Washington Supreme Court Approves Trucking Industry Piece-Rate Compensation Practices

Last year, the Washington Supreme Court considered the following certified question: “Does the Washington Minimum Wage Act require non-agricultural employers to pay their piece-rate employees per hour for time spent performing activities outside of piece-rate work?” On September 5, 2019, the court answered with a resounding no.

Federal Agency Preempts California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules for Property-Carrying Commercial Drivers

In an order with significant implications for motor carriers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concluded that California’s meal and rest break rules are preempted by federal transportation law and may no longer be enforced by the State of California where the driver is subject to federal hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. Specifically, on December 21,

Ninth Circuit Asks California Supreme Court to Decide Question That Could Greatly Expand California’s Prevailing Wage Laws

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co., Inc., et al., No. 17-15221 (January 15, 2019), requested that the California Supreme Court decide the following question: Is operating engineers’ offsite “mobilization work”—including the transportation to and from a public works site of roadwork grinding equipment—performed “in the execution of [a] contract for public work,” Cal. Lab. Code § 1772, such that it entitles workers to “not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which the public work is performed” pursuant to section 1771 of the California Labor Code?

The ABCs of the Employment Relationship: California’s High Court Adopts New Independent Contractor Test

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of California adopted a new test to determine whether a worker performing services for a company is an employee or an independent contractor under California’s wage orders. The new three-factor test, known as the ABC test, will determine whether a company “employs” a worker under the wage orders, which address certain requirements for minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest periods, among others.

What Do the Obama Administration’s Overtime Regulations Mean for California Employers?

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-anticipated revisions to the federal overtime regulations governing the so-called white-collar exemptions to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most notably, the revisions more than double the minimum salary threshold needed to qualify for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. The revised regulations also make other significant changes to the amounts that must be paid, including allowing employers to count nondiscretionary bonuses and commissions to satisfy a portion of the salary threshold, scheduling automatic adjustments to the salary threshold every three years, and increasing the annual salary threshold for the “highly compensated employee” exemption.

Retail and Hospitality Employers Grapple With the DOL’s Final FLSA Part 541 Regulations

For over a year, retail and hospitality employers have been anxiously awaiting the issuance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime regulations—regulations which many had predicted would impact retail and hospitality employers more than most. Among their biggest fears was that the DOL would make changes to the duties test, increase the salary minimum to the highest level contemplated, and simultaneously disallow inclusion of bonuses to meet the salary minimum. Luckily, the DOL decided not to include any of those proposed changes in the final regulations. However, the changes that retail and hospitality employers will be required to implement by December 1, 2016 are expected to impact retail and hospitality businesses in a profound and negative way. According to David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, a major industry group representing retailers and chain restaurants, “DOL’s new overtime rules are a massive failure. They are a failure of the regulatory process. They are a failure to listen. And, most of all, they are a failure to face reality.”

Chief Justice Denial of Stay Request Clears Way for New FLSA Regulations Affecting Home Care Agencies to Go Into Effect October 13, 2015

On October 6, 2015, Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States summarily denied the emergency stay application filed by the association plaintiffs in Home Care Association of America v. Weil. In the absence of a stay, the new U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers are expected to go into effect on October 13, 2015.

Home Health Care Agencies, DOL Continue to Wrangle Over FLSA Regs Effective Date

On August 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Home Care Association of America v. Weil reinstated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers. The federal appeals court decision overturned a lower court decision that struck down the new regulations just before they were scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2015.

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates New Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements for Home Health Care Workers Employed By Third-Party Employers

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Home Care Association of America v. Weil reinstated the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations extending the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for home health care workers employed by third-party employers. Today’s federal appeals court decision overturns a lower court decision that struck down the new regulation just before it was scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2015.

California Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Whether California Health Care Workers Can Lawfully Waive a Second Lunch Period

This week, the California Supreme Court agreed to review the decision in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Center, No. G048039 (February 10, 2015), where the California Court of Appeal partially invalidated the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage order provision that allows employees in the health care industry to waive one of two required meal periods on shifts longer than eight hours.

Being on Call in California Does Not Impede on Rest Breaks

In its recently published decision, the California Court of Appeal held that on-call rest breaks are permissible. In a nutshell, “although on-call hours constitute ‘hours worked,’ remaining available to work is not the same as performing work.” This case provides clarity on employers’ obligations for rest periods in the wake of Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.

California Supreme Court Rules On-Duty Guards Entitled to Pay for On-Call and Sleep Time

On January 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that the on-call hours for security guards who work 24-hour shifts constituted compensable hours worked. Further, the court ruled that the guards’ employer could not exclude “sleep time” from the guards’ 24-hour shifts and in doing so rejected the analysis under earlier California

Court Vacates DOL’s Regulations Mandating Minimum Wage and Overtime Payments to Home Health Care Employees

Just as many home health care agencies were gearing up for a major change to their businesses, a federal judge in Washington D.C. struck down the new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulation extending the federal overtime and minimum wage requirements to home care workers employed by third-party businesses. The court’s…..

California Appellate Court Rules That California’s Prevailing Wage Laws Do Not Apply to Off-Site Fabrication

On August 27, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued its decision in the long-anticipated Russ-Will case, Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, Local 104 v. Duncan; Russ Will Mechanical, Inc., Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, Division Three, No. A131489 (August 27, 2014). The court…..

California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status

On June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing how trial courts should determine the appropriateness of class certification in cases where workers claim they were improperly classified as independent contractors. In a case brought by a group of newspaper carriers claiming that a newspaper company illegally treated them as independent contractors

California Supreme Court Follows Concepcion But Allows Courts to Strike Down Unconscionable Arbitration Agreements

Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, No. S174475, (October 17, 2013): As expected following the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the California Supreme Court struck down its own rule on arbitration agreements. In Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, the state’s highest court categorically prohibited the

Restricting the Activities of California On-Call Employees May Mean Having to Pay Them for Their Time

In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal held that employees need to be compensated for “on-call” hours if the employer substantially restricted their ability to engage in non-work related activities. However, the court also held that employers may exclude eight hours of sleep time from 24-hour shifts, if there was an agreement between the employer and employee to make such a deduction.