Employment Law Blog

Filter:  Unpaid Wages

Instacart Wage-and-Hour Settlement

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT Our firm filed a representative action on behalf of Aggrieved Employees and the State of California against Instacart in Santa Clara County in 2018: Ornelas v. Maplebear, Inc. (d/b/a lnstacart), case no. 18CV323046. Based on our client’s experiences, we alleged that lnstacart’s timekeeping app deleted employees’ hours worked on cancelled jobs and failed […]

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Requirements for Accurate Itemized Wage Statements in California

Section 226, subdivision (a) of the Labor Code requires an employer to provide employees with “an accurate itemized statement” that includes: (1) gross wages earned; (2) total hours worked; (3) certain information for employees paid on a piece-rate basis; (4) all deductions; (5) net wages earned; (6) the pay period; (7) the employee’s name and identifying information; (8) “the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer”; and (9) all applicable hourly rates. “An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($ 50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($ 100) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not to exceed an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($ 4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.” (§ 226, subd. (e)(1).) Injunctive relief and civil penalties are also available. (§§ 226, subd. (h), 226.3).

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Wage and Hour Class Action Mediation Brief

Section 510 of the Labor Code and the applicable IWC Wage Order require employers to pay overtime for hours worked beyond eight in a day and forty in a week (and double-time as provided in the statute and Wage Order).

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Class Action Settlements in California

The well-recognized factors that a trial court should consider in evaluating the reasonableness of the value of a class action settlement agreement include, but are not limited to:
[T]he strength of plaintiffs’ case, the risk, expense, complexity and likely duration of further litigation, the risk of maintaining class action status through trial, the amount offered in settlement, the extent of discovery completed and stage of proceedings, the experience and views of counsel, the presence of a governmental participant, and the reaction of the class members to the proposed settlement.
Dunk v. Ford Motor Co. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1794, 1801.

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Penalties for Violations of the Business & Professions Code

Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512 and the applicable wage orders require Defendant to authorize and permit meal and rest periods to its employees. California law prohibits employers from employing an employee for more than five hours without a meal period of at least 30 minutes. “[A]n employer’s obligation is to provide an off duty […]

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California Law: Class Action Suits & Missed Meal/Rest/Break Periods

Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512 and the applicable wage orders require an employer to authorize and permit meal and rest periods to their employees. California law prohibits employers from employing an employee for more than five hours without a meal period of at least 30 minutes. “[A]n employer’s obligation is to provide an off-duty meal period: an uninterrupted 30–minute period during which the employee is relieved of all duty.” Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Super. Ct., 53 Cal. 4th 1004, 1035 (2012). “An employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period.” Id. at 1034. An employer cannot “impede or discourage [employees] from [taking off-duty rest periods].” Id. at 1040. Section 226.7 and applicable wage orders also require employers to authorize and permit employees to take 10-minute rest periods for each four hours or major fraction thereof of work, and to pay employees their full wages during their rest periods. “[A]s a general matter,” one rest break should fall on either side of the meal break.” Id. at 1032. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during the 30-minute meal period and 10-minute rest period, the employee is considered “on duty” and the meal or rest period is counted as time worked under the applicable wage orders. Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. (2016) 2 Cal.5th 257, 264.

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Mandatory Meal and Rest Periods

Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512 and the applicable wage orders requires an employer to authorize and permit meal and rest periods to its employees. California law prohibits employers from employing an employee for more than five hours without a meal period of at least 30 minutes, and from employing an employee more than ten hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes. “[A]n employer’s obligation is to provide an off duty meal period: an uninterrupted 30–minute period during which the employee is relieved of all duty.” Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Super. Ct., 53 Cal. 4th 1004, 1035 (2012). “An employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period.” Id. at 1034. An employer cannot “impede or discourage [employees] from [taking breaks].” Id. at 1040. Section 226.7 and applicable wage orders also require employers to authorize and permit employees to take 10-minute rest periods for each four hours or major fraction thereof of work, and to pay employees their full wages during their rest periods. “[A]s a general matter, one rest break should fall on either side of the meal break.” Id. at 1032. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during the 30-minute meal period and 10-minute rest period, the employee is considered “on duty” and the meal or rest period is counted as time worked under the applicable wage orders. When an employer fails to provide a rest or meal period in accordance with the applicable wage orders, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that a required rest period is not provided, and one additional hour of pay for each work day that a compliant meal period is not provided. Labor Code § 226.7.

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Compensation for On-Call Shifts

It is well established that an employee’s on-call or standby time may require compensation. “Of course, an employer, if he chooses, may hire a man to do nothing, or to do nothing but wait for something to happen. Refraining from other activity often is a factor of instant readiness to serve, and idleness plays a part in all employments in a stand-by capacity. Readiness to serve may be hired, quite as much as service itself.” (Armour & Co. v. Wantock (1944) 323 U.S. 126, 133; see Skidmore v. Swift & Co. (1944) 323 U.S. 134, 137 (“Facts may show that the employee was engaged to wait, or they may show that he waited to be engaged.”); Madera Police Officers Assn. v. City of Madera (1984) 36 Cal.3d 403, 406 (concluding officers’ on-call mealtime was compensable hours worked).)

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