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Brittany Sachs is a litigator representing employers in a range of employment matters, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage-and-hour disputes. Her experience includes class actions, representative actions, and single-plaintiff cases in state and federal courts and arbitrations. She also has represented employers in response to charges filed with administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

As most employers are aware, California law requires employers to furnish employees with accurate and itemized wage statements that contain numerous required components. This requirement is enumerated in Labor Code section 226. Further, under the Labor Code, an employee who suffers injury due to an employer’s “knowing and intentional failure” to comply with wage statement requirements is entitled to penalties.Continue Reading California Supreme Court Permits Good Faith Belief Defense on Wage Statement Violations

The California Supreme Court recently issued a decision in Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors addressing three questions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding Wage Order No. 16 (which applies to certain on-site occupations in the construction, drilling, logging, and mining industries) and the scope of the term “hours worked.”Continue Reading The California Supreme Court Clarifies Compensable Time

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Labor Commissioner’s Office launched a program creating opportunities for local prosecutors to obtain funding for wage theft prosecutions. The program, called the Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant, will provide eligible prosecutors with two annual grant awards of $8,550,000 each, for a total of $18 million. The first grant cycle is 2024 – 2025, and the second is 2025 – 2026.Continue Reading California Launches $18 Million Program Intended for Wage Theft Investigation

The California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) was established to regulate wages, hours, and working conditions in California. Importantly, the IWC adopted “wage orders,” which establish specific rules for various industries. California has not funded the IWC since 2004, and it has not been in operation. This is likely to change.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed

As previously discussed here, the California Supreme Court determined that “missed-break premium pay constitutes wages” for purposes of waiting-time penalties pursuant to California Labor Code Section 203 in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. The Supreme Court also found that employers must include missed-break premium pay on wage statements. It then remanded the case

In Camp v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., H049033, the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth District analyzed legal authority regarding an employer’s rounding practices as they pertain to timekeeping. Specifically, in Camp, the trial court granted summary judgment for the employer after determining the employer had a facially neutral rounding policy, which policy would not result in a failure to compensate employees for overtime. On appeal, the Sixth District reversed and remanded the trial court’s order granting summary judgment. In doing so, the court determined that “in relying on its quarter-hour time rounding policy, [the employer] fails to meet its burden to show that there is no triable issue of material fact regarding whether [the plaintiff] was paid for all the time he worked.” In effect, the Camp court overturned prior precedent, which approved facially neutral rounding policies that did not result in underpayment of employees for overtime.Continue Reading California Supreme Court Agrees To Review Case Involving California Timekeeping Rules

On October 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the Proposed Rule) that provides guidance on determining employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Proper classifications are significant because independent contractors are not afforded wage-and-hour protections under the FLSA and/or applicable state law, such as minimum wage for all hours worked or overtime compensation for over 40 hours worked in one workweek. Misclassification can subject companies and organizations to class and collective actions and expose them to significant liability.Continue Reading US Department of Labor Proposes Independent Contractor Rule

Determining an employee’s overtime rate of pay can be tricky. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently found an employer owed over $1 million in back wages to employees in California and Kentucky for violations that included miscomputation of overtime pay rates. The employer failed to account for certain bonuses earned by nonexempt workers, and therefore paid overtime rates that were too low.Continue Reading Giving a Nondiscretionary Bonus? Check the Regular Rate Calculation

On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued a seminal opinion in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., which found that employees can recover penalties for failure to timely pay wages at termination and failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements based on untimely paid or unreported meal and rest period premiums. Prior

Among employers’ efforts to stay on top of numerous wage and hour issues, the rules surrounding child labor have long been considered irrelevant by many large employers because persons under age 18 did not make up a significant segment of their workforce. With acute labor shortages throughout the United States leading to more job openings than job seekers, particularly at the entry level, this is changing. On March 29, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release to highlight some of its recent investigations and remind employers of regulations and limitations related to the employment of youth.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Warns Employers to Know the Rules for Putting Minors to Work