SOURCE: Berger Kahn, A Law Corporation

Berger Kahn, A Law Corporation

December 26, 2011 14:15 ET

Expert Employment Law Attorneys' Year End Review on California Wage and Hour Cases

David Ezra and Erin Mindoro of Berger Kahn Provide Insight on Four Employment Law Decisions of 2011

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 26, 2011) - While reflecting on hour and wage "battles" of 2011, Berger Kahn principal David Ezra and associate Erin Mindoro have determined that there may be a changing trend in California employment law disputes in favor of employers.

"In wage and hour disputes, most California small and mid-size businesses see the law as a deck stacked in favor of their employees," says David Ezra. "Four recent California decisions suggest the pendulum may be swinging toward a more level playing field."

  • Arechiga v. Dolores Press, Inc. (2011); the Second District Court of Appeal rejected the argument that using the word "salary" to describe a janitor's pay required additional overtime pay.
  • Areso v. CarMax, Inc. (2011); Sided with CarMax after the company revised its commission rates and paid its salespeople a uniform payment based on the number of vehicles sold.
  • Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. v. Sup. Ct. (2011); the Second District Court of Appeal rejected the employees' generous interpretation of "split shift" pay.
  • Sullivan v. Oracle Corp. (2011); The California Supreme Court did not allow non-residents who worked elsewhere to claim the benefit of California overtime law where the employer had a California headquarters.

"It seems courts may now be less inclined to punish technical violations that do not substantially impact employees," says Erin Mindoro. "Perhaps these recent decisions reflect a certain recognition that reasonable employer conduct should not be punished just because a statute, wage order, or a clever attorney's argument that might make the punishment semantically possible."

ABOUT BERGER KAHN: Berger Kahn, A Law Corporation, is a California-based law firm with practice areas such as insurance coverage and litigation, business litigation, labor and employment, serious personal injury and wrongful death, and subrogation. The firm has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area. www.bergerkahn.com

ABOUT DAVID EZRA: David Ezra is the principal at Berger Kahn's Irvine office, and practices in the areas of employment and insurance law. Ezra was named a Top 5 Orange County employment law attorney in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by OC Metro, and Top 50 Orange County Southern California Super Lawyers in 2011. http://www.bergerkahn.com/attorneys/26

ABOUT ERIN MINDORO: Erin Mindoro is an associate at Berger Kahn's Irvine office, and practices in the areas of employment, business and insurance law. http://www.bergerkahn.com/attorneys/229

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