Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
0 0

16 Sep 2013 Governor Would Like Massachusetts to Join California As a Non-Noncompete State

Not long ago, Mark Scudder wrote here about the enforcement of a five-year noncompete by an Indiana state court. At the other end of the spectrum of this highly state-specific issue, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made news this week by announcing that he is in favor of making noncompetes unenforceable in Massachusetts.  There is a significant school of thought in Massachusetts that it is disadvantaged in recruiting high-tech talent by the fact that chief rival California, in effect, prohibits employers from using noncompetes.  That talent,…

READ MORE
0 0

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…

READ MORE
0 0

04 Oct 2012 California Passes Law to Regulate Access to Employees’ Social Media Accounts

California has become the third state to pass a law restricting an employer’s right to require access to applicant’s or employee’s social media accounts as a term and condition of employment. Maryland and Illinois passed similar laws earlier this year. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2013. The law does provide that an employer still has the right to require that an employee disclose such passwords if it is relevant to an investigation into employee misconduct or violation of applicable laws.  While most employers do not have…

READ MORE
0 0

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…

READ MORE
0 0

02 Oct 2012 California Creates First State-Run Retirement Plan for Private Sector Employees

On Sept. 28, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will create the nation’s first state-run retirement plan for private sector employees.  The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust is targeted at the more than 6 million low-income, private sector employees whose employers do not offer retirement plans.  The plan will require all employers with more than five employees to withhold 3 percent of employees’ pay unless employees opt out of the plan.  The plan will be administered by a board chaired by the state treasurer, which will select either a private investment firm or the state’s public pension system to invest and maintain the plan’s funds. Supporters of the legislation hail the new retirement plan as providing low-income…

READ MORE
0 0

25 Sep 2012 California Supreme Court to Review Class Action Arbitration Waivers in Employment Agreements

As we have been predicting, the issue of class action arbitration waivers has made its way to the California Supreme Court. On Sept. 20, 2012, the Supreme Court granted review of Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles (“Iskanian”), following the Court of Appeal’s decision affirming an order granting the employer’s motion to compel individual arbitration and dismissing the employee’s class claims. Presently, the case will involve three issues: 1.  Did AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), impliedly overrule Gentry v….

READ MORE
0 0

07 Sep 2012 Class Arbitration Prohibited if Not Authorized in Agreement

A California appeals court recently held that a former security officer’s wage-and-hour class action suit must be submitted to arbitration on an individual basis and that class arbitration is prohibited unless expressly noted in the arbitration agreement. In Jesus Reyes v. Liberman Broadcasting, Inc., the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, reversed the lower court’s denial of the employer’s motion to compel arbitration based on the arbitration agreement Reyes signed before working for Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. (LBI).  In this arbitration agreement, Reyes agreed to arbitrate…

READ MORE
0 0

16 Aug 2012 Another California Court of Appeal Struggles to Come To Grips with Arbitration

Earlier in August, we issued an Alert detailing continued hostility to arbitration of employment disputes in some corners of the California state courts, even following the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Stolt-Nielsen v. AnimalFeeds Internat. Corp., __ U.S. __ [130 S.Ct. 1758] (2010) (“Stolt-Nielsen”) and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011) (“Concepcion”).  On August 13, 2012, yet another California Court of Appeal weighed into the fray, but provided little clarity. The California Court of Appeal decision in Truly Nolen of…

READ MORE