- Written by The Saqui Law Group
Trader Joe’s Can’t Trade Liability
By: Rebecca Schach
This week the California Labor Commissioner’s Office hit Trader Joe’s and Grocery Outlet with fines in excess of $825,000 each for minimum wage and overtime violations. Both Trader Joe’s and Grocery Outlet obtain labor from an Anaheim-based subcontractor Inventory Professional Inc. Through agency investigation, the Labor Commissioner’s Office found unpaid wages for approximately 65 hours during a three-year period and violations of child labor laws. The Labor Commissioner’s Office held the companies responsible per California’s client-employer statute, Labor Code §2810.3, in effect since 2015. In total, the Labor Commissioner’s Office issued citations for wage theft violations totaling $1.6 million. The Labor Commissioner's Office continues to use the client-employer statute to hold employers responsible for violations by labor contractors.
- Written by Adrian Hoppes
The Appellate Court once again reminds Employers who engage farm labor contractors and temp agencies that setting boundaries is an important defense to Fair Employment Housing Act (“FEHA”) claims. In Jimenez v. U.S. Continental Marketing, Inc. (2019), the Court held that a temporary employee working at a contract-employer location could have a viable claim under FEHA against its contract employer if facts establish an employer-employee relationship exists.
For a claimant to be entitled to relief under FEHA for harassment and retaliation claims, the claimant must establish an employment relationship exists with his or her alleged employer. Plaintiff Jimenez worked for a temporary staffing agency, Ameritemps. Ameritemps placed Jimenez with U.S. Continental Marketing, Inc. (“USCM”) through a contract. Though Ameritemps maintained control over hiring, payments, benefits and timekeeping of Jimenez, USCM also exercised control over certain employment factors of Jimenez. While placed at USCM, Jimenez was subject to its handbook policies, received mandatory in-house training, she was subject to the disciplinary system, reported to a USCM employee as her direct supervisor, and worked in a supervisor role over several company employees.