Employment Law Alerts

Supreme Court OK's Class Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 3:05 PM

Topics: 2018, Arbitration, Wage and Hour, National Labor Relations Board

In a big win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires courts to enforce mandatory arbitration agreements that contain class waiver provisions. This new decision in a trio of cases -- Epic Systems Corp., Murphy Oil USA Inc., and Ernst & Young LLP -- rejects the argument that class waivers violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because they interfere with the enforcement of employee rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state wage and hour laws.

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Supreme Court Rejects Principle of Narrow Construction for FLSA Exemptions

Posted on April 12, 2018 at 10:53 AM

Topics: 2018, Wage and Hour

In a new decision, Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro et al., the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected over 50 years of precedent requiring FLSA exemptions to be narrowly construed against the employers seeking to assert them. Instead, the Court held that because the FLSA gives no textual indication that its exemptions should be construed narrowly, they should be given a “fair reading.” While the ruling determined that service advisers employed at car dealerships are exempt from overtime under the FLSA, the Court’s decision signals a far broader application of many FLSA exemptions.

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California Supreme Court Rules on How to Calculate Overtime on Flat Sum Bonuses

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 9:06 AM

Topics: 2018, Wage and Hour

In an employee-friendly decision, the California Supreme Court has ruled that when a nonexempt employee receives a nondiscretionary “flat sum bonus” covering a single pay period, the overtime rate is based on the employee’s regular, non-overtime hours in the pay period, rather than the total hours. The new case is Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp. of California (S232607, March 5, 2018).

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California's "Immigrant Worker Protection Act" in Effect; DLSE Issues Notice Template and Guidance

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 9:28 AM

Topics: 2018, Immigration

California’s A.B. 450, the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act,” took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, imposing strict new obligations on all California employers during immigration enforcement actions and when receiving a Notice of Inspection (NOI) from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding I-9 forms and other employment records. Employers should pay close attention to their new obligations under A.B. 450, particularly as ICE has signaled that it will be responding to this new law with increased raids and inspections at California workplaces. Joint guidance on A.B. 450 recently issued by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the California attorney general, as well as a notice template from the DLSE, should assist employers with their compliance efforts.

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SCOTUS Rejects SEC's Expanded Definition of Whistleblower

Posted on February 22, 2018 at 2:25 PM

Topics: 2018, Retaliation

In Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously overruled a Ninth Circuit decision that had relied on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) broad interpretation of the definition of a whistleblower under the Dodd-Franks Act.

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Court Rules Grubhub Driver Was Independent Contractor; What's the Impact for the Gig Economy?

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 1:59 PM

Topics: 2018, Wage and Hour, Independent Contractors and Gig Economy

In a long-awaited decision, a federal district court in California has ruled that a driver for food delivery app Grubhub was an independent contractor and not an employee under California law. While the ruling in Lawson v. Grubhub, Inc. is expected to have an impact on other “gig economy” companies that offer customers an opportunity to connect with goods or services through smartphone apps, the case is not the last word on worker classification.

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