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Category Archives: Wage & Hour

Unpaid Internships: Priceless Opportunity or Illegal Employment?

This time of year, many companies consider summer interns. It’s a great opportunity for everyone. The student gets experience and you get free workers, right? Not so fast. Although forty-seven percent of students who graduated college in 2012 worked as an intern – for free –those interns come with considerable risk. Companies such as Fox Searchlight and Hearst Corporation are still entangled in litigation brought by unpaid interns who worked for the company free of charge in hopes of entry into the industry. As summer approaches, it is a good time to evaluate whether your unpaid internship program is creating.... Read More >

Supreme Court Decides Brinker–Employers Must Merely Provide Breaks

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The California Supreme Court decided Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Sup. Ct. today. Of course, employers throughout the state have been watching this case closely and waiting to see whether the Supreme Court would require employers to “ensure” employees take meal breaks, or merely “provide” employees with those breaks. Ultimately, the Court decided the following: Employers are obligated to afford hourly employees meal and rest periods and to relieve employees of all duties during those meal and rest periods. However, the employer must not “ensure” an employee actually takes a break or that the employee performs.... Read More >

DLSE Publishes Template for Information Employers Must Provide Employees Hired After January 1, 2012

By: Sam G. Sherman Governor Brown recently signed AB 469, which requires employers to provide employees certain information at the time of hire. Employers must provide this information to all employees hired after January 1, 2011. The DLSE has provided a template for employers to use to comply with the act, as well as a “frequently asked questions” page. Both can be found here. Feel free to call or write if you have any questions about implementing this new procedure.

Ninth Circuit Rules that Stage Corporation Drivers Can Maintain Lawsuit Challenging Independent Contractor Classification

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Kairy v. Super Shuttle International yesterday. At issue was whether a plaintiff could sue in state or federal court alleging independent contractor misclassification or whether the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has exclusive jurisdiction over employee classification. SuperShuttle Internation provides shared-ride airport shuttle service. In California, SuperShuttle is considered a PSC subject to PUC regulations. Prior to 2001, SuperShuttle classified its drivers as employees. SuperShuttle then shifted to a “unit franchise model” and licensees hired drivers as independent contractors. Plaintiffs in the case are current or former “franchisee”.... Read More >

California Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Brinker

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The California Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear oral argument in Brinker v. Superior Court. Oral argument is scheduled for November 8, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. The Court generally has only 90 days from oral argument to issue its decision. Brinker has been watched closely by employers (and plaintiff’s counsel) across the state. At issue is whether an employer must merely provide its employees with meal and rest breaks or, on the other hand, whether they must actually ensure those breaks are taken. Requiring employers to “ensure” a break is.... Read More >

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