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Ninth Circuit Rejects Attempt to Hold McDonald’s Liable as a Joint Employer

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a summary judgment that dismissed claims against McDonald’s Corp. in a class action alleging various violations of the California Labor Code. The plaintiffs had claimed that McDonald’s was a joint employer with its franchisees. Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., Case No. 17-15673 (Oct. 1, 2019), the Court rejected three theories that Read More

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New California Law Codifies ABC Test for Employment Relationship

Governor Newsom has signed AB 5, which was enacted to bring more California workers under the protection of laws that apply to employers. The bill adds section 2750.3 to the Labor Code, which will become effective on January 1, 2020. The bill’s findings state the Legislature’s intent to codify the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Read More

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Hairstyle Protection Added to FEHA

A California law that will become effective on January 1, 2020, provides protection for hairstyles and other traits that are associated with race. SB 188 does so by amending the definition of “race” in the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and Read More

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Claim for Damages Required for 1102.5 Claim

The Second District Court of Appeal has ruled that plaintiffs who wish to pursue whistle blower claims against public entities under Labor Code section 1102.5 must first file claims for damages under Government Code section 911.2. Le Mere v. Los Angeles School District, Case No. B281843 (Apr. 30, 2019). Section 1102.5 authorizes a damages lawsuit Read More

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Application of Employment Laws to Religious Institutions

Not all employment laws are enforceable against religious institutions — some laws are made inapplicable by their terms, other have been held unenforceable on freedom of religion grounds. Anti-Discrimination Laws The two anti-discrimination laws that apply to California employers contain express exemptions for religious organizations. The federal law –Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Read More

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Home Rule Does Not Preempt California Minimum Wage Law

Article XI, section 5 of the California Constitution grants charter cities “plenary authority . . . to provide . . . the manner in which, the method by which, the times at which, and the terms for which the several municipal officers and employees whose compensation is paid by the city shall be elected or Read More

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What is a Fair Work Week?

A new workplace fairness measure is getting increased attention around the country. “Fair Workweek” proposals address employee concerns about lack of control and certainty over their work schedules. Proponents want employers to give advance notice of work schedules, allow employees to turn down shifts without losing their jobs, provide sufficient rest time between the end Read More

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U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Decision Issued After Author Died

On April 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a 6-5 en banc decision in an Equal Pay Act case, holding that past salary could not be used to justify a pay disparity between male and female employees. Rizo v. Yovino, 887 F.3d 453 (9th Cir. 2018). The opinion was written by Stephen Reinhardt, who had died Read More

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Court of Appeal Rules PAGA Claims Are Not Arbitrable

In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal.4th 348 (2014), the California Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot waive their right to assert claims for Labor Code penalties brought under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) (Cal. Lab. Code, §§ 2699 et seq.) in any available forum. The rationale was that such claims Read More

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Effects of the Dynamex Decision

A recent Los Angeles Times article — “Are you an employee or a contractor? Carpenters, strippers and dog walkers now face that question” — explores the ramifications for workers and businesses of the California Supreme Court’s adoption of the ABC test for employee status in the Dynamex decision. That April 2018 decision declared that, for Read More

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