California DLSE Revises Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice and FAQs


by Sayema Hameed

On April 12, 2012, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) issued revised FAQs regarding the new California Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011.  The DLSE also issued a revised Notice template for use by employers.  The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, which adds Section 2810.5 to the California Labor Code, went into effect January 1, 2012.  The law requires all employers to provide non-exempt employees, at the time of hire, a written notice that contains specific employment information.

EEOC Issues Final Rule on “Reasonable Factors Other than Age” Under the ADEA


by Sayema Hameed

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a final rule clarifying an employer’s defense against claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).  The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older.  In addition to prohibiting intentional discrimination against older workers, the ADEA also prohibits facially neutral policies and practices that have the effect of harming older workers more than younger workers (known as “disparate impact”).  The final rule explains the “Reasonable Factors Other than Age” defense to disparate impact claims under the ADEA.

Reminder: Employee Rights Poster Requirement Effective April 30, 2012


by Sayema Hameed

Effective April 30, 2012, most private sector employers will be required to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).  This notice requirement will apply to most private sector employers (excluding agricultural, railroad, airline, and the US Postal Service).  This rule does not apply to very small employers whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have a more than a slight effect on interstate commerce.  However, the rule does apply to retail businesses (including home construction) that have a gross annual volume of business of $500,000 or more.  The rule also applies to most non-retail businesses with an annual inflow or outflow across state lines of at least $50,000.  Employers can read the final rule, get more information and download the poster free of charge from the National Labor Relations Board website: https://www.nlrb.gov/poster

Mayers v. Volt Management Corp.: California Court Finds Employee Arbitration Agreement Unenforceable


by Sayema Hameed

The California Court of Appeal has issued a decision holding that an employee arbitration agreement is unenforceable.  In Mayers v. Volt Management Corp. (filed February 2, 2012, publication ordered February 27, 2012, Fourth District, Div. Three, Case No. G045036), the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against his former employer alleging various claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code, § 12940 et seq.) (“FEHA”).  The defendant employer filed a motion to compel arbitration based on the plaintiff’s agreement to submit employment-related claims to final and binding arbitration, as evidenced by his signed employment application, employment agreement, and acknowledgment of receipt of employee handbook.  The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision.

The arbitration provisions in the employment application, employment agreement, and employee handbook each required that the plaintiff submit employment-related claims to arbitration pursuant to the “applicable rules of the American Arbitration Association in the state” where plaintiff was employed.  However, Plaintiff was not provided with a copy of the controlling American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) rules or advised as to how he could find them.

The arbitration provisions also failed to identify which set of AAA rules would apply.  They further stated that the “arbitrator shall be entitled to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.”  That language exposed the plaintiff to a greater risk of liability for attorney fees than he would have been if he pursued his FEHA claims in court.  The Court of Appeal, therefore, concluded that the above provisions were unconscionable and unenforceable, and plaintiff could not be compelled to arbitrate his claims against the defendant.

California Adds New Protections To Pregnancy Disability Leave Law


by Sayema Hameed

Existing California law requires employers with five or more employees to provide employees pregnancy disability leave of up to four (4) months before returning to work.  Effective January 1, 2012, California law now also requires an employer to maintain and pay for group health plan coverage for an employee who takes such leave.

California Prohibits “Willful Misclassification” Of Employees As Independent Contractors


by Sayema Hameed

Employers should be careful when treating workers as individual contractors.  Effective January 1, 2012, California now prohibits “willful misclassification” of individuals as independent contractors.  The “willful misclassification” of an individual is defined as “avoiding employee status for an individual by voluntarily and knowingly misclassifying that individual as an independent contractor.”

California Restricts Employers’ Use of Consumer Credit Reports Effective January 1, 2012


by Sayema Hameed

Assembly Bill 22, signed into law by Governor Brown, restricts the use of consumer credit reports by employers.  Effective January 1, 2012, employers and prospective employers (excluding certain financial institutions) will be prohibited from obtaining or using consumer credit reports about employees or job applicants, with limited exceptions. 

California’s Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 Effective January 1, 2012


by Sayema Hameed

A wide array of new employment laws go into effect in California in 2012.  Among the new laws that will impact the day-to-day operations of employers is the new “Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011,” which adds Section 2810.5 to the California Labor Code.  Effective January 1, 2012, employers will be required to provide to non-exempt employees, at the time of hiring, a notice including the following information:

  • √ The employer’s rate(s) of pay and how the employee will be paid (salary, hourly, commission);
  • √ The rates for overtime;
  • √ Any allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging allowances;
  • √ The employer’s regular payday;
  • √ The employer’s name, including any fictitious business names under which it operates;
  • √ The employer’s physical and mailing addresses; and
  • √ Contact information for the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Employee Rights Notice Posting Requirement Effective April 30, 2012


by Sayema Hameed

Effective April 30, 2012, most private sector employers will be required to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). This notice requirement will apply to most private sector employers (excluding agricultural, railroad, airline, and the US Postal Service) and is meant to inform both unionized and non-unionized employers of their rights under the Act. Employers can get more information and download the notice from the National Labor Relations Board website: https://www.nlrb.gov/poster

Sayema Hameed Is Named A 2011 Southern California Rising Star


Pasadena, CA – Cabada & Hameed LLP is pleased to announce that partner Sayema Hameed has been recognized as a Rising Star in the 2011 Southern California Rising Stars edition of Super Lawyers magazine for her work in business litigation.  Super Lawyers honors outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The Super Lawyers Rising Stars list includes top attorneys who are age 40 or younger or have been in practice less than ten years.  Ms. Hameed was previously recognized as a Rising Star in 2009 and 2010.  The full list of Southern California Rising Stars will appear in the July 2011 issue of Los Angeles magazine, which can be found online at: http://digital.superlawyers.com/superlawyers/socal2011