Mara Curtis

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Companies in the transportation industry with operations in California have some positive news to celebrate. On May 3, 2019, in Anthony Ayala v. U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc., et al., the Central District of California granted partial summary judgment and dismissed a truck driver’s meal and rest period claims, finding that they were preempted by the December 2018 ruling of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In its December ruling, the FMCSA stated that California…
In April 2018, the California Supreme Court turned worker classification on its head when it decided Dynamex Operations West Inc v. Superior Court (Dynamex). In Dynamex, the court adopted a three-factor “ABC” test for analyzing misclassification claims under the California Wage Orders. Under the ABC test, for an employer to show that workers were properly classified as independent contractors, they must demonstrate that: the worker (A) was not under the company’s direct control and direction;…
California companies have been required to reconsider their use of independent contractors since the state’s Supreme Court outlined the new ABC test in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court. Unlike the prior Borello test, which involved the balancing of numerous factors, the ABC test requires that a company establish all of the following: (A) the worker is free from the control and direction of the company; (B) the work is outside the company’s usual…
On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court found that truck drivers classified as independent contractors cannot be compelled to arbitrate their claims under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). See New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340, 2019 WL 189342 (U.S. Jan. 15, 2019). This decision has significant ramifications for transportation industry companies that previously utilized arbitration agreements with their independent contractor drivers. Given the court’s ruling, those independent contractor drivers can no longer…
California law requires that employers authorize and permit their employees to take rest periods based on the total hours worked in a day. Employers must authorize and permit 10 minutes net rest time for every four hours worked or major fractions of an hour. If the workday is less than three and one-half hours, then no rest period is required. Even though no work is performed, employers must consider rest periods as compensable time worked.…
Q:        What is easiest way to get rid of a wage and hour class action?   A:        Making an offer of judgment to moot the named plaintiff’s claim by proposing to pay him or her an amount that will fully satisfy his or her entire individual claim. This is exactly the strategy that the employer utilized and which, at first blush, the U.S. Supreme Court approved in Genesis Healthcare Corp v. Symczyk. But don’t…