Articles, news & events

Read the latest news from The Scali Law Firm, including legal alerts and event listings.

Selling above sticker price?

Slick sales tactics can put dealers in hot water

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Have you heard the new one? A sales trainer is suggesting a new sales tactic that leads to salespeople regularly selling vehicles for more than the advertised price. The practice essentially invites customers to pay an additional amount above the advertised price as a tip for excellent service or for getting an exceptional deal. Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it probably is.

Pending bills provide more protections for employees pertaining to parental issues

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Two bills are currently being considered in the state legislature that enhance protections for employees related to baby bonding leave and anti-discrimination law regarding use of reproductive services. Both of these proposed laws are still being worked and amended, and it will probably be months before their final disposition is known. However, they reflect the increased attention by lawmakers to employee issues related to child rearing and pregnancy, and that trend is likely to continue.

Appellate court makes ruling on wage statement requirements

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Under California Labor Code section 226(a), employers are required to provide an itemized statement semi-monthly or at the time of each payment of wages. In Blair v. Dole Food Co., a California Court of Appeal recently addressed a complaint brought by an exempt, salaried employee who alleged that her former employer, Dole Food Co., was in violation by: 1) failing properly to identify employees on their wage statements, and 2) failing to identify an accurate hourly pay rate for exempt employees when those employees were paid accrued vacation wages.

Organ donor leave and pay

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Most dealers and employers are aware of protected medical leaves such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA). In most instances, these leaves are either unpaid, or are available to be compensated by state (not employer) sponsored programs such as State Disability Insurance and/or Paid Family Leave. However, many employers are unaware that employees who are donating bone marrow or an organ are required to be paid by their employer for time off associated with the donation.

Inconclusive drug test results and what to do when an employee shows up drunk to work

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Employers can (and should) require pre-employment drug testing, and refuse to hire a prospective employee if he/she fails to pass the drug test, provided notice and consent was properly given and obtained. Drug screens should only be conducted after a job offer has been made, and not as a way to screen applications. If the prospective employee refuses to take the test, the job offer can also be withdrawn, provided the employer gave all of the required notices and followed applicable law. But what if the drug test is inconclusive? And what should an employer do if an employee appears intoxicated at work? Read on for guidance on these tricky situations, and more.

Unpaid interns

Coffee Break: HR Minute

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In Coffee Break episode 26, Chris and Jennifer explain employers' limitations and obligations when using unpaid interns.

The Scali Law Firm revises CNCDA’s Advertising Law Manual

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The Scali Law Firm is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) to revise its 2015 Advertising Law Manual, published and available to California auto dealers who are members of the CNCDA. In 2015, the Scali Law Firm was asked to do a substantial re-write and re-working of the CNCDA’s first Advertising Law Manual, originally published in 2006, before the proliferation of digital and Internet vehicle advertising. The 2015 re-work focused on advertising in electronic media and via digital platforms.

Individual PAGA claims can be arbitrated, says the Ninth Circuit

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In an unpublished decision in March, the Ninth Circuit (the federal circuit court governing California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) permitted arbitration of a worker's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim, holding that an individual employee contract can bind government parties. The California Supreme Court's Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles decision "does not require that a PAGA claim be pursued in a judicial forum," the court said, and "clearly contemplate[d] that an individual employee can pursue a PAGA claim in arbitration, and thus that individual employees can bind the state to an arbitral forum."

Complying with California wage and hour law for commissioned employees in the aftermath of Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC

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Dealerships are taking another look at their commission pay plans in light of the recent California Court of Appeal case of Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture, LLC., which we featured in our March 1, 2017 Alert article. The Vaquero Court held that commission pay plans providing base pay covering time spent on rest breaks that could be “clawed-back” subject to future earnings was invalid under California law. Specifically, the Court held that employees who earn only commissions must be paid separately for rest breaks (since the commissions do not cover time spent resting), and that employers who pay employees both hourly wages and some form of incentive pay, including commissions, violate the rest period pay requirement if they claw back any part of the employees’ base hourly pay as a draw or advance against commissions.

Complying with the New Buyer’s Guide

Dealers continue to have questions on implementation

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As you have probably read, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s new version of the Buyers Guide took effect on January 27, 2017. We recommend upgrading to the new version and here are a few main issues to consider regarding its use.