The long-fought bag-check battle against Apple is coming to an end, and the employee class just won a major victory in California when a federal court of appeals ruled that the company must pay its workers for the time spent during mandatory anti-theft searches at the end of their shifts. Following the California Supreme Court’s decision in February that concluded, among other things, that an element of employee choice whether to engage in an activity does not by itself make the time non-compensable, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s 2014 rulings in favor of Apple and directed the trial court to enter judgment in favor of the employee class. After the September 2 decision, the only question that remains open for most California employers is whether there might exist some type of de minimis doctrine under California law that would permit employers to avoid paying workers for short and occasional tasks, albeit one that is more limited than the federal canon.

An employer’s willingness to negotiate benefits packages with current and prospective employees can make all the difference when it comes to retaining and hiring talent. Benefits negotiations can be difficult, however, with a range of legal, tax and regulatory issues involved.

U.S. payrolls increased by 1.4 million in August, about what was expected, as the pace of rehiring has slowed and layoffs continue. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent from 10.2 percent in July, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. August was the first month after a $600 weekly unemployment supplement expired, and stimulus programs shoring up businesses that retained workers lapsed.

Although Congress has yet to pass legislation protecting employers from coronavirus-related liability, some states have enacted or proposed their own laws. Employers should carefully review the applicable laws, as some states require employers to follow specific steps for the shield to apply.

As the pandemic continues and many employees are still working from home, California businesses and HR departments must craft appropriate policies and procedures for expense reimbursements and workplace safety.

As fire season starts and some areas of California and several other states are attempting to contain wildfires, employers need to consider their obligations to employees.

Prior to the pandemic, ultra-low unemployment at roughly 3.3% put a spotlight on ‘lifestyle benefits’ for employees such as gym memberships and pet sitting. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the focus immediately shifted for many plan sponsors. Some employers are now offering high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) paired with health savings accounts (HSAs). Scaling back on […]

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In this second of a three-part series, Littler Los Angeles Shareholder and trial attorney Helene Wasserman interviews Dr. Dan Gallipeau, co-founder and President of Dispute Dynamics, a nationally-recognized jury consulting firm, about how the lens through which jurors are evaluating evidence has changed in this COVID era, and what trial attorneys should consider when developing trial themes, during, and after, COVID.