Employers Must Pay Rest, Meal Break Premiums at ‘Regular Rate’

As California employers are well aware, they must follow to the letter numerous detailed and complex wage and hour requirements – including the requirement to pay a one-hour premium to nonexempt employees who don’t receive compliant meal and rest breaks.

Specifically, Labor Code section 226.7 states that when an employer doesn’t provide a meal or rest break that complies with the rules, they must pay the employee one hour of additional pay at the employee’s “regular rate of compensation.”

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But what does that term mean, exactly? That question has been working its way through the courts over the last few years, and the California Supreme Court finally gave a definitive answer in its recent decision (Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, No. S259172 (July 15, 2021)).

The California Supreme Court concluded that an employee’s “regular rate of compensation” for meal and rest period premium pay is the same as the employee’s “regular rate of pay” for purposes of overtime pay, which may be higher than the employee’s hourly rate if they receive other compensation in addition to hourly wages.

Read the full story at HRCalifonia Extra for details on the case itself, the appellate court’s ruling versus the California Supreme Court’s ruling, whether the decision applies retroactively and takeaways for employers.

PAGA: Employee With Outdated Individual Claim May Proceed With Representative Claim

Under the California Labor Code’s Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA), an aggrieved employee — acting solely on their own behalf and/or on behalf of other current and former employees — may bring a civil action to enforce Labor Code provisions if the government has not enforced them.

A new ruling from California’s Fourth Appellate District expands the reach of representative actions under the PAGA and limits employer defenses based upon seemingly stale claims (Johnson v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., No. D077599 (July 21, 2021)).

More specifically, an employee with an outdated individual claim may still file a representative claim — on behalf of other purportedly aggrieved employees — under the PAGA.

Read the full story for details on the case, why the appellate court reversed the lower court’s ruling, why the appellate court’s message is a mixed one, questions for appeal and takeaways for employers.

7 Steps Your Business Must Take to Comply with San Francisco’s New High-Risk Environment Vaccine Mandate

Authors: Jason A. Geller, Kevin L. Quan, Brandon Kahoush

San Francisco Mayor London Breed just announced enhancements to the city’s Department of Public Health Order setting forth new vaccination requirements for high-contact indoor businesses such as gyms, restaurants, bars, and theaters. Your business must comply with these new requirements by August 20, so the time to understand your compliance obligations is now. What are the seven steps your business must take as a result?

California Orders All Teachers to Be Vaccinated or Submit to Regular COVID-19 Testing

Authors: Jason A. Geller, Kevin L. Quan

The California Department of Public Health just issued a Public Health Order requiring all public and private school teachers and school staff serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested for COVID-19 at least one per week. In issuing this August 11 Order, California has become the first state to require vaccinations for all faculty and staff. What do education employers need to know about this development?

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