artificial Intelligence does the recruiting and hiring at U.S. companies.  Every new hire will be the uniquely perfect candidate whose skills, personality, presence, temperament, and work habits are a flawless match for the job.  Performance management and poor performance become extinct, relics from an age in which humans brought primitive instincts, biases, and flawed intuition to hiring and employment decisions.
Continue Reading Illinois Enacts AI Interview Law Amid an International Trend Toward Regulation

In a unanimous decision in Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Srvs., the Ninth Circuit overturned a California district court’s ruling in a wage and hour class action under the California Labor Code that granted Nike’s motion for summary judgement after applying the federal de minimis doctrine.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Reinstates California Off-The-Clock Work Claims Related to Post-Shift Security Checks

On May 2, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, holding that the new independent contractor test established by the California Supreme Court in its 2018 decision in Dynamex v. Superior Court applies retroactively to franchisors. As a result of this decision, employers and franchisors who have classified workers as independent contractors may see an increase in wage and hour class actions alleging that the workers are or have been misclassified. Additionally, the decision has serious implications for any California companies that operate under a franchise business mode
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Determines that Dynamex Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively to Franchisors