Employment and Labor Law


Written By: Brian Ragen

In Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, a California Court of Appeal recently held that inside sales employees who are paid on a 100% commission basis must be separately compensated for their rest periods.

Though inside sales persons are exempt from overtime (provided they earn at least 1.5-times minimum wage and earn more than half of their compensation from commissions), they are not exempt from California’s meal and rest period requirements. Thus, the Court’s logic was as follows: Inside sales employees must receive at least one paid rest period of 10 minutes for every four hours worked. If 100% of an employee’s pay is attributable to commissions, then he or she is not being compensated for rest periods—i.e., an employee cannot earn a commission while “resting,” so an employee paid only commissions must not be receiving pay for rest periods.

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On 23 February 2017, the Fair Work Commission handed down its decision on applications by employer organisations to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in six modern awards in the hospitality and retail industries.  Since then, there have been a lot of misconceptions floating around about the decision.  In this article, Emily Haar, Associate, and Professor Andrew Stewart, Consultant, explain its scope and impact.

Read more: Independent Umpires, Merits-Based Applications and the Disutility of Sunday Work– A Guide to the...


On 8 February 2017, the Government introduced legislation into the Federal Parliament which proposes changes to the national paid parental leave scheme. This is the Government’s third attempt in recent years to implement changes to the government paid parental leave scheme and the changes proposed are broadly similar to previous iterations, with only a few notable changes. Partner, Erin McCarthy and Law Graduate, Shauna Roeger discuss the changes contained in the Bill.

Read more: An update on the proposed changes to paid parental leave in Australia


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A recent Tribunal decision has held that time spent in ACAS Early Conciliation (“EC”) before a limitation period starts cannot extend the time limit for bringing a claim.

In Fergusson v Combat Stress the Claimant started ACAS EC 28 days before her actual dismissal. In previous cases, Tribunals had decided that when EC started before the employee was dismissed then the Claimant could still have the full month to add on to their deadline to bring their claim. 

Read more: You Cannot Stop a Clock Before It Starts


Following on from the signing of Article 50 last week, Michael Sippitt (Clarkslegal Chairman) speaks to the Independent online about the impact of Brexit on worker's rights- and what we can do to alleviate the damage.

You can read the full article by clicking below.

The Independent - Voices

brexit