Supreme Court of California Expands Definition of “Employees” Who Are Protected by Wage Laws

April 30, 2018

On April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of California, the highest court in the State, reached a landmark decision for hourly workers.  In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Lee, the Court denied Dynamex’s appeal of the lower court’s order, which certified a class of delivery drivers who Dynamex argued were independent contractors, and therefore not entitled to the protection of certain wage laws.  This decision is a huge victory for California workers who are classified as mere... [...]

Cocktail Server Illegally Fired From NYC’s Ascent Lounge

April 26, 2018

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of a New York City cocktail server fired two days after complaining at a staff meeting about the wage practices and working conditions at the upscale Ascent Lounge.  The Board agreed with an administrative law judge-finding that the timing of the server’s termination, soon after the staff meeting in which she complained, was suspicious and evidence of the employer’s animus towards the server for voicing... [...]

California Class Action Arbitration Agreement Found Unconscionable

April 25, 2018

California workers obtain a substantial victory as the California Second Appellate District found arbitration agreements, signed by over one hundred employees in the wake of a coworker initiating a wage-and-hour class action, to be procedurally and substantially unconscionable.  The Court held that “the language of the provision and the circumstances under which it was presented to putative class members rendered it unfair, one-sided, and substantively unconscionable.”. Specifically,... [...]

Ninth Circuit Rules That Employers Cannot Use Employees’ Salary Histories to Justify Paying Women Less Than Men

April 24, 2018

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest federal court in California, issued a significant decision that could ultimately have national implications for women fighting to be paid equally with their male peers.  In Rizo v. Yovino, a female math consultant sued the superintendent of a California school district under the Equal Pay Act – a federal law that prohibits paying women less than men based on their gender – after she learned that her male colleagues were... [...]

Second Circuit Confirms More Lenient Standard for Punitive Damages Under the New York City Human Rights Law

March 20, 2018

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest federal court in New York, held in Chauca v. Abraham that an employee may recover punitive damages against an employer under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) by showing merely that the employer acted with “with willful or wanton negligence” in discriminating against the employee. Conversely, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”) – the federal law that protects against employment discrimination – sets a... [...]

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