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

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