Our state is known for its wide-reaching employee protections. A recent Court of Appeal case illustrates this in the context of a department store that required retail employees to call in two hours before possible on-call shifts to see if they had to report in person.
In a case widely lauded as pro-employer, the California Court of Appeal in the Fourth District recently agreed with the trial court that a health staffing company's use of time-rounding software to track its employees' required meal breaks was fair and neutral and allowed under state law.
There are many legal and practical reasons for California employers to keep accurate, careful records of hours worked and wages paid. For example, federal and state tax and other deductions must be correctly calculated. California law also requires employers to include detailed payroll calculations on pay stubs.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research published a fascinating study in November 2018 that revealed that the gap between the pay women and men receive is more serious than traditional data has shown. Using a sophisticated, multi-year analysis that considered periods of time when people were out of the labor market or worked part-time, the authors concluded that instead of the usual figure cited based on government data that women earn 80 cents on the dollar as compared with men, 49 cents on the dollar is more accurate.
Many sections within California's labor code aim to protect workers and set expectations for employers. Regardless of a business' size, employees have certain rights regarding the payment they receive, including how employers must communicate payment. To properly document wages, employers must provide complete, accurate paystubs each time that the wages are paid.
We recently wrote about a major California Supreme Court case called Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court that on April 30 adopted the new "ABC Test" for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. Dynamex answered this question for purposes of interpreting a state wage order that governs wage-and-hour requirements in the transportation industry.
When competing for talented employees, many businesses look for new ways to provide flexibility to current employees and attractive options to potential hires. Taking advantage of California's alternative workweek is one way to accommodate the lifestyles of many employees, whether they have child care needs, work a second job or just want an extra day off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible or alternative workweeks are on the rise nationwide.
Here at Duggan Law Corporation, we advise California employers about classifying workers as either independent contractors or employees. The answer is significant to both parties because if the person is an employee, he or she is subject to applicable California and federal labor and employment laws governing overtime, minimum wage, workers' compensation eligibility and more.