Category Archives: 2014 Newsletters

California Court of Appeals Ruling on Cell Phone Reimbursement

In the recent case, Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, a California Court of Appeals ruled that employers must adequately reimburse employees for the business related use of their personal cell phone. In the case, Schwan’s argued that there was no cost to the employee for the business portion of the cell phone use, because the employee was on an unlimited use cell phone plan. However the employee’s legal counsel pointed to California Labor Code Section 2802, which requires the employer to reimburse an employee for any cost of expenditures or losses incurred by the employee as a result of discharging their duties to the employer. The Court...
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California Court of Appeals Rules on Employer Use of Exempt Employee’s Vacation or PTO Time

In a recent California Court of Appeals ruling in Rhea v. General Atomics, a very important ruling was handed down that confirms that employers may require employees who are classified as exempt to use accrued vacation or PTO time in increments less than the prior rulings of minimum 4 hour increments. The Appeals Court ruled that doing so will not adversely affect an employee’s exempt status. Under California Wage Orders, the exemption for executive, administrative, and professional exemptions places a requirement that the exempt employee be paid on a fixed salary basis. Typically, this has been interpreted as a requirement that the employee be paid the full...
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Fraud Alert – Misleading Certificate of Status Solicitations

The California Secretary of State issued a customer alert click here to read of letters that are being sent out to businesses who are registered with the Secretary of State which directs the recipient to complete a form, and to send $49.50 by a date outlined in the letter to a private entity named "California State Corporations." The letter outlines that the business will receive a certificate of status once the form and the funds have been submitted. You can view a copy of this fraudulent letter at the following at the link in the prior paragraph.    ...
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California Supreme Court Rules on Commissioned Sales Exemption

In a recent court case, Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that will have significant impact on the California Wage Order exemption for commissioned sales. In the ruling, the court held that Time Warner failed to correctly handle payment of hours worked and commission on a per pay week basis. As with many employers, Time Warner paid commission just once a month, however, when looking at the need to pay minimum wage for every hour work, compared with the commission earned, Time Warner looked at this against the monthly commission earned. In this case, the employee regularly worked in excess...
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FMLA Leave to Care for a Grandchild

As we all know, FMLA is available to employees who work where there are 50 or more employees working for their employer within a 75 mile radius, who have worked for the employer for at least 1 year, and lastly, have worked 1250 hours within the past 12 months. Such an employee would be eligible for FMLA to care for a covered family member as defined by FMLA. In a recent case, the facts ended up to be a bit more complicated. In this case, the employee applied for, and was approved for FMLA leave to care for her daughter who was undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer....
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Recent California Supreme Court Ruling Concerning Unemployment

In a recent ruling, in the matter or Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board number C204221, the California Supreme Court ruled that an employee's refusal to sign a disciplinary notice was not misconduct as seen under California Unemployment Code. In this matter, the court ruled that the refusal by the employee may have been what they called "a good faith error in judgment" but did should not disqualify him to receive unemployment benefits under California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). This case involved an employee who was covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Within the CBA, the employer was required to place all disciplinary actions in...
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