Individual Liability for California Managers in Wage & Hour Cases Now a Reality


In a bit of news that no employer will be glad to hear, California has further complicated its wage and hour law to include individual liability for managers, officers, and directors who violate California wage and hour provisions. Throughout its legislative history, California has long been known as the most employee-friendly state when it comes to wage and hour law. That said, the state has until now been reluctant to impose liability on managers and other high level employees.

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law an amendment to Labor Code section 558.1, which effectively states that owners, directors, officers, or managing agents of the employer may be held liable as the employer for wage and hour violations. In short, this means that plaintiffs’ attorneys in California will now be able to seek damages from the individual actors in minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest break cases in addition to the company itself. This shift in policy presents a wide variety of challenges in litigating these matters and will cause the costs of wage and hour litigation to rise even further.

Syntrio Has Developed Cost-Effective California Wage and Hour Training

The best means of avoiding a wage and hour lawsuit is to train your managers on effective compliance with California wage and hour law. Syntrio has recently revamped its online training courses to include the latest changes in California law. Moreover, the courses use real-life scenarios to illustrate the dangers of failing to comply. Indeed, Syntrio’s wage and hour programs go into detail on the nuances of California’s complicated wage and hour laws, and are broken up into distinct sections that highlight where mistakes most frequently occur.

Wage and hour lawsuits are some of the most frequently litigated employment matters in the state of California. By failing to prepare your managers for the challenges they are likely to face from Plaintiffs’ attorneys and employees, you are putting your high-level employees at a significant disadvantage. Now that those employees can be held personally liable for wage and hour violations, arming them with education is a protection they deserve. With the recent changes in the law, now is the perfect time to review your policies and procedures and schedule training for your managers, officers, and directors that will keep them from making mistakes that could leave them personally lighter in the wallet.

Syntrio is committed to helping employers avoid the costly mistakes (and litigation) that are associated with complicated areas of employment law. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact for more information about our wage and hour courses for management and remember to follow on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance issues that may impact your business!


Dialysis Clinic Agrees to $190,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Case

A nationwide healthcare provider has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit in its Sacramento, California location where a long-time nurse alleged that the company fired her and refused to re-hire her when she needed further time off to complete treatment for breast cancer.

The Plaintiff’s Story

Fracisca Lee worked at Dialysis Clinic, Inc.’s Sacramento Southgate location for 14 years when she was forced to take leave for mastectomy surgery and chemotherapy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Four months into the treatment the clinic notified Lee by mail that she was being terminated for exceeding the time allotted by the company’s medical leave policy. When Lee allegedly informed the company that she would be able to return to full duty within two months the clinic told her she would need to re-apply for open positions. When she did so her application was rejected and a new nurse was hired. Lee filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Charge and the EEOC prosecuted the case.

Clinic Violated the Most Basic Principles of Disability Discrimination Law

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires (among other things) that employers reasonably accommodate employees with qualifying disabilities. One such accommodation is extended medical leave. When the company fired Lee and refused to re-hire her it placed itself in a position where it likely violated the ADA and other state anti-discrimination laws. What is most disturbing about this case is the company should have known this was the case, and now is $190,000 in the red due to its gross misconduct.

Basic Disability Discrimination Training Could Have Prevented this Lawsuit

Dialysis Clinic is a nonprofit corporation that operates in 27 states and has over 5,000 employees. A company this size is always at risk for violating disability discrimination laws, and clearly stands to benefit from routine and regular training to ensure that managers and employees are complying with their obligations under the federal law and state laws in which they operate. Indeed, focused online training can assist managers in making the right decisions with respect to accommodating disabilities, ensuring that employees with disabilities are not passed over for open positions, and many other issues that routinely come up in day-to-day operation.

Syntrio has developed cost and time-effective methods of instructing managers on the ins and outs of the complicated employment discrimination laws, and illustrate the nuances of those laws through engaging hypothetical and real-life scenarios. Our courses are thought provoking and engaging, and leave managers with a renewed sense of confidence that they will make the right decision should a situation arise.

Indeed, Syntrio is committed to helping employers avoid the costly mistakes (and associated litigation) that are associated with complicated areas of employment law like disability discrimination. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact for more information about our disability discrimination for management and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your company!