Wage and Hour

Bloomberg News is reporting that Wells Fargo & Co. must pay $97 million to home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers in California who didn’t get the breaks they were entitled to under the state’s stringent labor laws.

In a long anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court in  Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, No. S222732 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Apr. 30, 2018), has adopted a new test, known as the “ABC” test for determining whether an individual is an employee versus an independent contractor under the Wage Orders.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that service advisers are salesmen and therefore exempt from overtime requirements, pursuant to federal law (the Fair Labor Standards Act).

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is providing the public with more time to comment on its proposal to roll back an Obama-era rule that bans employers from pooling workers’ tips, following requests from House Democrats and worker advocates.

The California Labor Commissioner’s office, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”), recently published updated guidance/FAQs on employer provided paid 10-minute rest breaks.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office announced that JW Marriott LA Boutique Gift Shop (“LA Boutique”), a local hotel-based retail business, has been convicted of a misdemeanor for allegedly failing to pay numerous employees their Santa Monica minimum wage and retaliating against an employee who attempted to exercise her minimum wage rights. This is the first conviction under the City of Santa Monica’s Minimum Wage Ordinance.


Prior to referring the case to the City Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs – contracted as the Wage Enforcement Division of the City – received numerous complaints from LA Boutique’s employees regarding wage violations and undertook a multi-month investigation. According, to the City of Santa Monica, no employee at LA Boutique was being paid the Santa Monica minimum wage, and when one employee asserted her rights under the City’s wage laws, she was terminated.


On November 21, 2017, City Prosecutor Melanie Skehar took the “no contest” plea of the owner of LA Boutique to three misdemeanor counts of failing to pay employees the City of Santa Monica minimum wage and one misdemeanor count of unlawful retaliation against an employee for exercising rights protected by the City’s minimum wage laws. Under a plea agreement with the City Attorney’s Office, the owner was placed on 36 months of probation and ordered to:


  • Pay approximately $11,000 in back wages to all affected employees. 
  • Pay approximately $3,000 in investigative costs to the City.
  • Perform 150 hours of community services.
  • Comply with all applicable laws, including the City’s minimum wage laws.


“This is a positive and fair result,” said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen. “It is paramount in each of our wage enforcement cases that the affected employees receive full restitution for their back wages and that the employer is educated about the City’s wage laws. This prosecution successfully achieved both results.”

“The Santa Monica City Council reaffirmed its longstanding commitment toward combating growing income inequality and improving the welfare of the City’s workers when it adopted the City’s landmark minimum wage law last year,” said Shen. “I am pleased that the City’s prosecutorial team, in cooperation with our Los Angeles County Wage Enforcement partners, successfully prosecuted this case. Of course, there is much more work to be done.” Read more here.

Pursuant to Labor Code Section 515.5(a)(4), the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has adjusted the required salary threshold for computer software professionals.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has appealed a Texas judge’s decision to block an Obama-era rule that extended overtime pay to approximately 4 millions Americans.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has signed into law, SB 306.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta encouraged state officials to partner together to reduce excessive licensing.