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While the ABC test of employee v. independent contractor status applies retroactively, Prop. 22's classification of some gig workers as independent contractors applies only prospectively.  So GrubHub drivers, if employees under the ABC test adopted in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903, are entitled to back wages for the period before Prop. 22's adoption.  The… Read More

Disagreeing with Curry v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC (2018) 23 Cal.App.5th 289 and Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 1111, this decision holds that Equilon is a joint employer, at least for wage and hour regulation purposes, of the employees of the franchisees that run its gas stations.  For wage and hour purposes, joint employment is governed by the… Read More

A court has inherent authority to ensure that PAGA claims can be fairly and efficiently tried and, if necessary, may strike claims that cannot be rendered manageable. As a matter of due process, defendants are entitled to a fair opportunity to litigate available affirmative defenses, and a court’s manageability assessment should account for them.  Here, the PAGA claim was based… Read More

Labor Code 206 and 206.5 require an employer to pay an employee all wages the employer concedes are due without condition and without any release of the employee's disputed claims, if any, to other wages.  Here, the employer conceded it owed plaintiff a bonus, but before paying it sent the plaintiff a 998 offer to settle all wage claims.  Held,… Read More

The FAA applies to an arbitration clause in an employment agreement involved in interstate commerce and preempts California Labor Code 229 which forbids arbitration of wage and hour claims.  The parties did not elect out of FAA preemption by a choice of law clause in the employment contract generally choosing California law, but not specifically choosing California law regarding arbitration… Read More

Burlington forced Gallano, one of its check-out clerks, to sign a promissory note for losses on return of items by customers or mistaken pricing of goods due to other workers' errors in affixing price tags.  This opinion holds that Gallano stated viable claims against Burlington for violation of Lab. Code 2802 (which requires the employer to reimburse employees for expenses… Read More

Part of California's Prevailing Wage Law, Labor Code 1772 provides:  "Workers employed by contractors or subcontractors in the execution of any contract for public work are deemed to be employed upon public work."  Delving into the section's history and rejecting Court of Appeal decisions giving it a different interpretation, this decision holds that the section merely makes it clear that… Read More

California's Prevailing Wage Law (Lab. Code 1720(a)(1)) defines a "public work" as including construction and installation.  This decision holds that while the statute does not expressly say so, the prior common meaning of a public work--that is a physical installation on real property--provides a context for the statutory definition, confining its broad undefined terms, construction and installation, to tasks performed… Read More

The district court correctly compelled arbitration in this wage-and-hour misclassification suit by a Massachusetts Uber driver.  Even assuming Massachusetts would follow McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 945, plaintiff did not seek a public injunction with McGill's meaning.  Instead, plaintiff sought only an injunction that would benefit himself and other Uber drivers, but not the general public, by requiring… Read More

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