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Bottom Line Human Resource
September 2014 

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2015 Legal Update 

sponsored by Shaw Valenza, LLP

December 4, 2014


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Harassment Prevention for Managers

December 11, 2014



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 Mandatory Sick Leave Bill is Passed

- the hits just keep on coming...


By Kim Silvers, SPHR-CA


The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), that will be effective July 1, 2015, will require just about all California employers (private and public sectors with one or more employees) to accrue paid sick leave for all employees (exempt, non-exempt, full -time, part-time and temporary).  In a nutshell, the law requires one hour of sick leave to be accrued for every 30 hours (including overtime hours) an employee works.

An employee will begin accruing sick leave when working in California for 30 or more days within a year from the date of hire. The employee will be entitled to use his/her accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment. The minimum accrual rate for a full-time employee is about 8.6 days per year.



Click here to learn more about the new sick leave law.

Employers Must Reimburse Employees For Work-Related Use of Cell Phones


By Jennifer L. Lippi, J.D.


In a sweeping decision, the Court of Appeal in Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service, Inc., held that when employees have to use their personal cell phone for work-related purposes, the employer must reimburse them for such use, whether the employee incurred an additional expense as a result of such use or not.


Colin Cochran worked as a customer service representative for Schwan's. As part of his job, he used his personal cell phone to make business calls. The company did not reimburse him for the use of his phone. Cochran filed a class action against Schwan's on behalf of 1,500 customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses pertaining to the work-related use of their personal cell phones.


Click here for the entire article.

 California Supreme Court Limits Commissioned Salesperson Overtime Exemption

By Jennifer L. Lippi, J.D.

 A recent California Supreme Court decision places California employers who pay commissions in another wage and hour dilemma. In the often used "inside sales" exemption classification  the CA Supreme Court ruled that all commissioned inside salespersons are entitled to overtime in California unless they meet specific exemption requirements.  Under California law a commissioned inside salesperson is exempt from overtime if:


  1. The employee's earnings exceed 1.5 times the state minimum wage; and

  2. At least 50 percent of the employee's total compensation is from commissions.

In Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., the California Supreme Court recently considered whether an employer may allocate an employee's commission wages from one pay period to other pay periods in order to meet the commissioned inside sales exemption.  The Court unanimously held that "an employer satisfies the minimum earnings prong of the commissioned employee exemption only in those pay periods in which it actually pays the required minimum earnings." In other words, a commission payment may be applied only to the period in which it is paid for purposes of determining whether an employee is exempt, and an employer cannot divide the commission payment across multiple pay periods in order to cure a shortfall. 


Click here for the entire article.