An employer is only liable to pay a premium for “overtime work” as defined in CBA and not Section 510

Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corporation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 103, 166 Cal.Rptr.3d 845

Plaintiffs were represented by a labor organization and their employment governed by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). As per the CBA, Plaintiffs were regularly scheduled to work seven 12-hour shifts in a seven-day period and then have seven days off. The CBA provided that Plaintiffs would be paid at the overtime premium rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked ...

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New Amended Section 218.5 restricts recovery for attorney fees by prevailing employer only to claims brought in bad faith

The California Supreme Court decision in Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1244, 274 P.3d 1160 held that Section 218.5 is a two-way fee-shifting provision and does not apply to claims to recover additional wages for the employer’s failure to provide meal and rest breaks, since nonpayment of wages is not the gravamen of a violation of the meal and rest break statute.

To avoid ambiguity, Section 218.5 is amended to provide that a prevailing employer may only ...

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Newly Enacted Statutes and Approved Bills

Revisions to California Minimum Wage (Assembly Bill No. 10)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 that would increase California Minimum Wage to $9 an hour effective July 1, 2014 and $10 an hour effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (Assembly Bill No. 241)

Effective January 1, 2014, California Labor Code section 1450, et seq. shall be known and may be cited as the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Under this law, ...

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No mitigation of damages of earnings from inferior job in wrongful termination damages

Villacorta v. Cemex Cement, Inc. (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1425, 165 Cal.Rptr.3d 441

Plaintiff a mechanical engineer worked for the Defendant employer for 15 years in Philippines until he was transferred to Victorville’s plant in 2003. Facing bad economy, employer laid off hundreds of his employees between 2007 through 2009. Plaintiff was terminated in February, 2008. Plaintiff at this point was earning an annual salary of $65,699.  Plaintiff remained unemployed for approximately eight months. On October 15, 2008, Plaintiff began working as ...

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Jury Award of $27,000 and Attorney Fees of $700,000 in a FEHA case approved by Ninth Circuit

Muniz v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (2013) 738 F.3d 214

Jury Award of $27,000 and Attorney Fees of $700,000 approved by Ninth Circuit in a FEHA case.

Plaintiff sued Defendant employer alleging that her demotion was result of gender discrimination, unfair retaliation, and age discrimination, in violation of FEHA, inter alia. The jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor finding discrimination based on gender and awarded the Plaintiff $27,280 in damages. Plaintiff requested an award of $1,945,726.50 in attorney fees. After extensive ...

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Federal Law Preempts State-Law Rule which prohibits waiver of a Berman Hearing Prior to Arbitration

Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (2013) 57 Cal.4th 1109, 311 P.3d 184 (Sonic II)

The California Supreme Court in Sonic I held that it is contrary to public policy and unconscionable for an employer to require an employee, as a condition of employment, to waive the right to a wage hearing before the Labor Commissioner, known as a Berman hearing . The Court further held that rule prohibiting waiver of a Berman hearing does not discriminate against arbitration agreements and is ...

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An employee’s work may not be simultaneously “exempt” and “nonexempt”

Heyen v. Safeway Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 795, 157 Cal.Rptr.3d 280

Plaintiff/Respondent Linda Heyen, was an assistant manager for defendant’s store. After Defendant terminated Heyen, she claimed unpaid overtime pay, contending misclassification as an exempt employee even though most of the primary duties involved non-exempt duties such bagging groceries and stocking shelves.  Plaintiff contended that she regularly spent more than 50 percent of her work hours doing these nonexempt tasks.

The Court of Appeal upholding the trial court’s decision of Plaintiff being ...

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“Hours Worked” include time spent waiting or other non-productive tasks

Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors, LP (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 36, 155 Cal.Rptr.3d 18

The Court of Appeal, Second District, in Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors, LP (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 36, 155 Cal.Rptr.3d 18 reiterated the principles laid in Armenta v. Osmose, Inc. (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 314, 37 Cal.Rptr.3d 460. The issue presented before the Court was whether California’s minimum wage law requires an employer that compensates its automotive service technicians on a “piece-rate” basis for repair work must also pay those ...

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Class Action by Card Dealers against Casino Employer for Tip Pooling Rejected

Avidor v. Sutter’s Place, Inc. (App. 6 Dist. 2013) 151 Cal.Rptr.3d 804, 212 Cal.App.4th 1439

Under Casino employer’s tip-pooling arrangement, card dealers were required to contribute a set amount per hour into a tip pool which was distributed to nondealer employees at the casino.

The Court of Appeal noted that, such tip pooling arrangement did not violate statute prohibiting employers from taking any part of gratuity that was given to an employee by a patron, even though casino patrons gave tips directly ...

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Court of Appeal decides on grant and hold cases post Brinker

An overview of Muldrow v. Surrex Solutions Corp. (2012) 146 Cal.Rptr.3d 447, 12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 998; Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (2012) 146 Cal.Rptr.3d 424, 12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 10 (as modified Sept. 25, 2012) and In re Lamps Plus Overtime Cases — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2012 WL 3587610


In April, 2012 the California Supreme Court clarified on several meal and rest breaks issues deciding the Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court ...

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