On-call Rest Periods: Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc.

Late last year, in a controversial, split decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot require employees to remain “on-call” during rest periods, and that state law prohibits both on-duty and on-call rest periods. BACKGROUND The relevant facts are as follows. The plaintiffs, including named plaintiff Jennifer Augustus, … [Read more...]

New/Updated Workplace Laws for 2017

Starting some time in 2016, or as of January 1, 2017, there are almost two dozen new laws that impact California employers. Brief summaries of those laws are contained in this article. (They are listed by Assembly Bill (AB) and Senate Bill (SB), in numerical order.) ABX2-7 – Expanded Smoking Bans in the Workplace (Effective June 9, … [Read more...]

California Severely Limits The Use of Choice of Law and Venue Provisions in Employment Contracts

Starting January 1, 2017, California Labor Code, Section 925 generally prohibits choice of law or venue provisions in employment contracts for California employees. Section 925 provides as follows: (a) An employer shall not require an employee who primarily resides and works in California, as a condition of employment, to agree to a provision … [Read more...]

New Wage Laws in California

November 22, 2016, San Diego, California – On April 4, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 3 into law. SB 3 incrementally raises California’s minimum wage each year between 2017 and 2022 and also changes what constitutes an “exempt” employee from overtime pay requirements. (Had a bill not been passed, California citizens would have had … [Read more...]

CAN AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR WORK FULL TIME HOURS FOR BELOW MINIMUM WAGE?

Independent contractors are not entitled to minimum wage under California law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. They can work full time hours for below minimum wage. CURRENT MINIMUM WAGE Federal and state laws set minimum wage. Minimum wage is the minimum amount employers must pay employees for each hour worked. The purpose of minimum … [Read more...]

CAN CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS FORCE OVERTIME WORK ON YOU?

California employers can require employees to work overtime. They can even demote, discipline or terminate employees who refuse to work overtime.  Despite being allowed to force employees to work overtime, employers nonetheless must: (1) properly pay employees at the appropriate overtime pay rates; and (2) comply with the state's mandatory … [Read more...]

FIVE WAYS YOUR EMPLOYER MAY BE USING ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE

Employers often will review   or eavesdrop on employee communications, especially if they suspect their employees are engaging in wrongdoing. Employees generally have minimal privacy rights in communications that take place at work or on work-issued computers and cellphones. Below are five ways employers can legally (and illegally) spy on their … [Read more...]

SEEKING BACK PAY FOR AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP

  In today's modern business world, interns are becoming the contemporary equivalent of yesterday's entry-level employees. The primary difference between the two is that, unlike entry-level employees, interns are often not paid for their work. Employers will categorize workers as “interns” to avoid paying wages. This goes against many federal … [Read more...]

CAN MY EMPLOYER ASK ME FOR ACCESS TO MY FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND OTHER PERSONAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS?

California law restricts your employer from asking you to provide access to private information stored in your Facebook, Twitter, and other personal social media accounts.  The law generally makes it illegal for employers to request or require current employees (job applicants) to: disclose their usernames or passwords in order to access their … [Read more...]

WHAT IF I AM ASKED AN INAPPROPRIATE QUESTION DURING A JOB INTERVIEW?

As discussed in a previous post, California law prohibits employers from asking non-job related questions that may lead to discrimination as to race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, pregnancy, age, or sexual orientation. Employers … [Read more...]