Articles Tagged with wage and hour lawsuit

For the most part, business liability insurance policies do cover the cost of defense and settlements in numerous types of employee lawsuits. It usually comes down to the exact language in the policy, but coverage is often extended for claims of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination. This is of paramount concern to employers, but it’s also relevant to employee plaintiffs in employment litigation because if the insurer doesn’t cover it, the employer will be directly responsible. If the damage award is sizable enough and the company small enough, it could mean you’ll have difficulty collecting on the damage award in your employment lawsuit. wage and hour lawsuit

This is especially pertinent to those filing a claim for violation of California’s wage and hour laws. Many employer liability insurers don’t carry coverage for this type of claim in California. Wage and hour claims are often explicitly cited as an exclusion or else businesses pay a premium for coverage.

However, a recent California Court of Appeal decision paved the way for more wage and hour claims to be covered by employer liability insurers. In Southern California Pizza Company, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, the appellate panel ruled that wage and hour claims against a pizza shop (for failure to reimburse for reimbursable expenses) was not barred under the business’s policy exclusion on wage and hour claims.

Why? Continue reading

The joint employment of a fast-food franchisor can’t be established in California employment lawsuits just because the company asserts control over the franchisee’s branding. Instead, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that plaintiffs will need to show sufficient control over things like worker hours, wages and job conditions under numerous legal theories. wage and hour lawyer

In the case before the Ninth Circuit, Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., the court held that the McDonald’s Corporation didn’t exercise sufficient control over the workers at a Bay Area franchisee to be held as a joint employee for alleged violations of state wage laws. Continue reading

Several former chicken plant workers are suing more than a dozen processing businesses, subsidiaries, affiliates and consultant companies, accusing them of conspiring to keep wages and benefits low for workers, overwhelmingly immigrants. The employees filed the wage and hour lawsuit on their own behalf, though the case could eventually encompass thousands of workers if approved for class action status.wage and hour lawsuit

Employee wage and hour attorneys understand the defendants include some of the largest chicken companies in the U.S., responsible for production and processing of some 90 percent of chicken sold in the country.

Price Fixing Allegations

The federal lawsuit alleges the companies took turns paying for annual, secret gatherings of their respective representatives in Florida to share with each other wage and benefit information – which they then used to fix those wages and benefits. Managers of companies would also be in contact with each other throughout the year when new positions would open up, discussing what the wages and benefits would be for the new post. Plaintiffs alleged this led to a pattern of controlling wages. Continue reading

A federal appellate court has requested the California Supreme Court clear up confusion about the state’s employee meal break and rest break laws, which often lead to wage theft claims. Employment attorneys in Orange County recognize this decision handed down by the court could have a significant impact on both employers and workers in the Golden State. wage and hour lawsuit

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Cole v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc., the primary questions the court seeks to answer are:

  • Whether the lack of a formal workplace policy on rest and meal breaks is a violation of state law.
  • Whether an employer’s failure to maintain records of rest and meal breaks results in the rebuttable presumption that they were not provided.

A rebuttable presumption in civil law is when the court assumes something to be true unless it is proven otherwise. An example of a rebuttable presumption in civil litigation would be that a driver in the rear of a rear-end collision is presumed negligent. (In criminal law, the best-recognized rebuttable presumption is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.)

In this employment law case, it would mean it could be presumed that meal breaks were not given (due to the lack of records) unless the employer can prove otherwise. Continue reading

California law requires workers be paid overtime provided they are non-exempt salaried workers and log more than 40 hours in a given week.grocery store  employee wage theft

As noted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, the rate of overtime pay is 1.5 times one’s normal wages for every hour over 40, or all hours in excess of 8 in a given workday. Any hours in excess of 12 in a given workday must be paid at double the rate. With very few exceptions (based on the size of the company and traits of the industry) these are the rules.

California Wage Theft Alleged by Grocery Store Worker

Unfortunately, as our Orange County employment attorneys know, far too many employers skirt these rules. A wage and hour lawsuit recently filed against a grocery store chain in Berkley alleges the company systematically denied at least 50 of its workers fair overtime wages. The Daily Californian reports the worker has sought class action status for his claim, alleging numerous wage-and-hour law violations. Continue reading

California has long been an economic powerhouse. And while layoffs have been consistently declining since the end of the Great Recession, the reality is some workers are still facing the possibility of being let go. As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, companies in the Golden State that fall under the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act have specific responsibilities – in addition to those offered employees under federal law – to give proper notice to workers and their families in the event of an impending layoff.Orange county employment lawyers

Specifically, affected employees, as well as state and local representatives, are entitled to at least two months (60 days) of advance notice of a plant is closing, relocation or mass layoff. Corporations obligated under this provision are those that employ 75 or more employees – full or part-time. The federal rule for WARN only includes workers who have been with the company at least 6 of the 12 months prior to the date of required notice. If a plant closing or relocation involves 50 or more employees in a 30-day span – regardless of the percentage of that workforce – they need to give notice. (Relocation is defined as any move that is 100 miles away or more). Continue reading

In most California wage and hour employment lawsuits, the entity held accountable by wronged workers is their (sometimes former) employer. Agents of your employer (typically, the owner) are in charge of paying those wages, but generally aren’t deemed responsible if there is a violation of law to do so. In fact, two California Supreme Court decisions in recent years (Reynolds v. Bement and Martinez v. Combs) affirmed this fact. But now, a California appellate court has ruled the lines of liability for unfair wages may not be so black-and-white. It may in fact be possible for supervisors and/or fellow employees deemed responsible to pay both civil penalties and your attorneys’ fees. overtime wage theft L.A.

The case in question, Atempa v. Pedrazzani, before the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, weighed a case filed under the state’s unique Private Attorney General’s Act (allowing wronged workers to sue for labor violations on behalf of the state and keep 25 percent of the verdict or settlement).

Persons Acting on Behalf of Employer Can Be Liable for California Wage Theft Continue reading

A quick internet search reveals dozens of jobs are listed at Amazon’s distribution and fulfillment center in Irvine, California (right here in Orange County) ranging from warehouse fulfillment to Whole Foods Shoppers. But there may be a reason such positions are constantly in rotation. Recently, Business Insider reported more than 200 delivery drivers are suing both Amazon and one of its third-party courier companies, TL Transportation, over claims of wage theft / unpaid wages.wage lawsuit

Orange County employment law attorneys have seen allegations of labor law violations by employees and designated independent contractors for the e-commerce giant and its partners piling up in recent years. Plaintiff lawyers say the company is using third-party contractors for its delivery posts in order to avoid legal liability for violations of state wage and hour laws. Third-party courier firms like TL, plaintiffs say, are tiny and thinly-capitalized, meaning they are unable to pay up when workers are cheated of rightful wages and mandated work breaks.

Just last month, a federal judge ruled this third-party courier’s pay system – which involved a flat rate for all delivery drivers, regardless of hours worked – failed to pay drivers properly, particularly with regard to overtime hours. It’s unclear precisely what Amazon’s liability will be in this, but our employee rights attorneys understand the class action lawsuit seeks to hold both firms accountable for willfully crafting an employment and pay structure that skirts labor laws and skimps on rightful pay. Continue reading

A janitorial company in Anaheim is being sued by the state of California for allegedly paying some 150 works just $400 monthly in wages over the past four years. As the Orange County Register reports, that is far below the minimum wage, which is why California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reports the firm has become a top priority for his office.wage and hour theft

The janitorial firm reportedly serves an estimated 80 major retailers throughout Southern California, including Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory and JoAnne’s Fabrics. These retailers, however, are not accused of any wrongdoing because they contract the work to a Pennsylvania-based firm that specializes in subcontracting such services. As our employment law attorneys can explain, this kind of subcontracting arrangement is typical in the retail sector as well as others, as it shields them from wage-and-hour lawsuits. Wage theft and other claims are common in these industries, and affected workers range from janitors (as in this case) to garment workers.

But while the retailers did not directly employ the workers, Becerra was quoted by the Register as saying he hopes the lawsuit puts large retailers and other firms on notice about such practices. Even if workers aren’t getting a paycheck from the retailer, they are still working within their facilities and in furtherance of their business, and that may be grounds to establish some level of responsibility. Continue reading

Mistreatment of immigrant employees unfortunately happens all too often, as some employers take advantage of workers’ lack of English skills and fear of potential deportation. Holding these firms accountable for such discrimination is a primary goal of our L.A. employment discrimination lawyers. employment discrimination

One’s immigration status or language skills should have no bearing on the way a company treats its workers.

Recently in Illinois, two restaurants and an employment agency were ordered to pay nearly $215,000 in back wages and penalties to a number of immigrant workers who were both mistreated and underpaid. Defendants in the matter – a sushi restaurant, a hibachi restaurant and an employment agency in Chinatown – are all expected to abide the consent decree. A judge will be in charge of overseeing the execution of the settlement, which partly requires the businesses to make a notable change in their employment practices.  Continue reading