Written by Jeremy Mittman & Corey Singer On July 15, 2021, the California Supreme Court settled a longstanding question in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, 2021 WL 2965438, about how an employer must calculate the extra hour of premium pay that California non-exempt employees are owed if a compliant meal or rest break is not provided. In a significant reversal of prior court rulings, … Continue reading California Supreme Court Holds That Rest And Meal Period Premiums Must Be Calculated In The Same Manner As Overtime Payments
Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz The California Supreme Court recently issued two companion decisions – Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc. – clarifying the application of certain California wage and hour laws to employees who may work both in and out of California during a single pay period. New Rule for Applying California’s Wage Statement and Timing-of-Payment … Continue reading Come Fly The Friendly Skies? California Supreme Court Rules California Wage Laws Do Not Always Apply to Working In The Golden State
Why This Matters
The day after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court applies retroactively (see here), California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) released an opinion letter concluding that Dynamex’s ABC test applies to both IWC Wage Order claims and certain Labor Code provisions that enforce Wage Order requirements. The California Court of Appeals has ruled that Dynamex applies only to claims brought under the IWC Wage Orders (see here) and the DLSE’s recent opinion letter seems to expand what that means.
While California state and federal courts are not bound by DLSE opinion letters (meaning they could reach a different conclusion as to exactly which California Labor Code claims fall under Dynamex), the DLSE’s opinion letter reflects the way that agency will be interpreting Dynamex moving forward. This will impact employers who face DLSE wage claims where employees contend they were improperly classified as independent contractors. Continue reading “The Ever-Expanding Dynamex Decision”
The following was written collectively by our Labor & Employment Department.
A. Federal Court Decisions
1.No Administrative Exemption for Mortgage Underwriters
In McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Sav. Bank, 862 F.3d 847 (9th Cir. 2017), the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that mortgage underwriters qualified for the “administrative exemption” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In particular, the plaintiff alleged that she and other underwriters often worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek and, therefore, were owed overtime compensation. The defendant argued that mortgage underwriters were exempt under the administrative exemption, and the district court agreed. The Ninth Circuit reversed, and focused on the distinction, imposed by Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations interpreting the scope of the FLSA exemptions, between “work directly related to running or servicing of the business” and “working on a manufacturing production line or selling a product in a retail or service establishment,” also known as the “administrative-production dichotomy.” According to the DOL, those engaged in management of the business are exempt from the overtime-pay requirements of the FLSA, while those involved in making the goods it sells or performing the services a business provides to the marketplace are not exempt. The Ninth Circuit noted that two other circuit Court of Appeals, the Second Circuit (which ruled underwriters are non-exempt) and the Sixth Circuit (which ruled they are exempt) have reached opposite conclusions.