Following the California Supreme Court’s remand of Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., the California Court of Appeal in that same case held that the defendant-employer had not committed “knowing and intentional” violations of the wage statement statute by not including meal period premiums on the wage statements and had not “willfully” paid all wages due at the end of employment by not previously paying meal period premiums that were owed. The Court held that, although the employer did not prevail on its defense that employees in a certified class action were subject to valid on-duty meal period agreements, neither waiting time penalties (capped at 30 days’ of wages at the daily rate of pay for each former employee) nor wage statement penalties (capped at $4,000 per employee) could be imposed against the employer given the good faith dispute that any meal period premiums were owed.
Many New York families employ domestic workers –individuals who care for a child, serve as a companion for a sick, convalescing or elderly person, or provide housekeeping or any other domestic service. They may be unaware of federal and New York requirements that guarantee those domestic workers minimum wage for all hours worked, paid meal breaks, and overtime compensation.
In addition, New York imposes specific requirements on employers regarding initial pay notices, pay frequency, and pay statements that also apply to persons who employ domestic workers.
To avoid inadvertent wage and hour violations, it is important that persons who employ domestic workers in New York understand the relevant laws regarding domestic workers and approach what many understandably consider a personal relationship as a formal, business one for wage and hour purposes.
Over the past six months, Congress has made two notable attempts to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (the “FLSA”). In July, U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced The Modern Worker Empowerment Act (“MWEA”) with the stated aim of harmonizing the FLSA’s definition of employee with the common law. And last month, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Treating Workers with Dignity Act of 2019 (“TWDA”), which would amend the FLSA to require certain compensated breaks.
Modern Worker Empowerment Act
Subject to certain exclusions, the FLSA ...
It seems as though there is a minefield that employers must navigate to ensure that they fulfill their wage and hour obligations to their employees. Employers must somehow comply with overlapping and seemingly contradictory federal, state, district, county, and local requirements. The wave of civil actions that are filed against employers alleging wage and hour violations is not slowing. And given the potential financial consequences for non-compliance, illustrated in part by a $102 million award for technical paystub violations, meeting these requirements must be a ...
More than seven years ago in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court clarified many of the general requirements for meal and rest periods under California law. Nothing the California Supreme Court said has slowed the filing of meal and rest period class actions against employers doing business in the state.
California wage-hour law is governed in large part by 18 different wage orders that apply to different industries and occupations. “The number of wage orders, and their internal variations, reflects the reality that differing aspects of work ...
In Bernstein v. Virgin America, Inc., a district court in California has ordered Virgin America to pay more than $77,000,000 in damages, restitution, interest and penalties for a variety of violations of the California Labor Code. The award is the latest example of the tremendous amount of damages and penalties that can be awarded for non-compliance with California’s complex wage and hour laws.
In 2016, the Bernstein Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying a class of California-based flight attendants who had been employed since March 2011.
On December 12, 2018, in Furry v. East Bay Publishing, LLC, the California Court of Appeal held that if an employer fails to keep accurate records of an employee’s work hours, even “imprecise evidence” by the employee “can provide a sufficient basis for damages.”
In the case, not only did the employer in Furry not keep accurate records of the employee’s time, but only the amount of damages, and not the fact of the underlying violation, was in dispute. Under those circumstances, the Court held that the employee’s “imprecise evidence” of the unpaid hours that he ...
On July 18, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion in Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp., approving Taco Bell’s on-premises meal periods for employees who choose to purchase discounted food.
Like many food services employers, Taco Bell offers discounts on its food to its employees. And it requires that employees consume such food on premises.
In Rodriguez, employees contended that requiring employees to consume discounted meals on premises results in a meal period or unpaid wage violation, arguing that employees must be relieved of all duty and must be permitted to leave the ...
After five years of litigation, a Los Angeles Superior Court has denied class certification of a class action against Joe’s Crab Shack Restaurants on claims that it managers were misclassified as exempt and denied meal and rest periods in violation of California law. The court found that the plaintiffs had not established adequacy of class representatives, typicality, commonality or superiority, and emphasized a defendant’s due process right to provide individualized defenses to class members’ claims.
Because the case was handled by our ...
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