So much is still unknown about COVID-19 (such as, how exactly it spreads, why the symptoms can range from mild to extreme, and whether you can develop immunity.) It may be impossible to say with absolute legal certainty what is so “unsafe” as to justify a refusal to work. However, the stakes are quite high: refusal to follow a direct order to ‘get to work’ or ‘keep working’ is insubordination and the penalty for insubordination is often termination.Keep reading
In February, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling for workers, holding that employees must be paid for time spent waiting for and undergoing mandatory exit searches after the end of a work shift. The case, Frleiken v. Apple, Inc., involved a class of retail employees subject to these searches at Apple’s 52 California stores.
Apple’s exit search policy required supervisors to search retail employees’ bags, packages, backpacks, purses, and even to verify the serial number of personal Apple products.Keep reading
As the new year starts, it is time for a look back to some of the significant bills passed by the California Legislature this year, as well as a look ahead to drivers’ license changes taking effect in the New Year.
AB-5: Ending worker misclassification
The biggest news out of Sacramento is the passage of AB-5. This bill codifies the Supreme Court’s decision last year in the Dynamex case that drew the line between workers who are employees and those who are legitimately treated as independent contractors.Keep reading
Bowing to complaints from the trucking industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed revisions to its hours-of-service regulations. Heralded as an opportunity to give drivers “relief from rigid mandates,” the proposed revisions are actually a thinly-veiled attempt to allow companies to limit the quality of driver resting time and extend the overall hours a driver can drive.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa condemned the proposed revisions stating: “Trucking is already one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs.Keep reading
It has been over a year since California’s highest court sent shock waves through Silicon Valley, declaring what many considered the end of the “gig economy” in California. In Dynamex Operations West v. Lee, the Court dealt a crucial blow to Uber and Lyft and their business model based on classifying workers as “independent contractors.”
But since the Dynamex decision came down, both companies have gone public making wealthy stockholders even wealthier.Keep reading
A California Court of Appeal has issued an important decision expanding the concept of what it means to “report for work” for purposes of eligibility for reporting time pay, which could have significant impact on both unionized and unorganized workforces.
California’s Wage Orders include a requirement that employers pay employees at least two hours of regular pay when employees are required to “report for work,” but are not put to work. In Ward v.Keep reading
Now that the midterm elections are over, it’s time to look at the results and what they might mean for laws affecting Teamsters and working people generally.
A divided Congress portends more gridlock
The midterms left the U.S. Congress divided, with Democrats holding a majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans retaining control of the Senate. House Democrats are expected to introduce legislation on several important labor issues—like raising the federal minimum wage,Keep reading
The Supreme Court issued its Janus decision, allowing public employees to opt out of paying fair share fees, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time June 27. By early afternoon that same day, right wing anti-union organizations were taking action to encourage employees to stop paying fees and some public employers were already encouraging their employees to do so.
Organized labor, however, was already primed to respond. Within about 24 hours of the Court’s release of the Janus decision,Keep reading
The Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court have decided that the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment makes a mighty club to beat down the Democratic Party, the rights of minorities, and unions. The entirety of First Amendment reads as follows:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,Keep reading
The California Supreme Court issued a crushing blow to the “gig economy” in a late-April ruling. In Dynamex Operations West v. Lee, the Court imposed a standard that will make it much harder for employers to escape state employment standards by calling their workers “independent contractors” when there is little to nothing “independent” about their work.
Dynamex is a nationwide package and document delivery company (for Home Depot and Office Depot among others),Keep reading