Is Uber Driving Us Toward a New Class of Worker?

Technology has radically changed the way we work.  It has freed us from notions of a static physical worksite and turned many Starbucks into a business center.  It has upended traditional ideas of work schedules and work days in ways that are both good and bad.  It has also created what has been termed “the online gig economy” which allows people to opt in and out of jobs in ways that simply would not have been possible in the past.
Continue reading

navigating rocky waters

An Ounce of Prevention

. . . is worth a pound of cure.  We’ve all heard it a thousand times.  Timeworn phrase though it is, the principle behind it is nonetheless true for California employers when it comes to safely navigating the rocks and shoals of California’s employment and wage/hour laws.Continue reading

Equal Pay

Get Ready for a New Conversation

With the passage of California SB 358, signed by Governor Brown on October 6, California employers will need to begin preparing for a new conversation with their employees about gender pay equality in the coming year.  California’s existing Equal Pay Act, found at Labor Code § 1197.5, has been substantially strengthened by the Legislature.  The law continues to apply to California employers of all sizes—with no exclusion for small businesses.Continue reading

Time Sheet

Abandoning The Billable Hour Crutch

Associates in law firms almost universally bemoan billable hour requirements. It’s frequently cited as the No. 1 thing attorneys hate about the practice of law. Yet, weaning young professionals from the billable hours performance metric can be a challenge. Why?Continue reading

DrivingTime

Travel Time – To Pay or Not To Pay?

Employers are often unsure as to whether they must pay nonexempt employees for travel time. Most employers are aware that they generally do not have to pay employees for normal travel from home to work and back. However, the issue becomes more difficult when nonexempt employees travel to various customer locations, trade shows, client meetings, etc.Continue reading

Insurance definition

EPLI Coverage and Typical Exclusions

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage typically covers a claim that the named insured(s) (usually the employer) has become legally obligated to pay. There are two main forms of policies. A claims-made policy covers claims reported during the policy period (which will be identified in the policy itself). An occurrence policy requires that the act that is subject of the claim take place during the policy period. Only certain claims that are identified in the policy will be covered.Continue reading

United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit

Ninth Circuit Affirms California Restriction on Arbitration Agreements

On September 28, 2015, a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld California’s ban on PAGA waivers in arbitration agreements. Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am., Inc., No. 13-55184, 2015 WL 5667912 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2015). The 2 to 1 decision held that the ruling of the California Supreme Court in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014) prohibiting employee waivers of representative Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) claims in workplace arbitration agreements, did not violate the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) which requires that arbitration agreements be enforced according to their terms.Continue reading

sick leave protest

Trends: The Sick Leave “Virus”

Laws mandating paid sick leave for employees are spreading like a virus, both inside and outside of California, mutating into different strains as they go. “Ground Zero” was San Francisco’s 2007 municipal ordinance requiring employers within the city to offer paid sick leave benefits. Recently, other California cities such as Oakland and Emeryville, have followed suit, joining a dozen or so other major cities or counties each with their own local sick leave ordinances.Continue reading