Employee commute time in California generally is not compensable as “time worked” unless the employee is subject to the employer’s control and unable to use that time for his or her own purposes.  But is an employee subject to the employer’s control if she is required to carry her employer’s equipment and tools in her personal vehicle?  According to a California Court of Appeal, the answer could depend on the size of the vehicle.
Continue Reading Does the Car You Drive Impact Whether Your Commute Is Compensable? The CA Court of Appeal Says “Maybe”

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

On December 6, 2019, a coalition of both national and state business organizations and trade associations filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.  The lawsuit seeks both a preliminary and permanent injunction against implementation and enforcement of the recently enacted California law that makes it unlawful for California employers to require employees to sign arbitration agreements, under certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Injunction Sought to Stop California’s Anti-Arbitration Law

California Labor Code §2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures” incurred by an employee in the discharge of his or her duties. Business travel expenses fall into this category, as do uniforms, and even the portion of personal cell phone costs that can be attributed to business use.
Continue Reading Safety Footwear: Reimbursement Obligation for Restaurants in California?

The California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse employees for certain expenses, but it’s not always clear which expenses should be reimbursed by the employer, and which expenses should be borne by employees.  Here’s a list of Five Things to Remember About Employee Reimbursements to help California employers navigate this area of the law.
Continue Reading Five Things to Remember About Employee Reimbursements in California

Claims under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are recently much in vogue.  With the proliferation of arbitration agreements and class action waivers, plaintiffs’ attorneys all over California been using PAGA claims – which cannot be waived in an arbitration agreement – as a preferred vehicle to pursue representative wage-and-hour lawsuits against employers.
Continue Reading One-Year Statue of Limitations Strictly Enforced in PAGA Suit

The First Appellate District’s recent decision in Subcontracting Concepts, LLC v. DeMelo, A152205 (April 10, 2019) applies well-established unconscionability principles to an arbitration agreement signed by an employee of an independent contractor. The doctrine of unconscionability refers to an absence of meaningful choice with respect to the terms of a contract, usually the result of unequal bargaining power between the parties.
Continue Reading California First Appellate District Reminds Employers: Check Arbitration Provisions for Unconscionability

On April 10, 2019, the California Court of Appeals, Second District, in Diaz v. Sohnen Enterprises, 2019 S.O.S. 1722, ruled that an employee impliedly consents to an arbitration agreement by simply continuing to work, despite never signing the arbitration agreement and even outright rejecting it.
Continue Reading Court Rules: Continued Employment Supports Consent To Arbitrate

California’s legislature and courts have acted to curb an employer’s ability to recover its fees and costs when it prevails in a lawsuit brought under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, even if the plaintiff employee rejected the employer’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 offer to compromise.
Continue Reading California: No Fee Award For Prevailing Employer in FEHA Action Even Where 998 Offer Rejected

When negotiating a settlement agreement in an employment dispute, “no rehire” language is often a standard term.  This language typically bars the litigating employee from seeking re-employment with the former employer.  However, in California, at least one “no rehire” provision was invalidated because it was not narrowly tailored to the employer at issue.
Continue Reading “No Rehire” Language in Settlement Agreement Found Unlawful Where Not Narrowly Tailored