California Court of Appeal

California law does not require employers to provide paid vacation. But if a California employer does choose to give paid vacation time, state legal requirements apply regarding accrual and compensation. For example, vacation may not be on a “use it or lose it” basis, and all vested but unused vacation is considered earned compensation that must be paid to the employee when their employment ends. Cal. Labor Code section 227.3. These rules apply to any unrestricted paid time off (PTO), including floating holidays and PTO plans that combine vacation and sick time into a single policy.

To avoid these restrictions and increase employee flexibility, many California employers have implemented what are colloquially referred to as “unlimited” vacation plans. In such plans, employees receive vacation time that does not accrue and is not subject to specified limits. Instead, an employee’s use of vacation is conditioned on management approval and business- or performance-related factors (for example, not interfering with business operations, completion of job duties, etc.). However, a recent decision from a California Court of Appeal, McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation, Inc. (April 1, 2020), calls into question the legal and practical viability of these “unlimited” vacation plans.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal addresses “unlimited” vacation policies

On March 29, 2019, a California Court of Appeal held that a trial court did not retain jurisdiction under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 to enforce a settlement agreement after dismissal of the underlying lawsuit because the parties did not comply with the strict requirements of section 664.6. At first blush, the decision in Mesa RHF Partners, L.P. v. City of Los Angeles (Mesa) may not seem significant; however, the court’s holding now requires litigants and their counsel to consider modifying the procedures they typically use to settle and dismiss cases, at least to the extent they want the trial court to retain jurisdiction to later enforce their settlement agreements if that becomes necessary.

Section 664.6 allows for parties to file a stipulation to allow a trial court to retain jurisdiction over a dismissed case to enforce a settlement agreement “in a writing signed by the parties.” In Mesa, the parties resolved a dispute and indicated in their settlement agreement that “[t]he Court shall retain jurisdiction pursuant to [section 664.6] to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement.” As is often done, counsel for the plaintiffs then signed and filed a request for dismissal on a printed court form. Counsel even went so far as to insert language on the form that stated the trial court would retain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement under section 664.6.Continue Reading California Court of Appeal cracks down on non-compliant requests for trial courts to retain jurisdiction to enforce settlement agreements

Most employers assume that if they successfully defeat a plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a wage and hour class action, the same class claims cannot be raised again in another case. On January 18, 2012, however, the California court of appeal in Bridgeford v. Pacific Health Corp, 2012 WL 130615, dashed that commonly held assumption.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Green Lights Repetitive Class Action Litigation