201311.08
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Victory for LGBT Workers as U.S. Senate Passes Federal Ban on Workplace Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

In a victory for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) workers, the U.S. Senate approved a bill on Thursday which would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) would prohibit employers from firing, discriminating against, or refusing to hire employees or job applicants on the basis of…

201309.17
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Law Firms May Hire Law Students as Unpaid Interns for Pro Bono Cases

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor clarified its position on unpaid internships for law students at law firms, explaining that under federal law, unpaid internships are permissible in some circumstances. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) generally does not permit individuals to volunteer to work unpaid for for-profit businesses such as law firms….

201308.05
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Class Action Suit Against Kmart Corp. Moves Towards Settlement

A class action suit filed against Kmart on behalf of current and former employees has been cleared to move towards settlement, however, federal judge overseeing the case, Judge William Alsup, has concerns over the percentage of the payment going to class members. Kmart agreed to settle the case, regarding the lack of “suitable seating” that…

201304.25
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Court Hands Down Victory for Employees Who Do Piecework

The Second District Court of Appeal recently handed down a victory for employees who do piecework. The Court held that employees who are paid according to the amount produced (i.e., piecework) must also be paid separate hourly compensation for the hours spent waiting for work or doing other tasks during their shifts. In Gonzalez v….

201303.20
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Pregnant Employees Entitled to Pregnancy Leave In Addition to General Disability Leave

California pregnancy leave laws are notoriously complex. Under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), which is part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), employees are entitled to up to four months of leave for pregnancy-related disabilities. If an employee’s pregnancy-related disability persists beyond four months, however, the law was previously unclear regarding whether…

201303.11
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Foreign National Employees Settle Wage and Hour and Breach of Contract Claims for $30 Million

A recent $30 million settlement is likely to encourage future class action lawsuits by foreign national workers. In Vedachalam v. Tata America International Corp., et al., a class of foreign national workers sued their employer, Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., a Mumbai-based staffing company, for breach of contract and wage and hour violations. The plaintiffs alleged…

201303.06
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California Supreme Court Depublishes Three Decisions Interpreting Brinker

Last April, the California Supreme Court resolved long-standing confusion regarding the definition of the word “provide” in Labor Code §512, which requires employers to provide meal breaks to employees who work for more than five hours. In the landmark Brinker decision, the Court clarified that an employer must relieve its employees of all duties during…