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Two new California laws will cost employers in two ways

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employment Law,Human Resources

by Thomas McInerney and Gregory C. Cheng, Esqs., Ogletree Deakins, San Francisco

California has two new laws affecting employers in the state:

  • The first, signed into law in Au­­gust, applies to employers that prevail in wage-related lawsuits. It limits their ability to obtain attorneys’ fee awards.
  • The second, signed in September, raises California’s minimum wage to $10 per hour by January 2016.

Limits on attorneys’ fees

Senate Bill 462 amended section 218.5 of the California Labor Code to provide that a prevailing employer may recover attorneys’ fees only if a trial court finds that the employee brought the wage action in bad faith. S.B. 462 makes it even more difficult than before for a prevailing employer to recover attorneys’ fees in wage-and-hour actions. The statute takes effect Jan. 1.

The law takes aim at the 2012 California Supreme Court decision in Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection Inc. The Court held that winners...(register to read more)

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