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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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05 Apr 2016 Ok…Are You Sitting Down?

More than five years ago, the California plaintiffs’ bar launched a series of lawsuits against various retailers alleging that they were violating a part of the California wage orders that require suitable seating to be available to workers. For the mercantile industry, the regulations require:   (A) All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.   (B) When employees are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature…

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30 Nov 2015 Bad Moon On The Rise: California’s New Fair Pay Act

  Decrying a gender wage gap, the California Legislature has enacted amendments to the state’s pay equity law that could potentially rewrite how pay discrimination cases are litigated in the Golden State. Prior law was modeled after the Federal Equal Pay Act, wherein an employer could look at the incumbents holding the same positions to assess whether men and women are paid equally, taking into account skill and experience. That regime proved too straight forward for Californians.   In its place the legislature has enacted…

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14 Jul 2014 9th Circuit Rules that the FAAAA Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Laws

  In a set back for motor-carrier industry employers in California, the 9th Circuit ruled on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (the FAAAA) does not preempt California meal and rest break law. In Dilts v. Penske Logistics,  a three member panel of the  9th Circuit overruled a lower court that had found that the FAAAA, which provides “States may not enact or enforce a law . . . related to a price, route or service of any motor carrier . ….

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30 Jun 2014 Breaking News: Supreme Court curtails ACA contraceptive mandate

  Supreme Court curtails ACA contraceptive mandate. More complete report can be found here.       Scott WitlinScott J. Witlin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department and the Entertainment and Music Practice Group. Mr. Witlin handles traditional labor and employment matters, including arbitrations, collective bargaining negotiations, compliance with various guild and union agreements, and union organizing campaigns. He represents clients in the entertainment and broadcasting, video game,…

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24 Jun 2014 California Supreme Court Provides Sweeping Class Waiver Guidance: Accepts Concepcion, Overturns Gentry; Rejects D. R. Horton Theory; Leaves PAGA Loophole

  On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated arbitration decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (Iskanian).  In a far-reaching opinion, the Court accepted the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (Concepcion) holding class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). This part of the opinion was a victory for California employers in that it overturned a prior California Supreme Court decision, Gentry v. Superior Court that…

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08 Feb 2013 Breaking – Mixed Bag Ruling In California Mixed Motive Case

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued its widely anticipated ruling in Harris v. City of Santa Monica regarding the burdens in so-called mixed motive discrimination cases. Our Alert on the decision can be found here. This particular case had been pending before the court for three years, and should provide some guidance in cases where both legitimate and unlawful factors affect an employment decision. Scott WitlinScott J. Witlin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s…

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21 Nov 2012 They Know They Have It Too Good

As we reported earlier this week, federal government over pays its employees compared to the private sector by anywhere from 15-59% in wages (depending upon how you do the calculations) and by 44% when it comes to benefits. Using these figures, bringing the $200 billion the government spends on civilian employee compensation in line with the private sector could save the government hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years — before cutting any programs or entitlements. Now realizing that their largely unnoticed government largess…

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19 Nov 2012 Overpaying Our Way Over The Edge of The Fiscal Cliff

While the debate about the fiscal cliff has been about what services to eliminate and how much to raise taxes, ignored almost entirely is the fact that the government grossly overpays for the services it buys. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a federal government employee (including the Post Office) was $70,100 per year. For all private sector workers, that number was $43,980. That is, federal government employees are paid 59.4 percent more in salary…

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