COSTA MESA, Calif., February 2, 2016 – The Employment and Labor Law Department of Rutan & Tucker, LLP, California’s largest full-service law firm based in Orange County, hosted its annual employment law seminar for more than 200 clients and friends of the firm at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach on February 2. The seminar aimed at educating employers on relevant legal developments over the past year, as well as anticipated issues for the coming year. Rutan partners Maria Stearns and Edson McClellan presented at the seminar, along with Jim Morris, Chair of the Employment and Labor Department, who served as program moderator.
“We always look forward to hosting this update for our clients and friends,” commented Jim Morris. “Every year, the legal developments seem to create new risks and challenges for employers. This event allows us an opportunity to highlight these developments for many of the employers we have the privilege to represent.”
Ms. Stearns discussed California’s Fair Pay Act, which became effective January 1, 2016. Under prior law, equal pay among genders was required for jobs that required “equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.” Under the new California Fair Pay Act, equal pay is required for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” In practice, this means that pay comparisons will not necessarily be limited to employees in the same job titles or with nearly identical duties or even in the same geographic location. In addition, the new law places the burden on the employer to establish that pay disparities among genders are based on: seniority, merit, production or a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training or experience.
Mr. McClellan discussed the increase in California’s minimum wage, and how that increase has an impact on other wage-and-hour laws. Mr. McClellan also discussed the California Labor Commissioner’s heightened ability to enforce wage claim judgments, developments regarding the enforceability of employment arbitration agreements, and notable 2015 case law decisions.
About Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Rutan & Tucker is the largest full-service business law firm based in Orange County. With offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto, Rutan’s primary practice areas include corporate and securities law; business, real estate and intellectual property litigation; labor and employment law; intellectual property; real estate; government and regulatory law; land use law; bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation; environmental law; and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.