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Labor and Employment


  • In Torrecillas v. Fitness Int’l, L.L.C., No. B296194, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 679 (Cal. Ct. App. July 21, 2020), Jose Torrecillas (“Torrecillas”) excelled as a general manager at Fitness International (“Fitness”).  Torrecillas set multiple all-time sales records, became Fitness’s highest paid general manager, and received several promotions.  Upon being promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Torrecillas signed a new employment contract that contained an arbitration agreement. Fitness ended up firing Torrecillas in 2017, and Torrecillas sued in state court in 2018.  Fitness moved to compel arbitration, but the trial court found that the parties’ arbitration agreement was both […]

  • By now every construction professional has been inundated with articles regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on the construction industry. The sheer volume of information is overwhelming and changes by the hour. This article is intended to summarize key issues affecting construction professionals and serve as a general road map for navigating the crisis.   1.    Determine Project Status The first consideration is whether the construction projects at issue are allowed to proceed given “shelter in place” and related orders. Generally speaking, Governor Newsom has deemed construction to be essential and, therefore, exempt from California’s “Safer at Home” order. There is some debate as to […]

  • Yesterday the NBA announced that it has suspended its regular season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).  Given the NBA schedule in the last two weeks, the entire NBA might have been exposed to the coronavirus!  Yesterday, President Trump also stated he was sharply restricting travel to the United States from more than two dozen European countries. While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to issue caution given coronavirus does not pose an immediate risk of exposure for most people in the United States, given these announcements and the high probability that there will […]

  • Direct Contractors to Assume Liability for Unpaid Wages by Subcontractors on Private Works That’s right–direct contractor liability just increased. Assembly Bill 1701, which adds section 218.7 to the Labor Code, imposes liability on direct contractors for any unpaid wages or fringe benefits owed by a defaulting subcontractor, even if the subcontractor has been paid in full. Here’s a breakdown of the law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018: Who is Impacted?  Labor Code section 218.7 applies to any private works direct contractor, meaning “the [contractor] that has a direct contractual relationship with the owner.” Cal. Civ. Code § […]

  • Nearly 1,000 bills were presented to the California Governor for his signature this legislative session. Here are five bills signed by Governor Brown that California employers should be aware of: Assembly Bill 168 – Prohibition on Requesting Salary History  Assembly Bill 168 prohibits all California employers (including state and local governments) from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment; however, applicants can voluntarily provide such information. The bill also requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request. Senate Bill 63 – Expansion of Parental Leave to “Small” Employers Senate […]

  • On October 12, Governor Brown signed into law two bills that California employers should be watching: AB 168 – Prohibition on Requesting Salary History  Assembly Bill 168 prohibits all California employers (including state and local governments), from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment. The bill also requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request.  The law seeks to eliminate “wage inequality that has spanned generations of women in the workforce” by removing institutionalized gender wage discrepancies, according to its author, Assembly member Susan Eggman.  SB 63 – Expansion […]

  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the U.S. Department of Labor’s appeal of an order enjoining the Department from enforcing a rule that raised the minimum annual salary for an employee to be exempt from overtime from $23,660 to $47,760. This comes on the heels of the District Court invaliding the salary increase, finding the Department exceeded its authority in adopting the rule. These two rulings effectively end the Obama-era increase to the minimum salary threshold for overtime exemptions. Here’s how the litigation played out.  November 22, 2016 – a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas […]

  • Proposed California Assembly Bill 1209, if passed in its present form, will require companies to have information regarding gender pay differentials published on the Internet.  Effects of Pay Inequity  In 2016, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee released a report stating that working women earn approximately 79 percent of what men earn, which can amount to nearly half a million dollars over the course of a woman’s career. Pay inequity has devastating effects on individuals, companies, and the workforce. Internally, it can cause reduced output and higher absenteeism, resulting in decreased economic productivity. It has also been shown to play […]

  • California has traditionally permitted a broad scope of discovery under the theory that discovery allows parties to ascertain the strength of their case prior to trial. Until recently, the California Supreme Court had not considered the scope of discovery in actions arising under California’s Private Attorneys General Act. Among other things, the Act has been used in recent years by savvy plaintiffs’ attorneys when bringing wage and hour class actions. In the recent California Supreme Court case of Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls of California, LLC), a Marshall’s employee brought an action under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) on behalf of […]