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On Monday, the California Supreme Court adopted a new standard for determining whether a worker qualifies as an employee for the purposes of wage-hour law. To the surprise of almost no one, the standard does not bode well for many companies operating in the Golden State. In a highly-anticipated opinion, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that in order for a worker to be properly classified as an independent…
Under the federal WARN Act, companies that maintain a facility with 100 or more full-time employees are required to provide no less than 60 days’ written notice to employees affected by a mass layoff or facility closure. Many employers are faced with the difficult task of determining whether or when these notices should be distributed. The WARN Act contains several affirmative defenses that are designed to address this conundrum, and provide employers with a complete defense…
As part of our efforts to update employers regarding the newly-enacted statutes that will affect employers in the coming year, this post addresses a bill recently signed into by California Governor Jerry Brown that prohibits employers from requiring most employees who live and work in California to agree to a forum selection or choice of law clause that would designate a forum or substantive law of a jurisdiction outside California. The bill, designated as Senate…
In a ruling that widens the divide between federal appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit sided today with the Seventh Circuit and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in holding that the class action waiver provision of a company’s arbitration agreement with employees violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Prior to this decision, the Seventh Circuit was alone in its dissention from the federal majority with respect to this issue. The United States Supreme Court…
Ambiguities in employee arbitration agreements may force employers to litigate putative class action claims in arbitration. The California Supreme Court delivered this cautionary message by its recent holding in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. In Sandquist, the plaintiff, an African-American male, filed a discrimination class action on behalf of “current and former employees of color” following his separation from the company. The company filed a motion to compel individual arbitration, relying on an arbitration clause…
In a recent unpublished decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the lower court and held that a former employee could not maintain legal claims against his former employer, based on truthful statements regarding his employment provided to two prospective employers.   In its ruling, the Court emphasized that an employer has a “conditional privilege” when it provides information regarding a former employee to a prospective employer. In this case (Bentlejewski v.…