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Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds class action waivers in employee arbitration agreements

Finds labor laws protecting “concerted activity” no obstacle

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The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a 3-for-1 opinion protecting class action waivers in employee arbitration agreements. This decision is consistent with the California Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling, in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, which also upheld the enforceability of class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements, but carved out an exception for actions brought under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

EVENT on July 18, 2018

Scali Rasmussen is sponsoring this timely and important Labor & Employment Conference and our Jack Schaedel is presenting on sexual harassment issues in the #metoo movement.

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Here’s a familiar scenario: your counsel advises you about changes in the law requiring you to restructure your pay plans for certain employees, but when you distribute the new plans, one or more employees resist, complain, and refuse to sign. As addressed in our Coffee Break article published on this same date, No secrets: Prohibiting employee discussions about pay, you cannot prohibit these employees from disclosing and discussing pay information with each other. But as for employee resistance and refusal to sign new pay plans, read on for tips on handling this situation.

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Revisions to California’s Fair Pay Act took effect in 2017. Billed as the “toughest in the nation,” the law made it easier for plaintiffs to sue based on gender-based pay differences for “substantially similar” work, even at different locations. For 2018, California law became tougher still, as employers are now prohibited from asking about an applicant’s salary history or seeking such information, and may not rely on it in deciding on a salary to propose, unless the applicant volunteers the information. The rationale is that because women historically have been paid less than men, requesting salary history (and basing compensation offers on an applicant’s current or prior salary) will perpetuate these differences.

No secrets

Prohibiting employee discussions about pay

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Employers often seek to discourage conversations between employees about pay and compensation due to the distraction and potential morale issues that arise when such information is the subject of gossip and speculation in the workplace. Moreover, pay information is generally considered confidential personnel information that employers should protect as private. However, employers must beware of implementing or enforcing any policy that prohibits employees from disclosing their own pay, or discussing co-workers’ pay, as such practices can run afoul of both California and federal law.

Update on Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC case

Service advisors are exempt from overtime under federal law, but overtime obligations may still exist under state law

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It appears that a resolution has finally been reached in theNavarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLCcase, on which we previously reported with updates as the case has bounced back and forth between the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in this case was whether service advisors fall within the federal Fair Labor Standards Act Section 13(b)(10)(a)’s blanket overtime exemption that covers any “salesman, partsman or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.”

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