San Fernando Valley Los Angeles Attorneys
Navigation Two
Phone Number

Entries in wage and hour (16)

Friday
Jul112014

The Road Ahead for California Transportation Industry Employers

Wage and Hour Defense Attorney Employment Defense Attorney

 

by Sue M. Bendavid & Hannah Sweiss

 

The 9th Circuit Rules FAA Authorization Act Does Not Preempt State Meal and Rest Break Laws

On July 9, 2014, in Dilts v. Penske Logistics, Inc. the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that, for motor carrier employers, California’s meal and rest break laws are not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”).      

Class Action: 349 delivery drivers and installers claim Defendants create an environment that discourages employees from taking breaks.Up until this ruling, motor carrier employers tried to argue they need not comply with California’s meal and rest break rules, as those rules had an impermissible negative impact on “prices, routes and services” and therefore, those laws were preempted by federal law under the FAAAA.

Defendants in Dilts argued compliance with California’s meal and rest break laws would force drivers to deviate from routes and would result in a cessation of delivery services throughout the day. This could cause longer delivery times and greater costs to employers. However, the Ninth Circuit was unpersuaded.  

 

The Ruling's Impact on California Employers     

So what does this mean for certain motor carriers in the transportation industry?

Generally, under California law an employer must provide a duty free meal break of 30 minutes for nonexempt employees who work more than five hours and a second 30 minute duty free meal break for those who work more than 10 hours. If a nonexempt employee’s total daily work time is at least 3.5 hours, employers must also provide a paid rest period of 10 minutes for every four hours or major fraction thereof.

Based on this decision, motor carrier employers may have to: 

  • Hire more drivers,

  • Stagger employee break times,

  • Reallocate resources to maintain a particular service level,

  • Allow drivers to make minor deviations from their routes, and

  • Make other changes to ensure compliance with California’s meal and rest break rules.

A failure to do so may result in substantial penalties and is expected to result in more class actions on this issue. 

Sue M. Bendavid and Hannah Sweiss are Wage and Hour Defense Attorneys at our Firm. Contact them directly: sbendavid@lewitthackman.com or 818.907.3220; hsweiss@lewitthackman.com or 818.907.3260, for more information.

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Wednesday
Jun112014

Employers: Ready for California's Minimum Wage Increase?

Lawyer for EmployerWage and Hour Defense

 

by Nicole Kamm
818.907.3235

 

 

 

Last September, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 10 into law, beginning a series of increases in minimum wages for California workers. The first increases under AB 10 is about to go into effect.

On July 1, 2104, the minimum wage in California will increase from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour.  This wage hike will have a wide-ranging impact on all California employers. 

For example:  

  • Non-exempt employees paid less than $9.00 per hour must receive an increase in pay.

  • Certain exempt employees (executive, administrative, professional) must receive a monthly salary of at least twice minimum wage on a salaried basis (as well as meet other exemption requirements).  Effective July 1, 2014, the minimum monthly salary for exempt employees increases to $3,120.  Employees paid less will no longer meet the exemption.

  • Inside sales employees under Wage Orders 4 and 7 must earn more than 1½ times minimum wage for all hours worked (they must also receive more than 50 percent of their compensation from commissions).  As of July 1, 2014, to qualify as exempt, such employees must be paid at least $13.50 per hour. 

The revised California Minimum Wage Official Notice should be posted next to your IWC Wage Order and other required workplace postings. 

Since 2012, California employers have been required to provide written notice to non-exempt employees containing certain information, including rate of pay.  The DLSE form Notice to Employee can be used for this purpose. 

Employers who have already issued this wage notice do not have to reissue as a result of the minimum wage increase provided the new wage rate is shown on the employee’s pay stub (itemized wage statement) with the next payment of wages.

Now is a good time for employers to audit their pay practices to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws.  If you have questions or need assistance with an audit, please contact me.

 

Other Minimum Wage Hikes

Minimum wages in California vary by city or county.If you're doing business in the Bay Area, be aware that the Richmond City Council voted to increase wages for workers in that city to $13.00 per hour by 2018 for most employers – higher than the current minimum wage in San Francisco ($10.74/hr).  Minimum wage in San Jose is currently $10.15 per hour.

This one isn't mandated by law yet, but employers should take note the California Senate recently approved a different set of increases, set to go before the Assembly. These proposed increases, if approved, would raise minimum wage to $11.00 per hour in January 2015, $12.00 in 2016, and $13.00 in 2017.

Already in place, Assembly Bill 10 will increase wages again to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. 

 

Nicole Kamm is an Employment Defense Attorney at our firm. Contact her directly: 818.907.3235; nkamm@lewitthackman.com.

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Wednesday
Mar192014

Bridging the Pay GAP

Lawyer for EmployerWage and Hour Defense

 

by Nicole Kamm
818.907.3235

 

Last week, GAP announced it would be increasing its minimum wage to $9 in 2014 and $10 in 2015 for employees nationwide. In its press release, GAP’s Chairman and CEO, Glenn Murphy, stated the clothing company “did this because it is right for our company and right for our people.”

Just one step behind, President Obama is continuing to push efforts to increase federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour – more  than a dollar higher than the $9 proposal made in his 2013 State of the Union address. Federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009. In states that don’t mandate a higher rate, federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour.

Also last week, President Obama directed the Department of Labor to propose revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations regarding overtime exemptions. The President asked the Labor Secretary to consider: 

  1. How existing protections can be “modernized” to conform to the intentions of the FLSA

  2. The changing nature of the workplace 

  3. Simplifying regulations to make them easier to understand by both employees and employers, and easier for employers to apply 

This has been interpreted to mean we can expect a proposed: 

  1. Increase in minimum salary paid to an employee for the employee to qualify as exempt (currently, $455 per week); and

  2. Replacement of the FLSA “primary duty” test with a more substantive test to require an employee to spend a certain percentage of his/her time on exempt duties to qualify for exempt status. 

Both of the above changes would substantially decrease the number of employees who qualify under the federal exemption test.

 

What Does This Mean for California Employers?

 

Bottom line – not much.

California minimum wage is already going up to $9 per hour as of July 1, 2014, and $10 per hour as of January 1, 2016. Now is a good time for California employers to start gearing up for the increase, including issuing new wage notices pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5, adjusting overtime calculations, and reviewing exempt employee salaries to ensure they are at least two times the minimum wage ($37,440 as of July 1st).

As for the proposed FLSA changes, California employers are already subject to more narrow overtime exemptions requirements under state law. Among other things, to qualify as exempt in California, an employee must be paid a salary of at least $640 per week ($720 as of July 1st). California employees must also spend more than 50 percent of their weekly work time on exempt duties.

Though there is much debate over proposed changes in federal employment laws, California employers can take some comfort knowing that - in most cases - they are already required to comply with what may be implemented on a national level. Somewhat surprisingly - it would appear California is a trendsetter these days when it comes to changes in national employment law.

 

Nicole Kamm is a Wage and Hour Defense Lawyer at our firm. She can be reached via email: nkamm@lewitthackman.com

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Thursday
Dec262013

Employer Compliance - New California Employment Laws for 2014

Attorney for EmployersEmployer Defense Attorney

 

by Sue M. Bendavid
818.907.3220

 

Most employers already heard: California’s hourly minimum wage will increase in July, from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour for most cities in the state.

What employers may not know though, is that this increase will affect more than just hourly non-exempt employees. For more details, please read, What the Minimum Wage Hike Means for Employers.

Employer Lawyers Los AngelesAll California employers must post information regarding wages, hours and working conditions where the posters will be easily seen by employees.The wage increase also means employers should update the Minimum Wage Poster mandated for all employers, which should in turn, remind everyone to update all notices required by various state and federal governing agencies. By way of example, see a list of workplace postings as stated on the CA Department of Industrial Relations website.

 

California's New Laws for Employers

 

The legal landscape in this area constantly evolves, and it rarely benefits the employer. Consider these new California Assembly and Senate Bills:

  1. The Labor Commissioner can create a lien on an employer's property for amounts due under a Labor Commissioner order, decision or award: AB 1386.

  2. Employers may recover attorneys' fees only if a court finds that an employee claimant filed a lawsuit in bad faith: SB 462.

  3. Penalties for failure to pay minimum wage have been expanded – an employer will now pay liquidated damages to the employee in addition to existing penalties:  AB 442.

There are many more that involve protecting whistleblowers and military veterans. Other laws affecting specific industries like agriculture, garment workers, employees in the car wash industry and those who pay piece-rate wages also went into effect. Domestic workers now have a Bill of Rights to cover those who offer private child or elder care and other services.

Also consider the new bills that expand leaves of absence: Victims of certain crimes including stalking must be given time off. Certain employers will need to afford time off for workers to train for emergency duty, to care for elder or young family members and in-laws.

These will be discussed during our in-person Employment Law Update. But if you have questions, contact us for help in staying compliant: 818.907.3220.

 

Sue Bendavid represents employers in employment-related litigation and all claims made by employees or governing agencies. Contact her via email: sbendavid@lewitthackman.com.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Wednesday
Oct162013

Employers to Weather an Expansion in Wage & Hour Law

Lawyer for EmployerWage and Hour Defense

 

by Nicole Kamm
818.907.3235

 

The National Weather Service predicts cooling temperatures (in the mid-70s to the mid-80s) over the next couple of weeks, which will hopefully give SoCal employers a bit of a breather from worrying about new employee wage and hour claims.

Why?

Governor Jerry Brown just signed Senate Bill 435 into law. The bill expands the one hour pay penalty for missed meal and rest periods found in Labor Code 226.7 to include recovery periods. Recovery periods are also known as cool down periods, to prevent heat illness for employees working outdoors.

According to the California Heat Illness Prevention Standard (GISO 3395), employers must provide shade to accommodate at least 25 percent of their outdoor workforce when the temperature climbs above 85°F. Employers should not only allow, but also encourage employees to take five minutes or more under these shaded areas to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. There are other guidelines regarding supplying employees with adequate amounts of drinking water, dealing with temperatures above 95°F, monitoring your employees' tolerance for heat, etc.  

Again, the “recovery period” requirement is an amendment to Labor Code §226.7. Employers were already prohibited from requiring employees to work during meal and rest periods. The new recovery period rule applies to all applicable orders, statutes or regulations under:

  • Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) Board
  • Division of Occupational Safety and Health
  • California Law

Many California employers may see a rise in worker claims, particularly those whose businesses involve:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Delivery
  • Landscaping
  • Oil or Gas Extraction
  • Transportation

To keep your employees healthy, and minimize wage and hour claims in view of the amended statute, employers should review and comply with OSHA guidelines for providing water and shade, which require, among other things, a recovery period of not less than 5 minutes for employees who work outside to take a cool-down rest when the outdoor temperature exceeds 85°F. Employers should also train supervisors and workers to recognize early warning signs of heat illnesses.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about SB 435 and how best to minimize wage and hour claims.

 

Nicole Kamm is a Wage & Hour Claim Prevention Attorney at our firm. Contact her via email: nkamm@lewitthackman.com for more information.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
LEWITT HACKMAN | 16633 Ventura Boulevard, Eleventh Floor, Encino, California 91436-1865 | 818.990.2120