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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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06 Dec 2013 California Court of Appeals Overturns Superior Court Denial of Class Certification

A California Court of Appeal issued a decision that should serve as a cautionary tale for defendants in California class actions. The appellate court overturned a Superior Court judge’s decision denying class certification in a an alleged misclassification case where the judge found that plaintiffs had failed to establish that: their claims were typical of the class; they could adequately represent the class; common questions predominated the claims; and a class action is the superior means of resolving the litigation. In Martinez v. Joe’s Crab…

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15 Nov 2012 Right to Work States Outstrip Others In Job Growth

According to a study by the National Institute of Labor Relations Research (the NILRR), the bulk of the country’s job growth since the end of the recession in 2008 took place in right to work states. Right to work states have some form of limitation on the ability to make paying union dues a condition of employment. The NILRR analyzed data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that approximately 72 percent of the net job growth in the United States from June…

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01 Nov 2012 California Appeals Court Approves Rounding of Employee Time

In a decision published on Oct. 29, 2012, a California Court of Appeal ruled that employers may lawfully round employee time so long as employees are properly compensated in the long run. While this has been the general rule under federal law, and the rule has been adopted by the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (the “DLSE”), this decision is the first published decision in California to expressly permit the practice. In its ruling, the Court of Appeal validated the DLSE’s adoption of the…

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03 Oct 2012 California Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Explicit Mutual Wage Agreements

On Sept. 30, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law dozens of bills, including AB 2103, which prohibits previously permitted agreements between non-exempt employees and their employers by which the employee could agree to a fixed salary covering all hours worked, including overtime. The purpose of these “mutual wage agreements” is generally to simplify payment to employees that work irregular hours. The bill amends California Labor Code section 515 to read, “that payment of a fixed salary to a nonexempt employee shall be deemed to…

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