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Upwards of 90% of all civil lawsuits settle before trial. Given the near inevitability of settlement before trial, posturing a case for settlement is a vital component of any litigation strategy and the California state legislature enacted Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 to assist civil litigants to this end.
Yesterday, a Southern California plaintiff’s wage and hour class action law firm, known for filing massive class actions against auto dealers on behalf of service technicians under the infamous 2013 California Court of Appeal decision in Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors LP, initiated a blitzkrieg on Facebook targeting employees of numerous auto dealer groups.
On March 29, 2017, the Labor Commissioner’s Office provided additional guidance regarding Paid Sick Leave requirements in the form of frequently asked questions and answers thereto. This guidance is interpretive and is not binding, but may be followed if tested in the courts.
The Fair Employment and Housing Council has approved amended regulations pertaining to gender identity and transgender individuals in the workplace. These regulations take effect July 1, 2017. Some of the amendments merely clean up existing language (for example, references to “both sexes”) to allow broader and more neutral gender references. Other amendments impose additional obligations/prohibitions for employers, such as...
OSHA finalized new electronic injury and illness reporting rules in May 2016 that would require certain employers to submit electronic reports with injury and illness data. These new reporting requirements were scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2017 and were to be phased in over two years. Specifically, businesses with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation (which includes car dealerships) were required submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers would be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information would be due by March 2.
Under California’s Labor Code (Sections 551 and 552), employees are entitled to one day's rest in seven, and employers are not permitted to cause employees to work more than six days in seven. These rules do not apply in a week in which the employee didn’t work more than 30 hours or more than 6 hours on any day of that week (Section 556). These rules also do not apply when the nature of the employment reasonably requires that the employee work seven or more consecutive days, if in each calendar month the employee receives days of rest equivalent to one day's rest in seven.
Real estate buy sell transactions typically involve items of so-called due diligence, i.e., items which the buyer must investigate and either approve or disapprove by a stated deadline. Such items include financing, status of title, and condition of the property. This raises important questions for the buyer.
The California Wage Orders regulate many of the wage/hour obligations that employers deal with every day, including overtime pay, exemptions, meal/rest breaks, minimum wage, reporting time pay and alternative workweek schedules, to name just a few. There are different wage orders that cover different industries/occupations, although there is substantial overlap in the provisions of most wage orders. Car dealerships are generally covered by Wage Order 7 (Mercantile Industry). With the ongoing increases in the California minimum wage, the Industrial Welfare Commission has issued an amendment to the existing Wage Orders that updates the provisions involving the minimum wage rate.
In Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, a California Court of Appeal maintained the boundary that was created when an employee became a former employee. In that case, the plaintiff/employee took some time off from work for a medical condition, and not long after returning to work, she informed her supervisor over the phone that she was resigning her employment. A few days later, she confirmed her resignation in an email to her supervisor. The employer then promptly processed the employer’s resignation and issued her final pay. Days later, the employee requested to rescind her resignation, stating that at the time she resigned, she was on medication for her condition that altered her mental state and caused her to resign. The employer declined her request to rescind the resignation. The employee then sued for disability discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
Progressive discipline policies are preferred by many employers as a method to ensure fair and consistent administration of disciplinary action and more predictability for employees. However, employment plaintiffs love to use these policies against employers to deflect attention from their bogus claims onto an employer’s supposed shoddy practices. Here are a few tips to limit the extent an employment plaintiff can try to use these progressive discipline policies against you.