Articles Posted in employment attorney

As 2018 nears to a close, Orange County employment attorneys are looking ahead to California labor law changes in 2019. Also, it’s not a bad idea to review for employers to review recent case law precedents and best practices and for employees to educated themselves on key facts regarding their rights and the most common types of employment lawsuits. California labor law 2019

If you have questions regarding a specific California employment law issue, our dedicated legal team at The Nassiri Law Group is available to meet for free initial consultations. Our Labor and Employment Practice Areas range from wrongful termination to sexual harassment to Family Medical Leave Act violations and a host of discriminatory practices.

2019 Wage Law Changes in California

Let’s start with changes in wage laws. A new law passed in 2016 requires incremental minimum wage increases annually in the Golden State. Last year, per the California Department of Industrial Relations, companies with 25 or fewer employees were required to pay a minimum hourly wage of $10 while those with 26 or more employees were mandated to pay $10.50. This year, both increased by $0.50 hourly. Next year, it raises to $11 hourly for smaller employers and $12 hourly for bigger companies. By 2023, the minimum wage in California will be $15 hourly. Be aware that where federal, state or local wage laws apply, the employer is required to abide the stricter standard that is most beneficial to the employee. Minimum wage is the same for minors as adults and for full-time as well as part-time employees. If you rely on tips, companies cannot use your tip credit toward your minimum hourly wage, and unlike federal law set by the Fair Labor Standards Act, California law requires employers pay the full state minimum wage before tips.  Continue reading

The California trucking industry is one of many heavily scrutinized over its employee classification (or perhaps rather more aptly, employee misclassification). Many truck drivers are identified as independent contractors. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys know the obvious reason for that is trucking is a dangerous job. When truckers are considered “employees,” they must be paid overtime, given state-required breaks and workers’ compensation for injuries. Trucking companies can also be deemed vicariously liable in truck crashes involving negligent employee drivers versus, while they’d have to be found directly negligent in cases involving an independent contractor driver. L.A. employment lawyer

But now, two trucking contractors plus the California Trucking Association are suing the State of California over a mandated test trucking companies must take to ascertain whether a driver is an independent contractor or employee. In federal court, plaintiffs are seeking reversal of an employee-contractor test laid forth in the California Supreme Court in the case of Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles.

As Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, the state high court in that case adopted the so-called “ABC Test,” to figure out whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. That was in April.  Continue reading

What started as a California racial discrimination wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a physician has on appeal broadened employee rights of refusal in so-called “no rehire clauses” in settlement.wrongful termination lawyer Los Angeles

The case, Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medicine Group, had previously been before the 9th DCA, but the appellate court weighed it once more to consider whether an employee could lawfully be ordered to sign an employment lawsuit settlement that would restrict future employment with the former employer/ defendant.

The answer is: It depends. In this case, some of the factors that came into play were the size and reach of defendant’s corporation, as well as the fact that the restriction included a provision that plaintiff would be at risk for termination even if his current employer or another in the future contracted with his former employer. For instance, if his former employer – a partnership of 2,000 doctors providing services to emergency rooms and 160 other facilities in 10 states – contracted to provide, say anesthesiology services with a hospital wherein plaintiff was working, his employment would be in jeopardy. That, said the court, violated his rights as outlined in BPC Section 16600.

As Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys can explain, this is something we may see be highly relevant in future California employment law cases against large corporate defendants, particularly for professionals in specialized fields. Continue reading

Their employer wouldn’t let them sit down. So the employees stood up to them – in court. L.A. employment attorney

Walmart Inc. has agreed to pay $65 million to approximately 100,000 California cashiers – current and former – who allege the company broke the law in denying them a place to sit during work hours. Specifically at issue was Wage Order 7-2001 § 14(A), which specifically states all workers must be provided with suitable seats when the nature of their work reasonably allows it. The provision further states that if workers aren’t engaged in active duties of their employment and the nature of the work generally requires standing, the company is required to provide seats in reasonable proximity to the work space that workers can access whenever it doesn’t interfere with their work duties.

In Brown v. Walmart Inc., before the U.S. District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division, it took nine years for a resolution that in the end, will not require the company to admit it did anything wrong. Still, it will have to pay the cashiers to whom it denied seating their share of the employment lawsuit settlement. Continue reading

A worker at a California home furnishing store has filed a Santa Barbara wrongful termination and workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit, alleging her employer violated her rights as a whistleblower by falsifying her signature on work injury paperwork. wrongful termination lawyer

In her employment lawsuit, plaintiff alleges the retail furniture store based in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara sought to discredit her work injury claim and bolster its grounds to fire her after she was hurt while moving furniture with a co-worker. She reportedly filed a workers’ compensation claim, but the two owners of the business allegedly prepared a declaration with her name without her knowledge.

According to local news sources and court records of the complaint she filed, the declaration reportedly indicated she ad the other worker hadn’t moved any furniture on the day of the injury and conceded she never reported the job-related injury. Plaintiff alleges the store owners forged her signature on the document and that never was she interviewed by the store owners and that statements attributed to her were wrong. The store then denied her workers’ compensation claim – which is when she learned of the forged declaration. Concerned she may have been implicated in an act that was illegal, she felt she had no choice but to resign from her job right away. Continue reading

A trucking association representing trucking companies in 11 states is petitioning the U.S. Department of Transportation to intervene in an ongoing legal challenge over state-mandated truck driver breaks.employment misclassification lawyer

The group, Western States Trucking Association, has also filed a lawsuit over the owner-operator status, arguing these two issues impact all trucking carriers operating California – no matter where they are based.

The petition submitted to the DOT last month asks for a declaration that truck drivers hauling overweight and over-sized loads are subject to the federal hours of service rules, which (they argue) should supersede the state’s mandated break requirements. The complaint names as defendants the California Department of Industrial Relations as well as the state attorney, and seeks to a nullification of the state supreme court’s ruling that (they say) effectively “eliminates the use of owner-operators, even on-truck motor carriers,” from the trucking industry. Continue reading

Employees at giant tech companies are figuring out ways to exercise free speech and protest against employment attorneysassignments they find ethically questionable, in spite of at-will laws that could get them fired for such acts of rebellion, according to CNBC. Employees at big names such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are staging protests and signing petitions largely in response to government contracts requesting work they find objectionable. Some examples include facial recognition software being used by police, improved military drone technology, and technology used in immigration and customs enforcement.

Nondisclosure agreements and general fear of losing their jobs have kept workers quiet about moral gray areas when it comes to tech work in the past. The First Amendment protects free speech, preventing the government from impeding on rights of U.S. citizens. Those rights, however, do not protect people from their places of business taking action against them. Whistleblower laws offer some safeguards, but only if an employee is reporting illegal activity. They do not protect employees who are taking a stance against legal projects to which they have an ethical objection. Public dissent against the company you work for is not protected and could easily get a person fired. Continue reading

In-N-Out Burger Inc. employees should be allowed to wear buttons in support of higher minimum wage, employee rightsaccording to a recent ruling from a federal appeals court. A panel with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently unanimously upheld a decision by National Labor Relations Board in a case regarding employees at In-N-Out Burger wearing Fight for $15 buttons. The company tried to ban the buttons arguing they interfered with the company’s image, which includes a very specific uniform and a dress code that prohibits wearing pins or stickers. The company also claimed the buttons could pose food safety concerns, but NLRB and the panel said that was not enough reason to restrict workers’ rights and that doing so was in violation of federal law, according to a report from Reuters.

Fight for $15 is an organization that supports unions and pushes for higher minimum wage, especially among fast-food workers across the country. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, protects the right of workers to join a union and encourages collective bargaining. It also holds firm against practices by employers deemed harmful to the general welfare of workers. What does all of this have to do with employees wearing buttons?

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The Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and employee rightsMunicipal Employees quickly rose to landmark status in employment law. The 5-4 ruling by the high court determined it is unconstitutional to force nonunion workers to pay fees to unions in the public sector. Justices for the majority decisions explained that forcing workers to financially back an organization whose views they did not necessarily agree with was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech, according to a CNBC report. The decision overturned the 1977 Supreme Court ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which stated fees could be collected for collective bargaining, but not for political purposes. Some believe, however, that by nature collective bargaining and union practices are political.

While the ruling does not affect the private sector directly, the spirit of the decision certainly sets a precedent for legal disputes with private employment unions. It also helps bolster laws that already exist in 27 states which forbid agreements between unions and employers to force all employees who are part of a bargaining unit to contribute to union dues. The ruling is viewed by many as a victory for individual liberties. Continue reading

According to a recent news report from the Los Angeles Times, workers at a golf course owned by President Donald J. Trump’s family business, and the workers of another luxury resort nearby have, through their union representation, filed a lawsuit against the city clerk after their proposed ballot initiation was not placed on the staff meeting for the upcoming meeting required to allow the measure on the November 2018 ballot.

employment lawyersThis ballot measure would require all employees who work in remote areas of the property, or who are working alone, to be provided with panic buttons they could activate if they were the target of a sexual assault or in some other type of danger. The ballot measure would also require the employees to be paid at least a $15 per hour minimum wage as well as the provision of other related benefits.  Continue reading