Category Archives: Newsletter Archives

PAGA CLAIMS GET A BOOST FROM STATE’S HIGHEST COURT

The California Supreme Court has just “upped the ante” in the discovery phase of PAGA litigation. In Williams v. Superior Court, the court by unanimous decision, held that PAGA plaintiffs have the same broad discovery rights to obtain the names and contact information of other California employees that they would have if the case was filed as a class action. The court also ruled that plaintiffs are permitted to seek the contact information for their fellow “aggrieved employees” at the outset of their lawsuit, without a showing of good cause for the potentially private information. The court remarked that “nothing in the characteristics of a PAGA suit . . . affords a basis for restricting discovery more narrowly” than in non-PAGA class actions.

Posted in Newsletter Archives

DEATH, TAXES AND NEW CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT LAWS REGARDING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

The old saying goes, “there are two things that you can’t avoid – death and taxes.”  Despite that sage advice, many employers, well intentioned though they may be, have attempted to save money by classifying employees as independent contractors, to avoid paying taxes. However, just because a company hires a worker as an independent contractor […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

SPRING IS HERE AND IT’S TIME TO CLEAN OUT YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS (AND EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK)

When is the last time you looked through your kitchen cabinets and cleaned out expired cans of food?  If you are like me, it was a few years ago.  My wife and I recently tackled this chore and it was quite an educational moment.  For starters, I was shocked to learn just how many cans […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

EMPLOYERS BEWARE: RECENT NLRB CHANGES IMPACT EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS

Employers large and small are familiar with the concept of employee handbooks as standard communication devices in many American workplaces.  Handbooks typically describe the company and its business, set standards of conduct, and establish or diminish employee expectations regarding the employment relationship. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board has sparked intense conversation regarding the legality […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

During the past sixty years the percentage of unionized workers in the private sector has plummeted from a high of 33% in 1952 to a percentage today of less than 7%.  While a number of factors such as globalization, changing social standards, expanded use of subcontractors, and precarious economic circumstances have contributed to the decline; […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

CALIFORNIA’S NEW DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS DO NOT TRUMP ARBITRATION BENEFITS

Arbitration, like mediation, has always been an attractive alternative to prolonged litigation for numerous reasons, including in the past the confidentiality of the proceedings and the outcomes. For employers in particular, arbitration remains an effective mechanism to keep employment disputes outside of the hands of a jury, which tend to be made up of sympathetic […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

NOT SO HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Employer-Sponsored Holiday Parties – Tips for Ensuring a Happy Holiday Season It is estimated that over two-thirds of employers will host some form of holiday party for their employees this year, with many of these parties serving some extra holiday cheer in the form of beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. (BLG included!) While holiday […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

CALIFORNIA TAKES A STEP TO END WORKPLACE BULLYING

The scope of California’s required supervisory sexual harassment training just got bigger: the training must now include the prevention of workplace bullying. The story began in 2004 when Assembly Bill 1825 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. This law requires that every California employer with 50 or more employees provide supervisors with sexual harassment […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES’ WHISTLE JUST GOT MUCH LOUDER

In late-2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three  bills (SB 496, SB 666 and AB 263), which together significantly expanded California Labor Code Section 1102.5 (Section 1102.5), California’s general whistleblower statute. While litigation continues in California courts regarding whether these amendments apply retroactively, one thing is certainly clear, whistleblower claims in California will assuredly […]

Posted in Newsletter Archives

PAGA, ANYONE?

Our great State of California often sets the national standard on various social, economic and political fronts. One example of this is California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) (Cal. Lab. Code, §2698 et seq.) However, since its adoption in 2004, questions have repeatedly been raised about PAGA’s purpose, use and effectiveness.

So you ask, what is PAGA?

PAGA deputizes private citizens and allows them to act on behalf of California’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) in seeking civil penalties for Labor Code violations. PAGA authorizes employees to bring a lawsuit “on behalf of themselves and others” on any violation of the California Labor Code, regardless of how small, technical, or short-lived the alleged violation.

Now that’s a lot for anyone to swallow. Keep reading to digest it further. (Pun intended.)

Posted in Articles, Newsletter Archives