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Labor Code sections 558 and 1197.1, allow the Labor Commissioner to sue for set civil penalties in addition to an amount sufficient to recover underpaid wages if an employer fails to pay overtime wages or minimum wages as required by California law.  This decision holds that in a PAGA suit, the employee plaintiff may recover only the set civil penalty… Read More

Summary judgment was improper where questions of fact remained as to whether the plaintiff was a domestic work employee of defendant caregiver placement agency for purposes of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, Lab. Code 1450 et seq., rather than an independent contractor as the defendant claimed. Read More

After employee provided uncontradicted evidence that he worked overtime hours he could not be denied compensation merely because his employer failed to keep accurate time records of the employee's hours of work; rather, at that point the employee's memory of time spent on special projects sufficed, and the burden shifted to the employer to disprove the claimed hours. Read More

Union members need not arbitrate state statutory claims unless their collective bargaining agreement clearly and unmistakably consigns the claims to arbitration, expressly mentioning the statute or the rights it confers. Read More

Despite good faith efforts to comply, defendant employer’s time records and payroll records showed that 75% of the workers who worked between five and five and a quarter hours were not given meal breaks or missed meal break pay, so trial court correctly entered judgment finding employer liable for penalties. Read More

Although she taught a standard half-hour religion course each day, a fifth-grade teacher at a Catholic school was not a “minister” and so could sue the school for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing her after it learned she was diagnosed with cancer. Read More

Trial court properly declined to certify a class in putative wage and hour class action brought by property inspectors because even though common questions predominated, the plaintiffs' proposed trial plan of proving liability by means of an expert's testimony based on a double-blind survey he conducted of a random sample of class members was unmanageable, inadequate, and unfair. Read More

A court's interest in regulating its workforce to ensure that the judicial process appears impartial to all appearing before it justifies the court's rule banning employees from advocacy activity, such as wearing clothing or adornments with writings or images advocating a cause. Read More

An employer may legally round the actual clock in and out times for workers to the nearest 10th or 4th of an hour so long as the rounding doesn't overall disadvantage workers, and this is true for meal and rest breaks as well as the work day as a whole. Read More

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