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Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

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Prohibiting employee discussions about pay

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Employers often seek to discourage conversations between employees about pay and compensation due to the distraction and potential morale issues that arise when such information is the subject of gossip and speculation in the workplace. Moreover, pay information is generally considered confidential personnel information that employers should protect as private. However, employers must beware of implementing or enforcing any policy that prohibits employees from disclosing their own pay, or discussing co-workers’ pay, as such practices can run afoul of both California and federal law.

Update on Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC case

Service advisors are exempt from overtime under federal law, but overtime obligations may still exist under state law

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It appears that a resolution has finally been reached in theNavarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLCcase, on which we previously reported with updates as the case has bounced back and forth between the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in this case was whether service advisors fall within the federal Fair Labor Standards Act Section 13(b)(10)(a)’s blanket overtime exemption that covers any “salesman, partsman or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.”

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With “Free Wi-Fi” becoming a common offering at retail businesses nationwide, Dealership sales and service customers might actually expect free Wi-Fi. There are certainly some advantages to providing it: customers can have something to do while waiting, can research vehicles or accessories online, and they can submit online credit or insurance applications on their mobile devices. However, providing Wi-Fi has its downsides: you may have already experienced bandwidth drain from mobile users and customers or unknown parties can misuse internet access by, for example, accessing or downloading data being transmitted through your network by other users or stored on your own servers or computers. A Wi-Fi network could also be used commit crimes unrelated to your business or other users, such as being used to illegally download movies or music or transmit illegal materials. This article addresses potential liability in offering free Wi-Fi and provides some basics of setting up a secured wireless network to mitigate these risks.

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Employee leaves of absence are an unavoidable, albeit inconvenient, reality for most employers. From a policy and compliance standpoint, we place most of our focus (and rightfully so) on legally protected leaves, such as pregnancy/medical leaves or the other numerous leaves that California law mandates. As such, employers may not feel the need to follow any particular process in administering non-protected leaves of absence. Although the manner in which an employer administers this type of leave may not be as legally risky as a protected leave, improper administration of the leave can nevertheless result in frustration for the employer and lack of accountability by the employee. Here are some tips for successfully handling discretionary leaves that can minimize the risk of potential pitfalls.

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If you are an auto dealer, you are likely familiar with Section 1632 of the California Civil Code. It’s the law that requires businesspeople who negotiate a contract with a consumer primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean to provide a translation of the contract before the consumer signs it. To comply with this law, dealers routinely have customers sign a Translated Contract Acknowledgement form. But is that enough? What does it mean to negotiate “primarily” in one of the listed languages? And what if you discover that the customer happens to be totally fluent in English? Are you still on the hook? A few court decisions provide some guidance on these questions.

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Nearly every company with products sold in California—whether automobiles, appliances, tools, supplements, etc.—has discovered California’s Proposition 65 even when there is no evidence whatsoever of a risk. And now a federal court has ruled that the State cannot mandate the warning for non-disease causing chemicals without violating the First Amendment. The decision could have impacts far beyond the sandy beaches of California.

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With a new name and new partners, the first quarter of 2018 brought some of the biggest and most exciting staffing news since the firm’s formation.

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Dealers should keep in mind that the terms of a Forbearance Agreement are not etched in stone but are negotiable, so care should be taken not to accept and sign the flooring lender’s first draft of a Forbearance Agreement, but instead to closely examine it and propose reasonable revisions. With that process in mind, here are examples of key terms typically found in a Forbearance Agreement, and the negotiating points a dealer should be aware of to ensure that negotiations will hopefully yield a fair and acceptable Forbearance Agreement...

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