Blog : Wage and Hour

California Vacation Law and PTO Law: Common Questions, Answered

California Vacation Law and PTO Law Common Questions

The start of summer can bring up many questions for employees who want to take time off work for vacation, or extend their weekends to spend time with family on long summer days. But before you book that flight to Europe or head off on your family camping trip, it is always a good idea to review your company’s vacation and paid time off (PTO) policy, plus understand what California vacation laws entail. This article will answer common questions regarding California’s vacation and PTO laws.

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Will President Trump’s Administration Axe New DOL Overtime Law?

New DOL Overtime Law Under Trump Administration
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The past few months have been a roller coaster ride as far as the Department of Labor’s new overtime exemption rule change is concerned. On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor was set to issue a new overtime law, but before it could take effect, a federal judge in Texas invalidated it. The Obama administration filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals before leaving the White House to get the invalidation of the rule by the Texas District Court judge overturned.

But now employees across the country are starting to wonder: What will the Trump administration do about the overtime rule?

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Travel Pay Laws in California: What Employees Need to Know

California Travel Pay Laws
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Sometimes our employers require us to travel for work-related purposes. But what aspects of employee travel are California employers required to pay for? Travel pay in California can be a confusing area of law, but the following overview can help you navigate the ins and outs of travel pay laws in the California workplace.
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Update on New Federal Overtime Rules: FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule Revision Blocked

FLSA Overtime Exemption Rule Revision Blocked by Federal Judge
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Many employees had been looking forward to new revisions in the Department of Labor’s overtime exemption rule, which was set to take effect on December 1, 2016. These revisions would have doubled the salary requirement for white collar employees who were eligible for overtime pay.

Four million Americans would have been eligible for overtime compensation whenever they worked above and beyond their normal forty-hour work week. However, the revision was blocked by a federal judge in Texas before the rule could take effect; this means that there will be no change to the overtime exemption rule after all.

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Misclassification of Employees in California: Common Questions

Employee Misclassification Laws in California
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Did you know that your employer can save ample amounts of money simply by misclassifying workers as independent contractors? Despite the illegal nature that the act of purposefully misclassifying employees entails, many employers in California and across the nation still continue the unfair practice.

In a recent employee misclassification suit, more than one hundred current and former employees at a Bay Area eatery claimed that they were misclassified as salaried workers, which allowed their employer to avoid paying overtime. In a similar vein, the massive class action lawsuit against Uber was brought on by drivers who claimed that the on-demand ride company misclassified employees as independent contractors; which allegedly allowed Uber to pocket more cash.

It’s important for California workers to understand what employee misclassification entails in order to determine whether they are independent contractors or employees.

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Major Wage and Hour Lawsuit Against California Restaurant Group, Burma Superstar

Employment Lawsuit in California Against Burma Superstar
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More than one hundred current and former employees at a popular Bay Area eatery claim they were denied wages and benefits, and they have filed suit against the restaurant.

Court papers state that Burma Superstar owner Desmond Tan held employee paychecks as a deposit rather than distributing them. According to the plaintiffs, Mr. Tan also fired a worker who complained about the policy. At two of the company’s other locations, B Star and Burma Love, the firm allegedly misclassified workers as salaried employees to avoid paying overtime. The suit names more than a dozen other labor law violations, including denial of sick leave and breaks. Currently, the three plaintiffs seek permission to turn their lawsuit into a class action.

Attorney Carole Vigne lamented that kitchen workers are often “unseen and forgotten” in many restaurants. “We hope this case brings visibility to the hardworking kitchen staff who feed thousands each week,” she said.

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Employees vs. Independent Contractors: What’s the Difference?

Employees vs. Independent Contractors - What's the Difference?
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A federal judge in California has rejected a settlement put forward by Uber to resolve the class action lawsuit against them by their drivers, according to Reuters. The ridesharing giant has classified its drivers as independent contractors for years, but the drivers argue that they are actually employees. This would mean that Uber would have to pay the costs of fuel and maintenance, which would amount to millions of dollars. The damages are so high, in fact, that the judge threw out Uber’s settlement offer of over $100 million because it was too low. Now lawyers for the two sides are back at the negotiating table to try to work out a new settlement.

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The New Supreme Court Ruling on Service Advisors Who are Exempt from Overtime Rules is Sloppy, at Best

New Supreme Court Ruling: Are Service Advisors Exempt from Overtime Pay?
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A new Supreme Court ruling leaves national uncertainties about whether car dealership employees have a right to overtime pay.

The opinion in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro centers on the question of whether service advisors at auto dealerships receive overtime pay as a right under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Supreme Court issued the opinion in response to a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes California) that service advisors, who sell car service to customers, have a right to overtime under the FLSA.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision doesn’t clarify whether or not this is the correct interpretation of the FLSA, so uncertainty over this question may persist for some time.
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New Overtime Laws: Which Employees Are Most Affected?

New Federal Overtime Laws Impacting Employees
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The new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rules which go into effect in December 2016 will have more of an impact on some industries and certain workers than that of others. In fact, across California, about 146,000 employees will be affected by the new Federal overtime laws.

But will you or your workplace feel the impact of the rules more than others? This article will help you understand how these new Federal overtime laws affect employees in California and throughout the country.

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