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Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

First District Holds That Unlicensed Law School Graduate Still May Be Exempt Under Learned Professions Exemption

In Exemptions, Professional on August 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm
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The First District Court of Appeal held that summary judgment was properly granted in a wage and hour case because plaintiff unlicensed law school graduate performed duties that brought him within the exemption for learned professionals.  Zelasko-Barrett v. Brayton-Purcell, LLP, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2011 WL 3594015, No. A130540 (1st Dist. Aug. 17, 2011) .

Background

Plaintiff was employed by the Brayton-Purcell, LLP (Brayton) law firm as a Law Clerk II after he graduated from law school but before he passed the bar examination. Id. *1. After being admitted to the bar, plaintiff was designated as an associate attorney, and performed tasks customarily performed by junior attorneys. Id. He drafted pleadings, discover demands and responses, did legal research and drafted memoranda of points and authorities, interviewed witnesses, etc. Id. The trial court granted Brayton’s motion for summary judgment and sustained objections to numerous statements where plaintiff denied he was employed in a professional capacity and performed work covered by the professional exemption. Id. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fourth District Holds That a Prevailing Employer Can Recover Costs in a Wage Case

In Costs on August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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Defendant United Parcel Service, Inc. prevailed against plaintiff employee on various wage and hour causes of action including failure to pay overtime and failure to provide breaks.  Plancich v. United Parcel Service, Inc., — Cal. Rptr. 3d —-, 2011 WL 3506066, No. E050631 (4th Dist. Aug. 11, 2011). UPS won on all six counts, and the trial court awarded costs but then granted Plaintiff Plancich’s motion to strike costs.  Id. *1.  The Fourth District reversed the order granting the motion to strike costs, holding that a prevailing employer may recover costs in a wage suit.

Background

Plancich worked for UPS as an on-road supervisor.  Id.  He asserted in his complaint that he worked more than eight hours a day and more than 40 hours a week.  Id.  He also alleged that UPS misclassified him as exempt under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions. Id.  The jury found Plancich was an exempt employee. Id. As to the unfair competition cause of action, the trial court found in favor of UPS. Id. The trial court ordered that UPS recover its costs from Plancich, in an amount to be determined. Id.

After UPS filed its memorandum of costs in the amount of $38,387.20, Plancich filed a motion to strike and tax costs based on Earley v. Superior Court, 79 Cal. App. 4th 1420 (4th Dist. 2000). Read the rest of this entry »

Sixth District Holds Reverses Summary Judgment on Question of Whether Leave Policy Was Sabbatical or Regular Vacation

In Class Actions, Vacation on August 15, 2011 at 6:50 am
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California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal held that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether eight-week leave was a sabbatical or regular vacation precluded summary judgment in former employee’s class action against the former employer.  Paton v. Advanced Micro Devices, — Cal. Rptr. 3d —-, 2011 WL 3369346, No. H034618 (6th Dist. Aug. 5, 2011).

Background

Plaintiff Eric Paton sued defendant Advanced Micro Divices, Inc. on behalf of himself and a class of others, alleging that Defendant had failed to pay him for an eight-week sabbatical he earned but had not used when he retired. Id. *1 Salaried employees who served for seven years were eligible for an eight-week fully paid sabbatical.  Id. Plaintiff argued that the sabbatical was extra vacation and, pursuant to Labor Code section 227.3, the employer could not require an employee to forfeit vacation pay.  Id.  Plaintiff cited Suastez v. Plastic Dress-Up Co., 31 Cal. 3d 774 (1982), to support his claim that the sabbatical had vested over the seven years he had worked for defendant and he was entitled to the pay when he resigned.  Id.   Read the rest of this entry »