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Showing 2 posts in Attorney's Fees.

CA Court Finds Employer not Obligated for Reporting Time or Split Shift pay, but Denies Employer Prevailing Party Fees

Under California law, employees may be entitled to additional compensation if they show up for a regularly scheduled shift but then are sent home early, or, if the employee works a split shift in a single day. Pursuant to Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11040, subd. 5(A), "each workday an employee is required to report for work and does report, but is not put to work or is furnished less than half said employee‘s usual or scheduled day‘s work, the employee shall be paid for half the usual or scheduled day‘s work, but in no event for less than two (2) hours nor more than four (4) hours, at the employee‘s regular rate of pay, which shall not be less than the minimum wage. Additionally, a split shift is a "work schedule, which is interrupted by non-paid non-working periods established by the employer, other than bona fide rest or meal periods." When an employee works a split shift, one (1) hour‘s pay at the minimum wage shall be paid in addition to the minimum wage for that workday, except when the employee resides at the place of employment. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11040, subd. 2(Q) and 4(C).) More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Evaluates Entitlement to Attorney’s Fees Under 42 U.S.C. 1983

A successful candidate for police chief sued the incumbent chief of police and the town, alleging defamation, federal civil rights claims, and other state law claims. After discovery and investigation concluded that the federal claims had no merit, the federal court dismissed those claims and sent the case back to state court where it originated. Based upon a statutory provision providing for the recovery of fees for the prevailing party in such a claim, the town and incumbent chief asked the court to award attorneys’ fees for their work on the federal court claims. The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, and determined that while defendants may recover fees as the “prevailing party,” defendants may not obtain recovery for fees associated with non-frivolous, successful claims. Thus, when a suit involves both frivolous and non-frivolous claims, under the statute at issue, the courts may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party, but only for costs that the prevailing party would not have incurred but for the frivolous claims. The potential for attorney’s fees awards is part and parcel of every lawsuit, and must be considered when undertaking the defense of any employment-related claim, especially where there is the possibility of an award of fees in favor of a prevailing defendant.