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  • Wage and Hour Win for Employers: The California Supreme Court Limits PAGA's Threat to Employers

    California Employees Are Prohibited From Seeking Underlying Wages in PAGA Actions   By Procopio Partner Marie Burke Kenny and Senior Associate Brook T. Barnes The California Supreme Court has provided some much-needed relief to California employers who routinely face Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) litigation from their current and former employees. The PAGA statute allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the state for violations of California wage and hour law...

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  • U.S. Supreme Court Gives "Epic" Endorsement of Employment Class Action Waivers

    Today employers woke to the welcome news that the United States Supreme Court has determined that class action waivers in mandatory employment arbitration agreements (i.e. without an “opt out” provision) are valid and enforceable. In Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that class action waivers violate employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to engage in “protected concerted activities.” With today’s decis...

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  • The New ABC Test for Independent Contractors Spells Serious Trouble for California Businesses

    By Procopio Partner Marie Burke Kenny and Associate Annie Macaleer In a much-anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court on April 30, 2018, held that there is a presumption that all workers are employees, and that a business classifying a worker as an independent contractor bears the burden of establishing that such a classification is proper under a new test called the “ABC test.” Given the increasing prevalence of so-called “gig economy” workers in the state, this decisio...

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  • Overtime is Now More Expensive for Some California Employers

    By Procopio Partner and Labor and Employment Practice Group Leader Marie Burke Kenny The California Supreme Court has issued a ruling that changes the way overtime is calculated for employees who earn certain flat sum bonuses. Under California law, employers must pay overtime to non-exempt employees at a rate of no less than one and one half times the employee’s “regular rate of pay” for all hours worked in excess of 40 per workweek and in excess of 8 hours but fewer than 12 hours p...

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  • 5 Steps to Recognizing and Stopping Workplace Bullying

    By Procopio Partner and Labor & Employment Practice Group Leader Marie Burke Kenny As employers across the economic landscape seek to operate at peak efficiency, they are increasingly held accountable to meet demanding performance goals. As a result, employees at every level are experiencing increased tension and uncertainty. That can naturally lead to workplace tension and sometimes even bullying. No matter the circumstances, bullying should never be tolerated.  In today’s wor...

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  • The State Is On Fire: What Should Employers Do About Paying Employees?

    By Partner Marie Burke Kenny, Leader of Procopio's Labor & Employment Law Practice Group and Member of Procopio's Management Committee The text pinging in the middle of the night announced that my kids’ school is closed today due to fires in Carlsbad, California. Thankfully, the closure is precautionary and mostly due to air quality. Elsewhere in Southern California, however, the fires continue to rage over 160,000 acres and people are struggling to cope with the significant propert...

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  • The Legal Challenges of Sexual Harassment in the Modern Workplace

    By Partner Marie Burke Kenny, Leader of Procopio's Labor & Employment Law Practice Group and Member of Procopio's Management Committee It seems you can’t open a newspaper or watch a television news show today without seeing coverage of a sexual harassment case. At Procopio, we’ve assisted many employers who have faced employee complaints of sexual harassment. Fortunately, there are many steps an employer can take to navigate such situations to both comply with the law and improve ...

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  • Wage and Hour Wars Continue: The California Supreme Court Expands Discovery in PAGA Representative Actions

    In a blow to employers, the California Supreme Court ruled July 13, 2017, that employers can be required to turn over statewide employee information to allow a plaintiff to discover information about other potentially “aggrieved” employees in a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) action. The PAGA statute allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the state for violations of California wage and hour laws and allows the recovery of substantial penalties for proven violations. In the Will...

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  • The Future Of Class Action Waivers in Mandatory Arbitration Agreements: Should Employers Be Worried?

    In January 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted review of the Morris et al. v. Ernst & Young, LLP  case which held that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) prohibits class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements for employees.  As a result, employers with litigation pending in federal court now have an uphill battle when it comes to enforcing class and collective action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements.  Worried employers will have t...

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  • December 1, 2016 Deadline Defunct: Federal Judge Blocks US Department of Labor Exempt Salary Increase

    Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s controversial rule which was slated to increase the minimum exempt salary requirements on December 1, 2016.  The rule was scheduled to raise the minimum exempt salary for executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. The Texas federal judge concluded that the 21 states ...

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