Minimum Wage Debate Takes Center Stage In Los Angeles Theaters

The national debate on minimum wage recently took center stage in “99-Seat” theaters across Los Angeles. Despite a local members’ advisory vote opposing the measure by a 2-1 margin, the New York-based Actors’ Equity Association enacted a minimum wage requirement of $9 per hour for member actors at all rehearsals and performances. The small theaters formerly operated pursuant to the Los Angeles 99-Seat Theater Plan established in 1989, and paid actors between $7 and $15 for each performance.

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Online Background Check Disclosure Form Did Not Violate the FCRA

Companies utilizing online applications recently received a favorable ruling regarding the use of online background check disclosure forms. In Goldberg v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., the pro se plaintiff challenged the online background check disclosure form used by Raiser, LLC, a staffing company providing peer-to-peer driving services through the Uber mobile app, on the grounds that Raiser’s form violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s “clear and conspicuous disclosure” requirement.

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Expanding Legalization of Marijuana Creates New Challenges for Government Contractors

As of spring 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use of marijuana for medical purposes. In addition, D.C. and four states – Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – have legalized recreational use of marijuana as well. In May, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a formal notification indicating that for the nation’s 4.1 million federal civilian and military employees, possession or use of marijuana remains classified as a crime.

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Illinois Federal Court Holds That Temps May Make Employers Subject to the ADEA

The Northern District of Illinois opened the door for expanding the definition of “employee” under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In Rodriguez v. Dynamesh, Inc., a Dynamesh employee brought a lawsuit against the company for race and age discrimination.

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Texas Federal Court Specifies That Disabled Employees Must Ask For An Accommodation

In November 2014, a Federal Court in Houston issued a significant opinion related to employees requiring an accommodation for a disability. In Sumpter v. American Bottling Company et. al., the court held that an employee seeking an accommodation must explain to the employer that the accommodation is needed for a medical condition.

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California Appellate Court Permits On-Call Rest Breaks [UPDATED]

[Update: On April 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. The grant of review makes the appellate court’s opinion not citable.]  In Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., a California Court of Appeal overturned a trial court’s award of $90 million for a class of security guards who were allegedly denied rest breaks. In overturning the award, the appellate court held that while an employee cannot be required to perform work while on a rest break, an on-call rest break does not necessarily require the employee to perform work.

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Final Rule Issued on FMLA Definition of “Spouse”

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a final rule changing the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to permit individuals in valid, same-sex marriages to receive FMLA spousal care protection.

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States Take the Wheel and Drive Paid Sick Leave Policy

President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20th put issues of paid family and sick leave at the forefront of the American psyche. In its wake, states and localities around the country are taking action. Here are just a few examples of policy changes occurring on the local and state levels:

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NLRB Ruling Extends Employee Rights for Section 7 Activities to Encompass Company Email Systems

In a decision dated December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee’s rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act now extend, in most cases, to the use of company email systems. Section 7 of the Act addresses employer interference with employee rights associated with organizing, unionizing or otherwise engaging in “concerted activity associated with mutual aid or protection”. Continue reading

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San Francisco Enacts Retail Workers Bill of Rights

San Francisco has enacted two ordinances, referred to as the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, which will strictly regulate the employment of some retail workers in the city. The ordinances became effective on January 4, 2015, but employers will have until July 3, 2015, to comply.

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Franchise Employees Sue McDonalds USA, LCC

McDonalds USA, LLC is again under fire for the alleged actions of its franchisees.  A little more than a month as passed since the National Labor Relations Board filed complaints against McDonalds as a putative joint employer allegedly involved in franchisee reprisals against franchise employees who were protesting their wages and working conditions.

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SCOTUS Denies Hearing to Resolve Split Regarding Whether an Employee Must Arbitrate PAGA Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, which held that arbitration provisions requiring employees to arbitrate representative actions pursuant to California’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) are unenforceable under state law.

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Supreme Court of California Finds On-Call Time Compensable Under California Labor Law

The Supreme Court of California recently held that security guards who were required to be “on-call” as part of their security duties were entitled to compensation for their on-call time.  CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (“CPS”) provided 24-hour security for its clients’ construction sites.  During weekdays, officers assigned to the construction site were required to patrol for one eight-hour shift, be on-call for an additional eight-hour shift and then were off duty for the final eight hours of the day.

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Representative Action Waiver and Non-Severability Provision Made Arbitration Agreement Unenforceable

On January 7, 2015, in Montano v. The Wet Seal Retail, Inc., 2015 WL 84677, —- Cal.Rptr.3d —-, the California Court of Appeal, held that an arbitration agreement is unenforceable when it waived statutory representative actions such as claims under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) and the agreement contained a non-severability clause.

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State of the Union and Paid Family Leave

January 20, 2015 marked President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union.  The President outlined his agenda for helping employees balance their commitment to a steady job and their want to care for a sick child or family member.

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