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Showing posts from June, 2016

California Employers and How to Defend Wage and Hour Claims before the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement

In California the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) adjudicates wage claims on behalf of workers who file claims for nonpayment of wages, overtime, or vacation pay, pursuant to California Labor Code sections 96 and 98. DLSE deputies hold informal conferences between employers and employees to resolve wage disputes. If a matter cannot be resolved at the informal conference, an administrative hearing is held to make a final determination on the matter.

An employee (plaintiff) alleging the non-payment of wages or other compensation by his or her employer (defendant), must file a claim (the DLSE Form 1, “Initial Report or Claim” form) with a local office of DLSE to initiate investigation of the claim by the Labor Commissioner.  The employee is asked to provide any time records the plaintiff kept of the hours and dates worked that support the claim, paychecks and pay stubs showing the wages paid during the claim period and dishonored (or “bounced”) paycheck(s) during the claim…

The Cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Monica Have Imposed Sick Leave Ordinances on Employers

So far this year three cities in Southern California have passed ordinances mandating certain sick leave requirements for employers. These ordinances are considerably more liberal then the state sick leave laws mandated by the State of California.  Under California law as long as the ordinances passed by cities have sick leave policies offering at least as much protection for employees as the state laws, the local ordinances will control. If employers in one city have workers travelling to other cities to work, the employer must track each employees hours spent in the other city if the other city has a sick leave ordinance. The employer must comply with the sick leave ordinances in the other cities that have the ordinances based on the hours worked in that city by the employee.

San Diego

Overview:

Thanks to a votes’ initiative that passed in June 2016, San Diego will have its own paid sick leave policy of five days (40 hours). This is in excess of the California Sick Leave law  that al…

California Sick Law Law Explained

The laws regarding sick leave law in California can be confusing and are complex. However the following is a summary of the law as of June 15, 2016. Please note that local city governments can establish their own ordinances regarding sick leave.  These ordinances will control as long as they offer at least the minimum amount of sick leave offered under state law.  The city counsel for the City of Los Angeles has recently passed such an ordinance which will probably take effect in July 2016:

The state’s sick leave law went into effect on January 1, 2015. However, the right to begin accruing and taking sick leave under this law did not go into effect until July 1, 2015.

To qualify for sick leave, an employee must:
• Work for the same employer, on or after January 1, 2015, for at least 30 days
within a year in California, and
• Satisfy a 90-day employment period (similar to a probationary period) before taking any sick leave.

If an employee works less than 30 calendar days within a year …

Ninth Circuit Case on Rounding of Employees Time

In the 9th Circuit case of Andrew Corbin v. Time Warner Entertainment- Advance the Court addressed the issue of employers who round off time worked by employees in computing their wages.

In the Corbin case the employer rounded time off to the nearest quarter hour.  As stated by the Court, "This case turns on $15.02 and one minute. $15.02 represents the total amount of compensation that Plaintiff Andre Corbin (“Corbin”) alleges he has lost due to his employer’s, Defendant Time Warner EntertainmentAdvance/Newhouse Partnership (“TWEAN”), compensation policy that rounds all employee time stamps to the nearest quarter-hour. One minute represents the total amount of time
for which Corbin alleges he was not compensated as he once mistakenly opened an auxiliary computer program before clocking into TWEAN’s timekeeping software platform. $15.02 in lost wages and one minute of uncompensated time, Corbin argued before the district court, entitled him to relief under the Fair Labor Standards…

California Employment Law - PAGA (Manageable v. Unmanageable Wage Claims)

The case of  Brown v. American Airlines, Inc., No. CV 10-8431-AG (PJWx), 2015 WL 6735217 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 5, 2015) concerns the dismissal of PAGA claims  where the claims are based on  numerous individualized issues that may render the case unmanageable.

PAGA allows “aggrieved employees” to bring representative actions against employers for civil penalties on behalf of themselves and other employees for violations of the Labor Code.   To recover penalties, a PAGA plaintiff must prove an underlying Labor Code violation as to each allegedly aggrieved employee for each pay period for which the plaintiff seeks penalties.  But to determine liability on the underlying Labor Code provisions, the court may need to adjudicate issues specific to each pay period for each allegedly aggrieved employee — which raises potentially significant manageability problems.

A plaintiff may be able to meet the burden of proof where the employee alleges an employer violated Labor Code section 226(a) by providi…