- Written by Gregory Blueford
Last week, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding whether employees can bring wage and hour lawsuits over very short periods of unpaid time, referred to by defense attorneys as “de minimus” time. In Troester v. Starbucks Corp., a former Starbucks employee sued over unpaid time for completing tasks to close up the store after he had clocked out, such as shutting down the store computer system and locking the doors. In between 2008 and 2010, the former employee spent about twelve hours and fifty minutes off the clock (about four minutes per shift), or about $102.67 worth of unpaid time per the minimum wage at the time.
The district court dismissed the employee’s class action lawsuit in 2014, ruling that the time spent around the store after clocking out is inevitable and incidental to closing up any store and that not every second can be or need be recorded and compensated. The Ninth Circuit certified the question to the state high court in the midst of an appeal by the employee over whether the district court wrongly applied the “de minimis” standard.
- Written by Anthony Oceguera
Retaliation is the most commonly alleged claim in charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). In fact, according to the EEOC, retaliation claims were asserted in forty-four and a half-percent (44.5%) of all charges filed in 2015. That number is almost double the number of charges that alleged retaliation in 1997. It is not surprising then that the EEOC just put out a new Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues (“Guidance”). The new Guidance replaces the Retaliation section contained in its 1998 Compliance Manual and is intended as a comprehensive guide to the EEOC’s interpretation of a host of workplace retaliation issues.