In the recent employment class action case of Fritsch v. Swift Transportation Company of Arizona, LLC, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that future recoverable attorneys’ fees can be considered in determining the amount in controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”). The Ninth Circuit opined “We have held that attorneys’ fees awarded under fee-shifting statutes or contracts are part of the amount in controversy, and that the amount in controversy includes all relief to which the plaintiff is entitled if the action succeeds.” “We may not depart from this reasoning to hold that one category of relief—future attorneys’ fees—are excluded from the amount in controversy as a matter of law.”
When an employment dispute is settled, the employer often makes the settlement contingent on the employee agreeing never to seek employment with the company again (and if currently employed by the company, to immediately resign). In one case, Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, there was some disagreement among the federal courts as to the reasonableness of a provision regarding a former employee’s future employment prospects.
Over the past few years, the Department of Labor (DOL) has attempted to enact updates to the overtime exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) including most notably, the controversial salary and job duties requirements applicable to the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. However, these efforts have been delayed by court intervention and presumably by the change in presidential administrations in 2017.
Common sense prevailed in a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision interpreting California law on employer obligations to provide meal periods. In Rodriguez v. Taco Bell the district court dismissed potential class-wide claims by Taco Bell employees who claimed that Taco Bell’s discounted meal policy for employees violated the applicable California Wage Order. The policy provided that employees could receive food from the restaurant at a discount, but had to eat such food on the premises.
This article—originally published in Automotive News—looks at the California New Motor Vehicle Board's ruling against GM's use of a benchmark called the retail sales index as grounds to terminate the franchise agreement of Folsom Chevrolet. Scali Rasmussen Partner Halbert “Bert” Rasmussen and Senior Associate Jade Jurdi led the legal team’s victory.
Law firm Scali Rasmussen definitively established that General Motors not only should not have terminated Folsom Chevrolet’s franchise but that it violated California law in doing so. The New Motor Vehicle Board’s decision was effective August 13, 2018.
On August 1, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission filed criminal charges against four dealerships operating in Arizona and New Mexico. The allegations include a wide array of illegal activity including submitting false credit applications, altering credit applications, and deceptively advertising vehicles. Along with the four dealers, two individuals, owners of the dealerships, were also named. This is the first time the FTC has brought an enforcement action for falsifying credit applications.
California businesses are continuing to struggle to make sense of this year’s Dynamex v. Superior Court case, in which the California Supreme Court radically modified the test for determining whether someone working for a business is an employee or an independent contractor. Casting aside decades of developed multi-factor tests, the Supreme Court alighted on a new, simple, three-factor test. Under this test, to prove a worker is an independent contractor and not an employee, a business must show all three of the following...
The California Supreme Court recently struck a blow to Starbucks Corporation that will affect many employers state-wide. In the case Troester v. Starbucks Corporation, the plaintiff employee had filed a class action in employee-friendly state court, alleging that he and other employees were required to perform store-closing tasks after clocking out, without compensation. Starbucks removed the case to federal court and moved for summary judgment, in which it successfully argued that the employees’ post-shift work was not compensable under the federal de minimis rule, which provides that “insubstantial or insignificant periods of time…which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded.”
As we reported in our 2018 New Laws article, California Labor Code 432.3 imposed a new prohibition against an employer seeking or considering salary history (including compensation and benefits) of an applicant for employment. However, the new law, as originally drafted, left some ambiguities. Now, the Governor has signed AB 2282 into law, which clarifies the following ambiguities in Section 432.3...