Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers Post-Epic Systems

When business owners call my office looking for guidance because their accountant, fellow business owners, colleagues, or friends told them they should talk to an employment lawyer about their fears and concerns surrounding an employee issue, I ask a series of questions to get a better understanding of what is going on in the business.  One of the questions I ask is: Do you have an arbitration agreement?   9 out of 10 times there is a pause and a response that ranges from “can you tell me what that is” and “I’m not sure.” It’s understandable because unless you’re a doctor’s office, arbitration agreements aren’t part of your everyday life.  However, these businesses are missing out on a great tool that could be used in their favor if they value privacy, expediency, and cost-savings should a dispute arise with an employee.  Especially given the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.  Below is an article I wrote on the decision that was recently published in the Orange County Lawyer’s Magazine.  Although aimed at attorneys, it gives employers a better … Continue reading

In: California Civil Litigation, Employment Law, Starting a Business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Law 2018 – Parental Leave Requirement Expanded to Smaller Employers

If your business employees 20 to 49 employees, you must prepare for a significant change that many small businesses deem a significant burden – job-protected parental leave.  On October 12, 2017, Governor Brown approved SB 63, which expands the leave requirements of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to employers who employ at least 20 employees within a 75 miles (down from the threshold of 50 employees).  If your company does not have a parental leave policy, or has one that does not meet the requirements of the new law, the next couple of months is the perfect time to create one, updated your employee handbook, and establish a contingency plan on how you will cover for employees who may take anywhere between 3 to 7 months of leave. Here is a short outline of the new Government Code Section 12945.6’s requirements: Employers with at least 20 employees within 75 miles of the worksite must now do the following: 1. Provide up to 12 weeks of parental leave to an employee who has worked for the employer for more than 12 … Continue reading

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New Overtime Rules Under FLSA Approved – What You Need to Know

The Department of Labor recently approved changes to the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will have a significant impact on California employers and workers. According to the Department of Labor, the new rules will affect over 300,000 California workers who will either be entitled to overtime pay or receive raises to maintain their exempt employee status. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about the new rules. Who is affected by the new rules? Employees who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay protections under the executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) exemption and the highly-compensated employee (HCE) exemption of the FLSA. (Learn about exempt vs non-exempt employees.) The FLSA covers a majority of workers. Details on who is covered by the FLSA are available from the Department of Labor. What are the changes made by the final rule? In addition to meeting the duties test, in order to meet the EAP exemption requirement, the employee must receive a salary of at least $913 per week or $47,476 annually. HCEs must receive $134,004 annually … Continue reading

In: Employment Law, New Laws, Uncategorized | Leave a comment