Employee or independent contractor?–State doesn’t get do-over on new claim of wage statement violations.

Posted by Ronald Henderson on

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) are two state agencies that enforce the law concerning what each finds to be “employment” by issuing assessments and penalties respectively against employers. In each instance, the state agency’s determination is subject to administrative review including the determination of whether […]

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Manufacturer of grinder has no liability for nor duty to warn of grinder’s use with blade expressly excluded from intended use of grinder.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Sanchez v. Hitachi Koki, Co., Ltd. (filed 7/9/13) 2013 DJDAR 8970, plaintiff sued the manufacturer of a grinder for personal injuries resulting from plaintiff’s use of a saw blade manufactured by a third party. The grinder’s safety manual and instructions expressly warned that saw blades should not be used with the grinder. Plaintiff was […]

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Must on-call, 24-hour, live-in employees be compensated by their employer for hourly wages for the full 24-hour shift including sleep time?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (filed 7/3/13) B240519, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, gives a Solomon-like answer. In this class action, the plaintiffs are trailer guards employed by defendant to provide around-the-clock security at construction sites. During the nighttime periods, defendant considered the trailer guards “on call” and generally […]

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Good News for Employers in California Employment Discrimination Cases

Posted by Micah Nilsson on

In February, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that may help employers defend against employment discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, the Supreme Court of California heightened the standard that employees must meet to prove discrimination and authorized the use of […]

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Does laches bar beneficiary’s action filed after settlor’s death contesting capacity to amend trust when issue known long before death?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Drake v. Pinkham (published 6/21/13) 2013 DJDAR 8028, appellant and respondent were the surviving daughters of mother, the settlor of a revocable trust. Their father and mother had a living trust that provided upon one’s death there would be a split into a survivor’s trust to support the survivor, and a family trust that […]

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May City avoid, based on policymaking powers, collectively bargained MOU arbitration regarding grievance over mandatory employee furloughs?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court ( filed 6/21/13) S192828, City, after declaring a fiscal emergency, placed civilian employees on a mandatory unpaid furlough requiring one less 8-hour work day during each 80-hour work period. Employees filed grievances. Wage and hour provisions of the collectively bargained MOU provided that employees would be compensated […]

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Where law firm represents a company and a member against another member of the company giving rise to hypothetical conflict of interest, but no actual conflict or reasonable likelihood exists, must law firm be disqualified?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

I am becoming more and more convinced that trial courts should be more restrained in disqualifying law firms based on mere appearances of potential conflicts of interest. That certainly seems to be the message in a trend of appellate cases. And I may have been a participant in this trend, when I authored the opinion […]

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Must medical provider prove charges were “reasonable and necessary” in seeking lien on portion of award for medical expenses patient received from third party?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, answers, “yes.” Sounds pretty straight-forward. But more may be involved here than meets the eye. To place this question in context, when a party without medical coverage is injured in an automobile accident, that party might say to the treating hospital, “Just bill the liability insurance […]

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Classifying So-Called “Multitasking” As Either Exempt or Nonexempt Time

Posted by Nathan Powell on

To properly classify a supervisor as exempt under the California executive exemption, an employer must establish that the supervisor is “primarily engaged” in duties which meet the exemption test. Generally, the key duties include management of the enterprise or a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof; directing the work of two (2) or more other […]

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Is plaintiff’s initial statutory offer to settle extinguished regarding expert costs incurred after that offer yet before a second one, where judgment met or beat either offer?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Martinez v. Brownco Construction Company, Inc. (published opinion file June 10, 2013) S200944, Gloria Martinez offered to compromise her loss of consortium claim concerning serious injuries suffered by her husband, co-plaintiff Raymond, via two settlement offers pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 998. In August 2007, she offered by way of a […]

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