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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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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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ABC Standard for Determining Employment Relationship Does Not Apply to Labor Code Claims

The San Diego division of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled that the ABC test for employment established by the Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision is limited to claims under California’s wage orders. In Garcia v. Border Transportation Group, LLC, Case No. D072521 (10/22/2018), the Court ruled that a plaintiff’s claims for (1) failure to pay overtime under Labor Read More

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Tip Rules Under the FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act permits an employer to take a credit against its minimum wage obligation for tips that its employees receive. Recent statutory, regulatory and case law developments make it advisable to review the rules. (Caution: State rules may impose stricter limits than the FLSA does. See Tipping and the Wage and Hour Rules, Read More

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Former Women’s Team Goalkeeper Sues US Soccer for Equal Pay Act Violation

Hope Solo, who was a goalkeeper for the US Women’s National Team from 2000 to 2016, has sued the United States Soccer Federation, the official governing body for the sport of soccer in the United States. Her complaint, filed on August 24, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, charges that U.S. Soccer violated Read More

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How an $80 Mistake Became an $88,410 Mistake

California’s Labor Code is full of technical requirements that can trip up even those employers who are trying to comply with their obligations. And, because of the monetary penalties and attorney’s fees that can be assessed for violations of those technical requirements, the consequences may be out of proportion to the seriousness of the wrongdoing. Read More

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Federal “De Minimis” Doctrine Does Not Apply to Wage Claims under California Law

In Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680 (1946), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that insubstantial and insignificant amounts of time spent on preliminary work activities could be ignored in calculating whether an employee had worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The U.S. Department of Labor adopted a regulation codifying this “de Read More

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