Tag Archives: Littler Mendelson

Unlicensed Law School Graduate Still May Be Exempt Under Learned Professions Exemption

Harvey A. Nell, Clerk and Recorder, Anaconda, MT

Image by Butte-Silver Bow Public Library via Flickr

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.

Plaintiff filed an action after voluntarily departing from the law firm, and alleged that he had been misclassified.  Brayton successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that in the Law Clerk II position plaintiff had been an “exempt professional employee.” Id. Plaintiff appealed. Id. Continue reading

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Second District Holds That Hotel Service Charge Reform Ordinance Is Not Preempted by Labor Code’s Tip Provisions

Cute toiletries at Four Points by Sheraton
Image by drcw via Flickr

Yesterday, the Second District issued an opinion addressing the validity of the Hotel Service Charge Reform Ordinance (Ordinance) enacted by the City of Los Angeles, which requires non-unionized hotels in the Century Corridor near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to pass along mandatory service charges to workers who render the services for which the charges have been collected.  Garcia v. Four Points Sheraton LAX, et al., Nos. B210720, B210716, B210719, B210726, B210730, — Cal. Rptr. 3d —-, 2010 WL 3491954 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Sept. 8, 2010). Continue reading

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Defense Verdict in Bartender Overtime and Meal Break Case

Interior view of the Toll Gate Saloon in Black...
Image via Wikipedia

After a bench trial, a San Francisco Superior Court rendered a defense verdict in an overtime and meal break case.  Tun Cun vs. Cafe Tiramisu, No. CGC08482090, 36 Trials Digest 13th 19 (Verdict Date March 26, 2009).  According to court records: Plaintiff Evangelina Tun Cun was a bartender under an oral employment agreement who worked form 4 pm to midnight. Ms. Tun Cun alleged she was owed wages from defendant Cafe Tiramisu LLC.  Plaintiff alleged she was also employed by MMP Restaurants LLC dba Campannina from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. She claimed the two employers jointly employed her, and she was not paid overtime, though she worked for 11 to 15 hours of work per day. Plaintiff claimed she was not given meal breaks, was not paid overtime, and was owed waiting-time penalties. Continue reading

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