What’s in a Name? An Analysis of California Wage Statements and the Requirement that an Employer Provide both its Name and Address

“What’s in a name?” That was the question asked by the California Court of Appeal in Noori v. Countrywide Payroll & HR Solutions, Inc. (2019) 43 Cal. App. 5th 957, 964. California Labor Code Section 226(a)(8) requires employers to provide wage statements that list “the name and address of the legal entity that is the […]


Individual Liability under California Labor Code section 558.1: Some guidance from the courts of appeal

Until relatively recently, an employee could not recover damages for unpaid wages and other wage and hour violations from an individual owner or officer of the employer unless the employee could prove some other legal basis for liability such as alter ego liability. However, alter ego liability is generally difficult to prove and has been […]


Pay for Reporting Time under California Law: Do On-Call Shifts Count?

California law requires employers to pay employees for “reporting time” under the following circumstances: (1) when employees are required to report for work, (2) do report but (3) are either not put to work or provided less than half of their usual daily shift or scheduled shift. See Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders 1-16, Section 5; […]


California Resident Managers’ Workplace Rights

Live-in resident managers face a unique challenge: their bosses are often also their landlords. California law requires an individual to live on the premises if a building has sixteen (16) or more units. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 25, § 42. These individuals are often referred to as resident managers. Resident managers carry out various job […]


Do California’s Wage and Hour Laws apply to Workers who live in other States or who travel outside of the State for work?

California’s laws are among the best, if not the best, for workers in the United States. But do those laws apply to workers who live in other states? And how about workers who live and work in California, but also work in other states?man sitting on gang chair with feet on luggage looking at airplane

Oman v. Delta Air Lines and Ward v. United Airlines, two 2020 decisions from the California Supreme Court provide some guidance with respect to those questions. Because they build on an earlier case, Sullivan v. Oracle (2011) 51 Cal.4th 1191, 1201, we will start our analysis there. Continue reading “Do California’s Wage and Hour Laws apply to Workers who live in other States or who travel outside of the State for work?”


Proving Unpaid Wages without Records: A Roadmap for Claims under California and Federal Law

Wage theft, or situations in which an employer fails to pay its employees for some or all of the wages of that they earned, has gotten more attention in recent years. (See, for example, https://www.kqed.org/news/11780059/were-being-robbed-california-employers-who-cheat-workers-often-not-held-accountable-by-state.) This post explores how workers battling wage theft can prevail even when there are no exact records showing how much they are owed.

In Minnesota, Wage Theft Will be a Felony | Workday Minnesota

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Independent Contractor vs. Employee: AB 5 Makes Dynamex California Law

On September 18, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) into law –expanding the California Supreme Court’s decision in the Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (Dynamex) and codifying the “ABC test” for determining if a worker may be classified as an independent contractor, instead of an employee.

In Dynamex, the California Supreme Court revisited whether the factors from its prior decision in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (Borello) were the best way to determine employment for purposes of claims under the California Wage Orders. The Court concluded that Borello was not the proper test, ruling that the ABC test should be used to determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

Under the ABC test, a worker is presumed to be an employee unless the company proves that the worker:

(A) Is free from the control and direction of the company in performing work, both practically and in the contractual agreement between the parties; and

(B) Performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s business; and

(C) Is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the company.

To satisfy the ABC test and legally classify a worker as an independent contractor, the employer must prove that a worker is free from the company’s control, performs work outside the company’s primary business, and is regularly engaged in the trade the worker is hired for, independent of work for the employer. All three parts of the ABC test must be satisfied before a worker can properly be considered an independent contractor.

Continue reading “Independent Contractor vs. Employee: AB 5 Makes Dynamex California Law”


PAGA, Individual Claims, Public Entities, and Section 1102.5 Whistleblower Claims

On September 8, 2019, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued an important decision in the case of Hawkins v. City of Los Angeles (Case Nos. B279719, B282416).  That decision casts light on the following questions:  (1) Whether PAGA claims can be brought on behalf of an Gear and Gavelindividual, as opposed to a group of aggrieved employees; (2) Whether PAGA claims can be brought against public entities; and (3) Whether attorneys’ fees are recoverable under Labor Code section 1102.5.

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My Company Owes Me Wages.  Can I Sue My Boss Individually For Them?

In California, employees can sue certain individuals for money that their employers owe them.  But a recent decision by the California Supreme Court limits the avenues for that type of recovery.Gear and Gavel

First, the good news:  California Labor Code section 558.1 allows “person[s] acting on behalf of an employer” to be held liable as the employer for violating any provision regulating minimum wages or hours and days of work in any of the Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders.  This section also applies to the following Labor Code sections:  203 (failure to pay wages due at the time of termination); 226 (failure to provide proper wage statements); 226.7 (failure to provide meal and rest breaks); 1193.6 (failure to pay minimum wage); 1194 (failure to pay minimum wage) and 2802 (failure to reimburse for business expenses). Continue reading “My Company Owes Me Wages.  Can I Sue My Boss Individually For Them?”


Which Wage and Hour Laws Apply to California Public Employees?

Wage and hour laws require that employers pay minimum wages and overtime wages, provide meal and rest breaks, and pay all wages immediately upon termination of employment, among many other things.Gear and Gavel Public employees often wonder whether they are covered by these laws, or whether such basic protections do not apply to them.  The answer in California, in true lawyerly fashion, is, “it depends.”  This post will attempt to sort out which wage and hour laws apply to public employees and which, unfortunately, do not. Continue reading “Which Wage and Hour Laws Apply to California Public Employees?”