A recent study by the law firm Seyfarth Shaw discussed in The Blog of LegalTimes shows a steady increase in wage and hour suits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) over the last few years. Seyfarth partner Richard Alfred explains the spike as due to the bad economy; those who lost jobs are looking at their legal options. And he doesn’t see an end to the increase any time soon. This presents an opportunity for those attorneys who are up to speed in this area. Here’s an overview of the FLSA to get you started.
It was close, but the California Supreme Court in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v Moreno (.pdf) has ruled in favor of employees in a decision holding that arbitration agreements do not preempt administrative wage claim procedures. An employee who has a wage claim against his or her employer, but is subject to an arbitration agreement, can go first through the Labor Commissioner’s administrative processes before the employer can require arbitration.
After languishing on the California Supreme Court’s docket for 6 years, Martinez v Combs (2010) 2010 Cal Lexis 4660 has finally been decided, and it is a historic decision. At the heart of the case is an issue that has not been clarified by the courts for nearly 100 years: Who qualifies as an “employer” under the state Industrial Welfare Commission’s (IWC’s) wage orders?