- Written by Gregory Blueford
Court Dismisses Lawsuit Alleging AB 1513 Payments Were Unlawful
By: Gregory Blueford
On August 9, 2017, the United States District Court for the Central District dismissed a lawsuit against the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations and the California Labor Commissioner (“Defendants”) challenging the constitutionality of AB 1513’s safe harbor provision. As employers know, the AB 1513 safe harbor allowed employers to choose to pay either the actual sums owed or 4% of the employee’s gross earnings in pay periods where any piece rate was worked with offsets allowed for nonproductive time (“NPT”) already paid – even if this was less than the actual sums owed. Plaintiffs, who sought to represent all non-exempt piece-rate agricultural workers in California, argued that the State of California violated the U.S. Constitution by allowing employers to utilize the 4% method to settle employee claims for less than the amounts actually owed to Plaintiffs.
- Written by Michael C. Saqui and Jarred S. Lieber
On Tuesday, four Massachusetts Teamsters union members were acquitted of charges that they tried to extort jobs from a “Top Chef” non-union production company using strong-arm tactics. Prosecutors alleged that the Teamsters violated the Hobbs Act by using threats of economic harm and physical violence to get money for additional truck-driving services that “Top Chef” wasn’t in a position, and didn’t want, to fill. Prosecutors put on evidence of the union members using racial and sexists slurs, brandishing weapons, and slashing “Top Chef” crews’ tires. The Teamsters also allegedly swarmed “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi’s van when it arrived on set and one of the Teamsters threatened to “smash” her “pretty little face.” Incredibly, despite all this, after deliberating for almost 19 hours, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.