For years, Silicon Valley Middle Market employers have faced a continuing stream of claims alleging that employees have been misclassified as exempt from overtime compensation rules. Most misclassification claims have involved the so-called “white collar” exemptions. Claims alleging misclassification under the inside sales exemption have received less attention than most other claims, but the inside sales exemption is not well understood by many employers, resulting in frequent misclassifications and potential liability.  Continue Reading Inside Sales Exemption Misunderstood by Many Employers

Most Silicon Valley Middle Market company employers know that the California Labor Code and the Wage Orders generally require an employer to provide certain meal periods and rest breaks to non-exempt employees during their work day and that failure to do so results in a penalty equal to an additional one hour of pay for each violation.  According to California law, an employee must be relieved of all duties during their meal period and their rest breaks and this must include the ability to leave the employer’s premises.

In a recent decision involving Taco Bell’s discounted meal policy, through which it provided discounted food and drinks for any employee who worked a shift of at least two hours under the condition the employee not leave the premises during the break, the California Supreme Court rejected the employees’ arguments that the requirement they remain on premises if they purchased discounted food or drink meant that they were not relieved of all duties. Continue Reading Employers Catch a Break – California Supreme Court Sides with Them in Taco Bell Case

Employers who adopt English-only policies in the workplace expose themselves to a risk of claims for discrimination.  Since the circumstances in which an English-only policy might be justified are quite narrow, employers should not adopt such a policy before conferring with counsel, and any such policies should be carefully drafted and narrowly tailored.  Continue Reading Middle Market Employers: California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council Adopt New Regulations Regarding English-only Rules

Many California Middle Market employers, especially those in Silicon Valley, utilize independent contractors to fulfill job openings, to generate payroll savings for their businesses, and to avoid the administrative hassles associated with the traditional employment relationship.  Whether a worker can be validly classified as an independent contractor depends on certain legal criteria, however, not merely the desires of the parties.  In the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision last week in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, the circumstances in which employers can classify workers as independent contractors are now more limited.  Continue Reading Silicon Valley Middle Market Companies: Are Your Contractors Now Employees?