On October 4, 2021, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that California’s strict meal and rest period rules do not apply to commercial truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce.  The Court’s denial of the petition leaves in place a decision that came as a welcome sigh of relief for employers in the trucking industry.
Continue Reading Keep On Truckin’: California’s Meal And Rest Break Rules Preempted By FMCSA

The California Supreme Court has clarified that state whistleblower retaliation claims should not be evaluated under the McDonnell Douglas test, but rather under the test adopted by the California legislature in 2003, thus clarifying decades of confusion among the courts.  
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof in Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

SB 606, which took effect January 1, 2022, greatly increases the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA’s”) enforcement powers by creating two new violation categories – “enterprise wide” and “egregious” violations.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Enters the New Year With Expanded Enforcement Authority

California already has prohibitions on including non-disclosure provisions in certain settlement agreements related to sexual harassment.  Now California seeks to expand these prohibitions by enacting the Proposed California SB-331 (“Silenced No More Act”).  The new Act aims to prohibit provisions within any agreement that prevent or restrict the disclosure of factual information of claims related to harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.  The proposed bill recently passed senate and assembly, and if approved by governor, will become effective January 1, 2022. 
Continue Reading California Proposed Legislation – “Silenced No More Act” (SB-331)

Over the past six months, the California Supreme Court as well as the State’s appellate courts have published a number of important decisions in the area of California labor and employment law. The California Supreme Court’s decisions published earlier this year in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC (2021) 11 Cal.5th 58 and Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. (2021) 10 Cal.5th 944 were previously covered in Hunton Labor & Employment perspectives.
Continue Reading Mid-Year California Case Law Update

Imagine this: you are an employer in California, and you recently hired a new employee.  You ran your own background check, which did not turn up any criminal convictions.  However, the employee’s job duties include submitting online applications to a government agency, which requires the employee to complete a Live Scan background check with the Department of Justice.  The Live Scan reveals that the employee has a past criminal conviction that will prevent her from submitting the applications.  You terminate the employee, and she tells you the conviction was judicially dismissed.  What do you do?
Continue Reading Dismissed Criminal Convictions in California

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