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The Gig is Up for California Car Wash

The Gig is Up for California Car Wash July 23, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Sacramento, CA  MobileWash Inc. is the first gig company hit with a misclassification lawsuit under Assembly Bill 5 – a law making it illegal for companies to hire independent contractors and has violated the California labor code. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office targeted Mobile Wash because it allegedly “made a calculated business decision to misclassify” car washers who perform services arranged through the company’s app as independent contractors, rather than employees.
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PAGA Claims Survive Dismissal of California Labor Code Violations

PAGA Claims Survive Dismissal of California Labor Code Violations July 20, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA On June 26, the California Court of Appeals held that an employee could continue his state Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim even after settling his California Labor Code lawsuit. Linehan-Clodfelter v. Vivint, Inc. closely follows the reasoning of the recent California Supreme Court decision in Kim v. Reins Internat. California, Inc. Kim was widely seen as strengthening employee efforts to curb employer wage and hour abuse through PAGA, especially for workers who, daunted by the risks of arbitrating wage claims, have taken a settlement offer instead. Linehan-Clodfelter affirms the availability of that important legal tool.
Read [ PAGA Claims Survive Dismissal of California Labor Code Violations ]

California Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of California Labor Code

California Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of California Labor Code July 13, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA  On June 29, the California Supreme Court handed down a pair of opinions that clarify the application of the California labor code to employees who work both within and outside of the state. Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. stands broadly for the proposition that the California labor code applies to employees if the employee works a majority of the time in California or has his or her base of operations in California. Oman v. Delta Airlines, Inc. states the rule in the negative. The California labor code does not apply to workers who work only episodically and for less than a day at a time in California unless the employee works primarily in California during the pay period, or for those who do not work primarily in any state, if the worker has a base of operations in California.
Read [ California Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of California Labor Code ]

Uber Slammed -- From California to Canada

Uber Slammed -- From California to Canada July 5, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA Uber and Lyft are getting slammed, from California to Canada. In May, California sued the ride-hailing companies claiming they misclassified their drivers as independent contractors under the state’s new labor law, Bill AB5. North of the border, the Canadian Supreme Court has allowed Uber drivers to forge ahead with a class action lawsuit that will classify them as employers rather than independent contractors.

Read [ Uber Slammed -- From California to Canada ]

Rite-Aid not doing it Right

Rite-Aid not doing it Right July 3, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA A California federal judge says Rite Aid violated California labor law by not reimbursing its employees for their uniforms. And one month previously, in May, Rite-Aid was hit with another lawsuit. Along with Thrifty PayLess Inc., about 10,000 employees may be owed wages for time spent undergoing off-the-clock security checks.

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Aldi, Inc. Settles California Overtime Lawsuit

Aldi, Inc. Settles California Overtime Lawsuit July 1, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
Los Angeles, CA Jeree Gant filed a class action lawsuit against Aldi, Inc., claiming that the grocery chain failed to pay her for all the hours she worked between October 2017 and May 2018. The other allegations under the California labor code concerning meal breaks, rest breaks and wage statements follow from that central claim. Aldi has now offered to settle the claims of what might ultimately have been thousands of California plaintiffs for $2 million.
Read [ Aldi, Inc. Settles California Overtime Lawsuit ]

Biden Backs Assembly Bill 5; Opposes Measure to Exempt App-Based Drivers

Biden Backs Assembly Bill 5; Opposes Measure to Exempt App-Based Drivers June 25, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
Sacramento, CA Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has announced that he opposes a November 3 ballot initiative that would permit companies like Uber and DoorDash to continue to classify drivers as independent contractors. If approved, the measure would override AB 5 with respect to app-based drivers. These drivers could, as a result, be classified as independent contractors not protected by the wage and hour provisions of the California Labor Code.  
Read [ Biden Backs Assembly Bill 5; Opposes Measure to Exempt App-Based Drivers ]

California AG Pressures Walmart to Protect Vulnerable Employees

California AG Pressures Walmart to Protect Vulnerable Employees June 19, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
Sacramento, CA California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition of 12 attorneys general in a letter that calls on Walmart to improve its efforts to protect workers and the public during COVID-19. Lawyers have anticipated a surge in California labor lawsuits arising from employer failures to adequately protect essential workers.
Read [ California AG Pressures Walmart to Protect Vulnerable Employees ]

Ninth Circuit: Workers Must be Paid for Call-in Shifts

Ninth Circuit: Workers Must be Paid for Call-in Shifts June 15, 2020. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA  In Herrera v. Zumiez, Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed that, under Wage Order No. 7 and the California Labor Code, workers must be paid if they are required to call in prior to a scheduled shift to determine whether they should actually come to work. The ruling, which follows the Court of Appeal’s reasoning in Ward v. Tilly’s Inc., involves some fine legal dicing of the phrase “report for work.” Herrera’s class action lawsuit may take on additional significance as financially strapped California employers search for ways to shave employee costs.
Read [ Ninth Circuit: Workers Must be Paid for Call-in Shifts ]

Safeway and McDonalds Coronavirus Safety Lawsuit

Safeway and McDonalds Coronavirus Safety Lawsuit June 11, 2020. By Jane Mundy.
Tracy, CA Pedro Zuniga and at least 51 other Safeway workers contracted the coronavirus in “dangerous and hazardous conditions” at the company’s warehouse but they were not given personal protective equipment nor did they social distance. Instead, they were forced to work in close quarters and deterred by their employer from calling in sick. Mr. Zuniga died and his widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit. McDonald’s employees also filed a class action lawsuit for similar reasons under California labor law, but they aren’t seeking financial compensation.
Read [ Safeway and McDonalds Coronavirus Safety Lawsuit ]

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