California and federal wage and hour laws are complex, particularly in a hospital environment. Keeping current on meal and rest period rules, overtime obligations, and pay stub and payday obligations is a challenge for hospitals and health systems of any size.
CHA offers members an annual Labor and Employment Law seminar, which brings hospital human resources executives up-to-date information on wage and hour issues. In addition, CHA issues member memoranda on significant developments. CHA devotes resources at both state and federal levels to advocate on hospitals' behalf with regard to legislation, regulations and enforcement activity.
California and federal wage and hour laws are complex,
particularly in a hospital environment. Keeping current on meal
and rest period rules, overtime obligations, and pay stub and
payday obligations is a challenge for hospitals and health
systems of any size.
CHA offers members an annual Labor and Employment Law seminar,
which brings hospital human resources executives up-to-date
information on wage and hour issues. In addition, CHA issues
member memoranda on significant developments. CHA devotes
resources at both state and federal levels to advocate on
hospitals’ behalf with regard to legislation, regulations and
One of CHA’s highest legislative priorities this year has been
(SB) 227 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would
create duplicative and mandatory fines for hospitals if they
do not meet required nurse staffing ratios. With help from
member hospitals, our advocacy generated key amendments last
An exemption for hospitals that — in response to an
unforeseeable and uncontrollable fluctuation — promptly make an
effort to maintain staffing requirements
A 50% reduction in the fines (now $15,000 for the first
violation and $30,000 subsequently)
A reduction in the length of time required to revert to a
first violation (lowered from six years to three)
CHA has extended the deadline for its Advocacy
Alert asking members to urge their assemblymembers to
oppose Senate Bill (SB) 227, which would create an unreasonable,
mandatory penalty system for hospitals that do not meet nurse
staffing ratios. The deadline for letters is now 5 p.m.
on June 11.
Earlier this week, a California appellate court issued a
published decision interpreting California’s reporting time pay
requirement. While the decision in Ward v. Tilly’s Inc.
was not unanimous and could be appealed to the California Supreme
Court, employers should take note of the case’s reasoning.
After 10 years litigating numerous class action allegations,
including the validity of its health care meal period waivers and
the effect of the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 327 in 2015,
Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center last week achieved final
victory before the California Supreme Court.
The California Labor Code requires an increase to the state
minimum wage each year. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the
statewide minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 per hour for
employers with more than 25 employees. This also impacts other
wage and hour obligations, such as the minimum salary requirement
for exempt employees, which will increase to $49,920.
Last week the California Supreme Court issued another opinion
where it found that California wage and hour law differs
from federal wage and hour law. In Troester v. StarbucksCorporation, the court concluded that California’s “wage
orders and statutes do not permit application of the de
minimis rule[...], where the employer required the employee
to work ‘off the clock’ several minutes per shift. We do not
decide whether there are circumstances where compensable time is
so minute or irregular that it is unreasonable to expect the time
to be recorded.” In the case, the plaintiff submitted evidence
that he was required to clock out and then perform some
additional store closing activities that required him to work
four to 10 minutes each day after clocking out.
In AHMC Healthcare Inc. v. Superior Court, the 2nd
District Court of Appeal dismissed the portion of a plaintiff’s
lawsuit challenging the employer’s timekeeping system’s rounding
practice. The issue in the case was whether an employer’s use of
a timekeeping system that automatically rounds employee time up
or down to the nearest quarter hour, and thus provides a less
than exact measure of employee work time, violates California
law. The court found that, based on the facts in that case, the
system did not violate California law.
AHMC Healthcare’s timekeeping system rounds employees’ time clock
swipes up or down to the nearest quarter hour. For example, if an
employee clocks in between 6:53 and 7:07, he or she is paid as if
he or she had clocked in at 7:00; if an employee clocks in from
7:23 to 7:37, he or she is paid as if he or she had clocked in at
7:30. In addition, meal breaks that last between 23 and 37
minutes are rounded to 30 minutes. This practice is
consistent with a federal regulation so long as the rounding
system “is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a
period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly
for all the time they have actually worked.” While there is
no state law or regulation on the issue of rounding, plaintiffs
did not dispute that the federal regulation is applicable to
claims made under state law. The court also noted that the
California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adopted the
federal regulation in its Enforcement Policies and