The California Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding the highly contested “Dynamex ABC” test. The court held in Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. the test in Dynamex applies retroactively when determining whether a worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor for the purpose of wage and hour laws applies retroactively.
The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case brought by Cal Cartage Transportation Express LLC challenging the appellate court ruling upholding California’s Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”). Though AB5’s impact on rideshare companies is often dissected, the law also significantly impacts the trucking industry, and can, without careful planning, expose trucking companies to Nuclear Verdicts™.
December 27, 2021 brought a shift in vaccination requirements for New Yorkers. Businesses and employees should be aware of their new obligations. More employees are now required to be vaccinated. Employees in eligible positions must take specific steps, and businesses are required to demonstrate their employees have taken such steps. Businesses who do business with independent contractors should also be aware of special requirements.
On January 1, 2022, the nation’s first warehouse transparency law will go into effect, permanently changing the quota requirements in the warehouse distribution industry. AB 701 requires warehouse employers provide employees with written disclosures related to distribution quotas. Employees will not be required to fulfill these quotas at the expense of meal or rest breaks.
In another step favorable to workers’ rights, the California Supreme Court recently settled a dispute regarding the pay rate for employees when they are denied meal and rest periods. The Court held that an employee is entitled to the equivalent of his or her overtime pay if the employer does not allow its employees to take breaks.
Typically, businesses directly hire employees to fill various roles within their organization. In these situations, the employer is likely responsible for the acts of the employee if the employee is acting within the course and scope of their employment (i.e., “on the job”). Businesses will also utilize staffing agencies at times to hire temporary workers. In these situations, who is the employer of these temporary workers – the staffing agency or the host employer? A recent Washington case, Department of Labor and Industries v. Tradesmen International, LLC, clarified.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed Senate Bill 2628 into law. Senate Bill 2628 provides for a higher level of protection for workers regarding electronic monitoring. This new bill “requires prior written notice upon hiring and once annually to all employees, informing them of the types of electronic monitoring which may occur.”
On August 27th, the New York State Bar Association’s Emergency Task Force on Mandatory Vaccination and Safeguarding the Public’s Health (“Task Force”) released a report detailing its discussions on the COVID-19 vaccine. Among its many recommendations, the Task Force urged lawyers, employers, and their employees to get vaccinated, as well as teachers, students (when approved for their age group), and university students, faculty, and staff. In addition, the Task Force recommended vaccine access be provided in correctional facilities and in immigration detention facilities.
California adopted a novel approach to enforcing the Labor Code of California when it enacted the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). This law allows a private citizen to pursue civil penalties on behalf of the State of California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) provided the formal notice and waiting procedures of the law are followed.
“The future is female.” We hear this phrase often these days. Women are attending law school at high rates and we finally have a female vice-president. At Tyson & Mendes, we have exceptional female partners, women in various leadership roles (attorney and non-attorney), and the number of female attorneys we have practicing law at our firm is higher than the national average. But what about those women who have been practicing law and litigating for more than 20 or 30 years? The women who came before us – what are their stories? Here at Tyson & Mendes, we have many women who fit this bill. Our spotlight is on one such woman—a “trailblazer,” as one of her partners recently called her. This woman is Lynn Allen, the Managing and Equity Partner of Tyson & Mendes’ Arizona office.
As anyone who litigates employment law in California knows, the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, (“PAGA”) can at least superficially create business-closing penalties against the employer. Last week, in Bernstein v. Virgin America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit provided some measure of relief to those companies (and individuals) either facing, or soon to be facing, potential PAGA penalties to be assessed against them.
App-based transportation and delivery companies spent the months leading up to election day heavily advocating for and supporting Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would keep app-based drivers – “gig employees” – classified as independent contractors rather than employees, as mandated by the passage of the controversial California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5). The effort paid off, and the proposition received enough votes in favor to pass into California law.
In a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Court upheld a trial court order denying class certification on the basis that although common issues existed, they did not “predominate.” It is basically the class action equivalent of having your home run caught just over the wall, but it is also a good lesson for class action litigators that predominance matters, at least when the plaintiff only seeks to certify via 23b(3).
Colorado employers, public and private, should prepare to comply with the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA), which will become law on January 1, 2021. The law, formerly Senate Bill SB19-085, contains significant regulations regarding salary requirements, job postings, allowable interview questions, and other aspects of employment. Due to the wide-ranging requirements and impacts of the EPEWA, even employers with equitable workplace practices ought to carefully consider the requirements of the new law to ensure compliance.