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Beware of How you Pay Your Employees You May Pay More

Todd Scherwin and Jonathan Liu’s article “Beware of How you Pay Your Employees You May Pay More” was featured in California Clubs of Distinction’s Third Quarter Newsletter.

Newspaper Carriers were Employees, Despite Independent Contractor Agreement, California Court Rules

A newspaper misclassified its newspaper carriers as independent contractors, the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento has ruled following a trial in a class action for employees’ unpaid mileage expenses under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code. Sawin v. The McClatchy Co., No. 34-2009-00033950 (Cal. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2014). Although the newspaper carriers signed agreements stating they were independent contractors, set their own schedules and routes, and could hire their own workers, the Court found the newspaper exercised such significant control over the newspaper carriers’ performance of their duties that it “belie[d] the contrary pronouncement in the form contracts….”

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FEHA REGULATIONS

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council is considering proposed amendments to the regulations interpreting the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The draft regulations are posted at www.dfeh.ca.gov.FEHCouncil.htm. They reflect recent amendments to the FEHA itself and changes based on case law developments and accepted “best practices.” The following summarizes the most significant proposals.

Court of Appeal: Meal Period Class Action Not "Welcome to Walgreens"

This is not a class action post, bored blog readers. Read this one if you are interested in meal and break issues.

How Different is California From the Rest of the United States?

It has been said that in many ways—including politically—the Golden State seems to march to the beat of its own drum. Accordingly, it comes as little surprise that the red Republican breaker that swept across the United States in last Tuesday’s election caused only a small wave in deep blue California.

Oakland, California, Passes Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave, Hospitality Service Charges Measure

A City of Oakland ballot measure increasing the minimum wage for most employees, requiring paid sick leave and mandating payment of employer-levied service charges to employees has passed with over 80 percent of the vote. Measure FF’s provisions raising the minimum wage and requiring paid sick leave will go into effect March 2, 2015; the provision tendering payment of service charges takes effect 10 days after the Oakland City Council formally declares the election results.

San Francisco Minimum Wage Going Up; Oakland's Too

The San Francisco minimum wage will increase as follows in the years to come:

FAQs on California's Paid Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The Act requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on July 1, 2015. Since the California legislature passed the law and even before Governor Brown signed it, we have received many questions regarding how the law works and what employers must do to prepare for it. Below, we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the law. Topics include employers’ sick leave obligations, administration of sick leave, and the interplay between sick leave and other state and local leave requirements.

Calif. Employers Must Take Care With Overtime Exemptions

For those of us who work with employees in highly specialized fields, it is important to never lose track of the recurring issue of whether exempt classification of employees for overtime purposes is appropriate. While all employers should make it a practice to evaluate the classification of employment positions, employers in the professional and technical industries, such as engineers, architects and contractors, should pay close attention to whether the professional exemption correctly applies to certain skilled employees.

FAAAA Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Requirements

In Godfrey v, Oakland Port Services Corp., which was decided on October 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued a published decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not preempt California’s meal and rest period requirements. The case is significant because it is the latest California decision holding that the FAAAA does not preempt California’s wage and hour laws