Monthly Archives: September 2023

California Labor Department – Wage Theft Claims and Judgments – 2nd Quarter 2023

The California Department of Industrial Relations maintains a database of wage theft claims presented to the office by employees, and Wage Claim Judgments against individuals and corporations. We have reviewed this database for judgments from April 1st to June 30th, the second quarter of 2023. When a wage claim judgment occurs, the information about the defendant, the amount, and their industry is made public. When a wage claim is filed, the Labor Commissioner’s Office investigates the claim and publicly shares information about the name of the organization, the date of the claim, and again information categorizing the company or work by industry and location. 

$3.8m Whistleblower Settlement for California and Department of Justice with Skilled Nursing Company

The United States Department of Justice and the California Attorney General each sent print releases on June 21st, 2023, noting a large $3.8m settlement with a skilled nursing facility in Riverside, California. The facility and their management company have agreed to the settlement to end litigation where they are alleged to have submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) by paying physicians for referrals. These referral payments are alleged by the US and CA governments to be illegal kickbacks. The companies admitted no liability in the settlement. The U.S. Department of Justice press release noted that the settlement amount was in part based on the defendant’s ability to pay. 

California Supreme Court Rules Third Party Screening and Hiring Companies are Liable for Employment Discrimination  

On August 21st, 2023, the Supreme Court of California issued a ruling that held that third party companies used in the hiring process, or who provide services to employees, can potentially be liable for employment discrimination under California’s civil right laws. The decision was unanimous. Plaintiffs had alleged health screening questions that covered multiple protected categories of information including pregnancy and medical physical and mental health. 

WARN Act Notices – Second Quarter of 2023

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers in the United States with 100 or more full time employees to provide 60-day notice in advance of mass layoffs or plant closings.  The WARN Act applies to full-time workers and provides workers with time to prepare for the transition between the jobs they currently hold and new jobs.  States such as California, New York and others maintain their own state level WARN Acts.

Here are WARN acts notices from a search of pubic databases, for the second quarter of 2023.

$30 Million Verizon 401(k) Settlement Preliminarily Approved

On July 26, 2023, the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe granted preliminary approval of a settlement between Plaintiffs and Defendants in the case of Jacobs v Verizon Communications Inc. et al (Case Number: 1:16-cv-01082).  The settlement includes a gross settlement amount of thirty million dollars ($30,000,000). 

California, New York and Washington Warehouse Quota Laws – Explained

Growing concern about warehouse employers use of work quotas, including quotas for how quickly warehouse workers must complete tasks, or what percentage of workers shift must be “time on task”, has driven three states to pass laws limiting warehouse centers quotas. The laws also require written disclosure of quota data to employees, prohibit using non-disclosed quotas against employees and protect against retaliation. 

Quotas affecting warehouse workers in California, New York, and Washington (when the WA law goes into effect in 2024) must be disclosed to workers. Quotas must not prevent workers from taking rest breaks, meal breaks, bathrooms breaks, or prevent compliance with health and safety standards.