Seyfarth Shaw Offers Overview of California Employment Law
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California’s long-standing reputation as a haven for employee rights hasn’t been lost on Seyfarth Shaw. Since 1999, the firm has published an annual analysis of the state’s employment legal landscape, dubbed California Peculiarities.

In this year’s edition, employment partner David Kadue outlines the Golden State’s workplace laws and regulations that make it one of “the most burdensome state’s” to do business.

“In countless areas – from qualifying for overtime pay to protecting employee vacation pay – California workers have protections that go beyond benchmarks established under federal law,” said Lisa J. Damon, chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s labor & employment Department. “California Peculiarities has earned its place as a trusted guide to help employers navigate the legal complexities of the state with the most employees in the nation.”


Added Kadue: “With its history of progressivism combined with activist judges and lawmakers looking to exceed federal standards, California has become by far the most burdensome state in which to operate a business under labor laws.”

In the report, Kadue notes the volume of workplace litigation has boomed since the passage of the California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act in 2004. It allows employees to “stand in the shoes of the California Labor Commissioner” and seek civil penalties for violations of the labor code up to $100 per pay period, per employee. The act also allows workers who bring actions against an employer to keep 25 percent of any penalties imposed.

Kadue notes the act has generated a wave of so-called “bounty hunter” or “sue your boss” lawsuits for failure to comply with often obscure provisions of the state’s labor code.

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“Not surprisingly, it’s been an extremely lucrative litigation mill for the plaintiffs’ bar,” Kadue said.

The 2010 edition of California Peculiarities covers 21 chapters and is designed to provide insight on “every conceivable corner of workplace non-compliance.”


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