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Paul Zimmerman
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Tip Credits and the Multitasking Hospitality Employee

There is good news for employers in the hospitality space coming out of the Ninth Circuit. The court in Marsh v. J. Alexander’s, LLC recently ruled that tipped employees who also perform non-tip-generating work cannot state a claim for violation of the tip credit provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As otherwise stated, employees, such as servers and bartenders, who occasionally handle “discrete related tasks” over the course of any given shift that are intermingled with duties directed at earning tips remain subject to tip credits (at least in those states that allow tip credits – California is not one of them). (Read More)

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Salary Inquiries Becoming A Thing Of The Past

Attention employers in California, you are the latest to be prohibited from asking questions about a job applicant’s compensation history, a move designed to close the gender pay gap. (Read more)

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And on the Seventh Day, We Rest...Sometimes

The Labor Code in California appears to be pretty clear where it states that employees cannot work more than six consecutive days without a day of rest. But as is so common in the law, even this seemingly straightforward rule is subject to interpretation. And that’s exactly what the Ninth Circuit has done – with the help of some guidance from the California Supreme Court – in Mendoza v. Nordstrom Inc. (Read More)

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With New York Cybersecurity Rules in Place, the NAIC Looks to Follow Suit

Michelman & Robinson has written extensively on the cybersecurity requirements for financial services companies that were issued by the New York Department of Financial Services and went into effect on March 1, 2017. These cyber rules, as codified, require insurance and insurance-related companies as well as brokers, agents and adjusters licensed in New York to assess their specific cyber risk profiles and design cybersecurity programs that address such risk in a “robust fashion.”

Now, in the wake of the passage of this law in New York, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is on the doorstep of adopting an Insurance Data Security Model Law that closely mirrors it in some aspects. And if adopted, the model law will serve as a template for legislation to be enacted state-by-state. (Read More)

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The Ultimate Trade-Off Now Being Offered by Verizon

Verizon Wireless is offering a new reward program called Verizon Ups which allows customers to earn credits that can be redeemed for various offerings, including concert and movie tickets and smartphones. Of course, there’s a catch – being a Verizon customer isn't enough. Participants must also sign up for Verizon Selects, enabling the company to track customers and sell ads based on collected data. (Read More)

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The PAGA Saga: Expanded Discovery Rights for Plaintiffs

The scope of discovery just got a bit broader in cases brought under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004. In so-called PAGA actions – by which an employee may pursue a private right of action on behalf of himself/herself and aggrieved third parties against an employer to collect penalties for particular labor violations – an employer is now generally compelled to produce the contact information of all its employees when asked for such information by an employee plaintiff. Such was the recent ruling in Williams v. Superior Court, in which the California Supreme Court determined that the latitude for discovery in PAGA actions is essentially the same as that in class actions. (Read More)

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Suitable Seating Laws in California: Do Not Read While Standing

Picture this: a grand and bustling hotel lobby bathed in light, impeccably designed, and furnished with beautiful seating areas where guests lounge and enjoy. Adjacent to the stunning lobby, and just steps from the hotel’s entrance, is the busy front desk, staffed by attentive, smartly dressed employees answering questions, checking guests into rooms, and otherwise accommodating all those who approach them.

Noticeably absent from anywhere behind the front desk, however, is a place for these employees to sit. And while it is no surprise that hotel staff is not provided with plush chairs and couches like those adorning the lobby, the lack of suitable seating could raise red flags given the California Supreme Court’s relatively recent clarification of the issue in Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., a class action suit brought on behalf of pharmacy cashiers and bank tellers for violation of certain California Wage Orders issued by the California Industrial Welfare Commission (“Wage Orders”). (Read More)

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Buying Insurance? There's an App for That

Lemonade, an insurance startup offering renters, condominium, and homeowners insurance, has recently expanded to offer policies in California and Illinois, after launching in New York last year. The company hopes to market insurance to millennials by borrowing marketing strategies that have served other industries well in reaching that demographic: a charitable element, along with app-based service and purchasing. (Read More)

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Surplus Line Insurance in California: Watch Out

To companies and their employees engaged in surplus line activities in California - beware. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) recently reached a $12M settlement with an insurance holding company and certain of its insurer and producer subsidiaries related to the activities of unlicensed personnel and entities within the state of California, a resolution that illustrates the Department’s focus on and commitment to compliance with California laws governing nonadmitted insurance, which differ in significant aspects from those of other states. (Read More)

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Transgender Bathroom Laws in California: What Employers Need to Know

The rights and civil liberties of transgender people have become an important topic openly discussed and debated nationwide. Clearly, the issues confronting the transgender community are many, but it seems press coverage has boiled its plight down to a rather narrow question: which public restroom should transgender men, women, boys and girls use? (Read More)