California Supreme Court Clarifies “Day of Rest” Statutes


In the recent opinion Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc. (Case No. S224611, May 8, 2017), the California Supreme Court answered unsettled questions about the state’s day of rest statutes, Labor Code sections 550 – 558.1. These statutes prohibit an employer from causing its employees to work more than six days in seven without taking a day of rest, but do not apply when an employee’s total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or 6 hours in any day.

In Mendoza, the Court ruled as follows:

  • A day of rest is guaranteed for each workweek. Periods of more than six consecutive days of work that stretch across more than one workweek are not per se
  • The exemption for employees working shifts of 6 hours or less applies only to those who never exceed six hours of work on any day of the workweek. If on any one day an employee works more than six hours, a day of rest must be provided during that workweek, subject to whatever other exceptions might apply.
  • An employer causes its employee to go without a day of rest when it induces the employee to forgo rest to which he or she is entitled. An employer is not, however, forbidden from permitting or allowing an employee, fully apprised of the entitlement to rest, independently to choose not to take a day of rest.

With the court’s ruling in Mendoza, employers must ensure their break policies are in compliance with the law. Read on to learn more.

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Releases New Workplace Harassment Guide For Employers


In May, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released a Workplace Harassment Guide. The new step-by-step guide, available here, provides employers with specific recommended practices to prevent harassment in the workplace, to respond employee complaints of harassment, and to conduct a fair investigation of the employee’s complaint. Prepared by DFEH’s California Sexual Harassment Task Force, this guide gives employers helpful, practical guidance and steps to comply with employers’ legal obligations to prevent and address workplace harassment.

EEOC Offers New Online Resource Center for Small Business Employers


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new online resource center for small businesses. The Small Business Resource Center is designed to help small business owners comply with federal employment anti-discrimination laws. In addition, the resource center provides guidance on making employment decision and information on a variety of potential workplace discrimination issues.

The resource center was designed to help small business owners better understand their legal responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination employment laws. The new resource center is part of the EEOC’s Small Business Task Force. The task force focuses on addressing the needs of small businesses by providing information on social media websites in addition to other online channels. The new resource center has also launched the first in a series of short videos for small business owners focusing on frequently asked anti-discrimination compliance questions.

Commissioner Constance Barker stated the following regarding the resource center:

“On behalf of EEOC’s Small Business Task Force, I am very pleased to announce the release of the SBRC. Startups and other small businesses continue to play an integral role in the strength of our nation’s economy. It is our responsibility as a federal government agency to help businesses understand their legal obligations under the complex and ever-changing laws and regulations we enforce. We want small businesses to be able to quickly and easily access the information they need to comply with the laws. It is our hope that the Small Business Resource Center will help them do just that, so that they can focus their time and efforts on growing their businesses and creating new jobs.”

Contact our law office for more information about state and federal anti-discrimination laws and resources.

Choice of Law & State Venue Provisions Now Restricted in California Employment Agreements


On September 25, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown approved a new law allowing California employees to unilaterally void forum selection or choice of law clauses (not the entire agreement) in employment contracts. S.B. 1241 regulates where and under what law California employees can sue and arbitrate. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2017.contract-1464917_1920

Impact of SB 1241

Most agreements allow contracting parties to select a forum to litigate or arbitrate a dispute. Under S.B. 1241, employers are prohibited from requiring, as a condition of employment, an employee who primarily resides and works in California to agree to any contractual provisions that will: 1) require the employee to litigate or arbitrate claims arising in California in a foreign forum (outside of California); and 2) deprive the employee of the protection of California employment laws. The new law also includes, but is not limited to, executive contracts, covenants, and non-compete agreements.

An employee must be represented by legal counsel when negotiating an out-of-state venue, forum, or choice of law term. If a forum selection or choice of law provision is included in an employment agreement, the reviewing court can enjoin reliance on the provision, declare it unlawful, and award reasonable attorney fees.

S.B. 1241 will be codified as Section 925 of California Labor Code. Employers should review any employment or arbitration agreements to make sure they are in compliance with the new law. Employee contracts may need to be revised. Contact our law office for more information about modifying your existing employment agreements.

Sayema Hameed Named 2016 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers


Pasadena, CA – Cabada & Hameed LLP is pleased to announce that partner Sayema Hameed has been selected as a 2016 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers, an attorney rating service that honors outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  This is the eighth consecutive year that Ms. Hameed has achieved this recognition.

The Super Lawyers Rising Stars list includes top attorneys who are age 40 or younger or have been in practice less than ten years. Super Lawyers selects attorneys through a patented multi-phase process including peer nominations combined with individual research of the candidates. No more than 2.5% of attorneys in the region receive this recognition.  Ms. Hameed was previously recognized as a Rising Star in 2009 through 2015.

The complete list of Southern California Rising Stars has been published in the July 2016 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine and the July 2016 edition of Los Angeles magazine.  Ms. Hameed’s name will also appear in the September 2016 Top Women Attorneys in Southern California section of Los Angeles magazine.

Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center: Wrongful Termination & Workplace Retaliation


As a healthcare employer, you are required to ensure you properly implement policies and procedures that are in accordance with the Nursing Practice Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2700 et seq.). In particular, the NPA allows nurses to perform certain functions designated as the “practice of medicine” so long as they are prescribed pursuant to a hospital’s standardized procedures (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2725 subd. (c).).

The Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board of California provide guidelines that govern the content of such procedures, and hospitals must operate in accordance with these guidelines. The standardized procedures must contain specific elements and are required to be adopted by the organization prior to being implemented. If a hospital’s policies and procedures are not clearly defined and exercised as required, this can result in nurses engaging in the illegal practice of medicine.

This particular issue was addressed in Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center1.  In Nosal-Tabor, the California Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. The California Court of Appeals ruled that a jury could find in favor of the plaintiff nurse, Karen Nosal-Tabor, for wrongful termination and workplace retaliation. Read on to learn more about the case and how to protect your organized health care system from being sued.

California Labor Commissioner Issues First Opinion On California’s Paid Sick Leave Law


The California Labor Commissioner has issued its first opinion on California’s new paid sick leave law.  The opinion clarifies how many hours of paid sick leave an employee is entitled to receive under the “lump sum” method of providing sick leave at the beginning of a calendar year or 12-month period.

EEOC Ruling: Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination


In a recent decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that discrimination by employers against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  

Title VII governs employment discrimination claims against public and private employers. Under Title VII, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee on the basis of her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. While Title VII does not explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the EEOC’s new ruling clarifies that Title VII indeed prohibits such discrimination.

Employee or Independent Contractor: The U.S. Department of Labor Weighs In


The U.S. Department of Labor recently released a memo regarding the appropriate classification of employees and independent contractors. The classification of employees has become an important topic as growing businesses such as Uber and Lyft rely heavily on the use of independent contractors, a classification increasingly challenged by workers in court. Read on to learn the factors used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).