Employers Can Now Cure Wage Statement Violations Prior to PAGA Lawsuits

by Michelle Ferber and Ben McDonald In 2004, California passed the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) which authorizes employees to bring civil actions against employers for penalties that would otherwise be pursued and collected by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA).  Simplified, PAGA allows an employee to individually enforce existing California Labor Code violations on behalf of


by Michelle Ferber and Ben McDonald The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) for the California Department of Industrial Relations has provided critical guidance regarding the notorious new paid sick leave laws that came into effect this past July.  Specifically, the DLSE has issued an official interpretation of the “24 hours or three days” language from the law that is

Are You A Joint Employer With Your Independent Contractor?

by Michelle Ferber and Ben McDonald The summer of 2015 has seen sweeping changes in the law and the perception of the employer/employee relationship.  On August 28, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continued this summer’s trend when it issued a landmark decision that will have dramatic impacts on the employment landscape.  In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB adopted a

Function Over Form in Severance Plans Under ERISA

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald Okun M.D. v. Montefiore Case On July 17, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a district court’s dismissal of a physician’s lawsuit against his employer for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) violations.  The physician sued his employer, Montefiore Medical Center, alleging that Montefiore terminated him for

Is Your Independent Contractor Actually An Employee?

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald In July of 2015, the United States Department of Labor stunned the employment world by indicating that most workers qualify as employees under federal law despite being called independent contractors.  Considering the harsh repercussions of misclassification lawsuits, employers are justifiably concerned about how to protect themselves.  The guidance issued by the Department of

First Amendments to California’s Paid Sick Leave Act

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald While the new laws regarding paid sick leave, known as the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (“Original Act”), have only been in effect since July 1, 2015, the California legislature has already changed several significant provisions. These amendments, introduced in Assembly Bill no. 304 (“Amended Act”), took immediate effect when signed

California Protects Employees from Weaker Out-of-State Labor Laws

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald Late this past May, the California Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by an Orange County Superior Court to hold that forum selection clauses in employment contracts may not prevent employees from pursuing actions against out-of-state employers in California courts under California labor laws. In 2007, Plaintiff Rachel Verdugo was hired by the

New Sick Leave Law, Minimum Wage Increases and Living Wage Ordinances

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald New Sick Leave Law On July 1, 2015, California will be enforcing new regulations regarding the sick leave employers must provide to their employees.  The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires that a California employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works for 30 or more days per year from

The Mythical Unpaid Intern

The following link will take you to our article in the Contra Costa Lawyer online newsletter published July 1, 2015 regarding unpaid interns.  The Mythical Unpaid Intern: Contra Costa Lawyer Online. DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular

US Department of Labor Releases Proposed Changes to Overtime Laws

by Michelle R. Ferber and Ben McDonald For the first time since 2004, the Department of Labor is proposing widespread overtime expansions that would offer far more salaried American workers to be eligible for overtime pay.  At the direction of President Obama, Secretary Thomas Perez of the Department of Labor has submitted a proposal to increase the salary threshold that