Lauren Teukolsky will sit on a panel on Saturday, December 3rd to discuss Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, a Supreme Court case that has changed the landscape of employment law. The program was organized by the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA). Ms. Teukolsky will be joined by a trio of widely respected arbitrators and mediators, the Honorable Amy D. Hogue, Monique Ngo-Bonnici, and Deborah Crandall Saxe, along with George S. Howard Jr., a partner at Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP.
The panelists will discuss the impact of Viking River on Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims, and share tips on litigating PAGA cases in arbitration. Ms. Teukolsky has analyzed almost 80 post-Viking trial court orders, and will share her insights on how courts have been ruling on motions to compel arbitration since June 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Viking. She will also discuss several Court of Appeals decisions that have been handed down since Viking, and her predictions for how the California Supreme Court will rule in the highly anticipated Adoph v. Uber appeal, which will likely answer the question of PAGA standing addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Part IV of Viking.
Ms. Teukolsky previously discussed the implications of Viking River on a panel for CELA, a statewide organization that works to protect and expand the legal rights of workers, as well as for the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the preeminent peer-selected organization of labor and employment lawyers in the United States. She is also frequently cited in news publications for her commentary on developments in employment law, including a June Bloomberg Law article that features her commentary on Viking River. To learn more about Ms. Teukolsky’s experience, click here.
To register for the program, click here.
Lauren Teukolsky was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article last week unpacking a wave of ongoing litigation prompted by Elon Musk’s mass layoffs at Twitter.
The layoffs began in early November, following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the social media giant. After taking over, Musk proceeded to fire half of Twitter’s workforce, asked some essential employees to return, rolled back its expansive work-from-home policy, and called on the remaining employees to sign a pledge to remain at an “extremely hardcore” Twitter or quit.
Musk’s actions have prompted many of Twitter’s recently laid-off employees to pursue class action lawsuits against the company alleging violations of the Worker Readjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a federal law, and its California equivalent, among other allegations. This, in turn, has led Twitter to require some employees to sign a release of legal claims against the company at the risk of not receiving severance pay, according to an amended complaint recently filed by ex-Twitter workers. Ex-Twitter workers have responded to Twitter’s move by requesting a protective order blocking the company from soliciting such releases and nullifying any it has already obtained.
The article states:
“The workers’ Nov. 9 request is based on a well-developed body of federal law analogous to the state law standards developed after a California appellate court’s 2009 ruling in Chindarah v. Pick Up Stix, Inc., said Lauren Teukolsky, a plaintiffs’ attorney with Teukolsky Law PC.
‘Many cases since Pick Up Stix have found releases to be invalid where the employer engaged in coercive or misleading tactics,’ Teukolsky said.”
To read the article in its entirety, click here.
If you have been affected by recent developments at Twitter, click here to get in touch with Teukolsky Law.
Lauren Teukolsky “Wage and Hour Case Notes” Published in the November 2022 edition of California Labor and Employment Law Review
Lauren Teukolsky’s “Wage and Hour Case Notes” were published in the November 2022 edition of the California Labor and Employment Law Review, describing six new decisions from California and U.S. appellate courts that affect wage-and-hour law. The column discusses summary judgment standards governing suitable seating cases, reverse auctions in PAGA cases, PAGA lawsuits following the settlement of individual Labor Code claims, and federal class certification standards.
Wage-and-hour law is a dynamic field, with new appellate decisions that regularly reshape the legal landscape. Ms. Teukolsky is an expert in California wage-and-hour law and federal wage-and-hour law, and speaks frequently on wage-and-hour topics at national and state conferences. Her “Wage and Hour Case Notes” are published on a quarterly basis by the California Lawyers Association.
To read Ms. Teukolsky’s article in its entirety, click here. If you would like to consult with Ms. Teukolsky on a wage-and-hour matter, use this page to get in touch.
An article by Lauren Teukolsky was published in the November 2022 issue of the California Labor & Employment Law Review. In the article, Ms. Teukolsky discusses the history of Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, a recently-decided U.S. Supreme Court case that has been closely monitored by worker’s advocates and corporate counsel alike. The article was co-authored with Michael Rubin, a renowned employment law attorney who represented Ms. Moriana before the U.S. Supreme Court. The article discusses the legal strategies used at the Supreme Court, what was (and wasn’t) decided in Viking, and why California trial courts have almost uniformly refused to be bound by the majority’s state-law-based holding in Part IV of the decision.
Ms. Teukolsky has fought to protect employee’s rights for over 20 years and is an expert in employment law. She recently discussed Viking in a pair of panels hosted by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the California Employment Lawyers Association. Her commentary on the Supreme Court case was also featured in an article by Bloomberg Law.
The California Labor & Employment Law Review is an official publication of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) Labor and Employment Law Section. CLA is a nonprofit, voluntary bar association serving thousands of licensed attorneys throughout California.
To read the article in its entirety, click here. To get in touch with our office, click here.
On Thursday, October 20th, Lauren Teukolsky spoke on a panel of labor and employment attorneys for a class at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada’s (UNLV) William S. Boyd School of Law. Ms. Teukolsky’s fellow panelists included Donald Dowling, a shareholder at Littler Mendelson in New York City, and Reuben Guttman, the founder and owner of Guttman, Buschner & Brooks in Washington D.C.
At the panel, Ms. Teukolsky discussed her path into workplace law and her current work. She also fielded questions from students about the top issues in employment law and how students should prepare themselves to join the field.
Ms. Teukolsky has fought to protect employees’ rights for over 20 years and regularly speaks on panels on topics of employment law and litigation. To learn more about Ms. Teukolsky and her practice, click here. If you’re an employee and believe you’re being treated unlawfully, click here to get in touch with our office.
2022 was a big year for employment law in California, with Governor Gavin Newsom signing a slew of employment bills into law that will improve protections and conditions for the state’s workers. Now that the Governor has finished signing new laws for the year, Teukolsky Law would like to take a moment to review the progress that’s been made for California’s workers.
(All bills take effect on January 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted.)
Assembly Bill 1041
AB 1041 allows employees to take paid sick leave and family leave to care for a “designated individual.” California law previously allowed employees to take family leave only for family members, whereas AB 1041 allows employees to take time off to care for “chosen family,” or anyone they designate at the time they request leave.
Assembly Bill 1949
AB 1949 amends California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to require that employers grant their employees at least 5 days of unpaid bereavement leave, or time off for the death or funeral of a family member. Previously, California law did not guarantee any time off for the death of a family member, which meant that an employee who took time off to attend a funeral could be fired.
Assembly Bill 2188
AB 2188 prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of cannabis during their off-work hours. AB 2188 will take effect on January 1, 2024. We covered this bill in a previous post, which is here.
Senate Bill 836
SB 836 reinstates a law that protects a person’s immigration status from disclosure in public court proceedings. This protection stopped employers from using a worker’s immigration status to deter the worker from bringing legal claims against the employer. It ended at the beginning of 2022, and this bill reinstates it. SB 836 is already in effect.
Senate Bill 1162
SB 1162 requires companies of 100 or more employees to submit annual pay data reports broken down by race and gender to California’s Civil Rights Department. This reporting will assist the State in combating pay disparities along race and gender lines. This bill would also require employers with 15 or more employees to provide a salary range on all job postings. You can learn more about this bill in a previous post of ours here.
Congratulations to the Governor, California’s state legislature, and all of the groups that worked to get these bills passed into law, including the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), which sponsored all of these bills.
If you believe your employer is behaving unlawfully and want to get in touch with Teukolsky Law, click here.
On Tuesday, September 27, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed S.B. 1162 into law, requiring companies of 100 or more employees to submit annual reports detailing the mean and median pay of their employees by race and gender to California’s Civil Rights Department. This reporting will assist the State in combating pay disparities along race and gender lines. According to US Census figures, women earn about 83 cents to a man’s dollar. Black women are paid about 58 cents for every dollar a White man earns.
In addition to reporting requirements, the new law mandates that California companies with 15 or more employees include pay scales in their job postings. Those companies will also be required upon request to provide employees with the pay scale of their jobs and maintain job title and wage history for every employee. That data will be subject to inspection by California’s Labor Commissioner. Companies that fail to comply with this mandate could face penalties of up to $10,000.
Teukolsky Law congratulates all of those who fought for the bill’s passage, including the California Employment Lawyer’s Association, which sponsored the bill.
If you believe you are not being paid properly, click here to get in touch with our office. To read S.B. 1162 in its entirety, click here.
Lauren Teukolsky was quoted in a September 19th article by Bloomberg Law on AB 2188, a recently signed bill in California that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who use cannabis in their off-work hours. Once the bill goes into effect on January 1, 2024, it will be illegal for California employers to make any employment decisions based on an employee’s use of cannabis “off the job and away from the workplace,” according to the law’s text. This means, for example, that an employer may not fire an employee who used cannabis use when they were off the job and away from work. Hiring decisions will be limited in this manner as well.
The law will not apply to workers in building and construction trades or those holding positions that require a federal background clearance. Also, the bill will not permit employees to possess, to be impaired by, or to use, cannabis on the job.
Governor Newsom’s signing of the bill represents a huge victory for many of California’s workers. Even though recreational cannabis has been legal in the state since 2018, and medicinal cannabis has been legal since 1996, California’s laws and cannabis testing technology are only just beginning to catch up. Standard drug tests still screen for substances in the body that may be present days or even weeks since an individual used cannabis. This means that, before AB 2188 takes effect, a worker or job applicant could still be fired or denied employment for having used cannabis during their own free time, weeks prior to any test being administered.
Some employer-side attorneys have suggested that AB 2188 inappropriately amends California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to afford cannabis users the same protections as minorities or other protected classes. Ms. Teukolsky counters that notion. As stated in the Bloomberg Law article:
“[D]iscipline against those who smoke or ingest marijuana disproportionately affects workers of color, said Lauren Teukolsky, who represents workers in court. It was one of the reasons Amazon.com Inc. stopped drug testing during the hiring process. The new law shielding marijuana consumers ‘is entirely consistent with FEHA’s aim of eliminating discrimination against people of color in the workplace,’ Teukolsky said in an email.”
To read the Bloomberg Law Article in its entirety, click here. If you believe your employer is behaving unlawfully and want to get in touch with Teukolsky Law, click here.
Governor Newsom Signs Groundbreaking Bill to Raise Wages and Improve Working Conditions for Fast Food Workers
On Labor Day, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 257 into law. The bill, also known as the FAST Recovery Act, is aimed at raising wages and improving the working conditions of California’s more than 550,000 fast-food workers by establishing a new state council with the power to set state-wide minimum standards for the fast-food industry.
The 10-member council will consist of political appointees from state health and labor agencies, as well as food industry officials, fast food workers, and union representatives. It will have the authority to raise the minimum wage for industry workers up to $22/hour and issue new safety and anti-discrimination rules. The standards set by the council would apply to any chain in California that has at least 100 stores nationwide that share a common brand.
AB 257 also improves the collective bargaining power of fast-food workers across California. Currently, wages and conditions in the U.S. are typically negotiated between workers and management at individual companies, often location by location. In these settings, workers frequently lack leverage against their employer. However, under AB 257, fast-food workers throughout California will have representatives negotiating on their behalf to set industry-wide standards.
Teukolsky Law would like to congratulate all the fast-food workers, unions, and labor allies that fought and advocated for AB 257. If you are a fast-food worker and believe your employer has violated the law, click here to get in touch with Teukolsky Law.
Lauren Teukolsky to Speak at College of Labor and Employment LawYERS Program Panel on Supreme Court’s decision in Viking River
Lauren Teukolsky has been invited to speak on the issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana on a panel at the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (CLEL) Ninth Circuit South regional program. The panel discussion will take place Saturday, September 10th in San Diego. Ms. Teukolsky and her co-panelist, George S. Howard, Jr. of Paul Plevin, will discuss the impact of Viking on PAGA cases, and provide practical advice for attorneys facing Viking issues.
Ms. Teukolsky has fought to protect employee’s rights for over 20 years and is a frequent speaker at conferences on topics of employment law and litigation. She previously discussed the implications of Viking River on a panel for CELA, a statewide organization that works to protect and expand the legal rights of workers. She is also frequently cited in news publications for her commentary on developments in the field and was most recently quoted in a June Bloomberg Law article on the Supreme Court’s decision in Viking River. To learn more about Ms. Teukolsky’s experience, click here.
CLEL is a distinguished body of individuals drawing its membership from the best and brightest lawyers, academics, and scholars in the field of labor and employment Law. After a rigorous selection process, Ms. Teukolsky was elected a CLEL Fellow this past July.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.