Adam L. Parry
Adam L. Parry
Shareholder, San Diego
  • B.A., Political Science, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo;
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law;
  • USD Institute on Comparative International Law, Barcelona, Spain.

I was seven years old and arguing with my mom. Realizing that there was nothing I loved better than an argument, she told me I was going to be a lawyer when I grow up. At seven, I didn’t really know what that meant, and—in character—objected vehemently.

Mom was right. I relish the challenge of aggressively advocating for clients in litigation. I have had the pleasure of effectively and successfully representing a wide range of clients through summary judgment, arbitration, mediation, and trial. I bring diverse legal experience to my employment practice, and an enthusiasm for tackling unique and novel problems thrown my way. When a hotel client has a construction contract dispute, I’m ready to dive in head first. When a restaurant needs help with their lease, I have the experience to get it done.

At the risk of disappointing my seven-year-old self, I eventually realized that an effective lawyer’s role isn’t just to argue. In practice, I’ve learned that clients are often best served through creative problem solving and dispute avoidance. Guiding clients through legal minefields and enabling them to make critical decisions with confidence to avoid lawsuits is key to providing effective and complete client service. Perhaps my most personally satisfying experiences as an attorney have been in helping avoid or resolve problems before litigation. The hospitality industry, in particular, provides great opportunities to work closely with clients to craft effective policies and creative solutions to unique challenges the industry presents. Working and connecting with the talented and exceptional individuals that make the hospitality business run is a highlight of job.

Like many native Southern Californians, I’m most at home when out in the sun. When I get a chance to ditch the suit for some shorts and a t-shirt, you can find me exploring San Diego’s amazing parks and beaches with my daughter, trying (usually failing) to surf, or playing guitar in a local rock band.

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection published a new version of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”. This version must be provided to job applicants when conducting employment background checks pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The revised Summary of Rights alerts applicants to their right to obtain a free national “security freeze”, which prohibits credit reporting agencies from releasing a person’s credit report without their consent. The revisions are intended to comply with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act passed in May this year, which is aimed at combating identity theft.

The “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is published by the Federal Government and must be provided to a job applicant when an employer requires a background check as a condition of employment. Under the FCRA, an employer must provide this Summary of Rights—along with a “stand-alone disclosure” and authorization to obtain an applicant’s background report—before obtaining a background report from a consumer reporting agency. The Summary of Rights must also be given to the applicant along with a “pre-adverse action notice” and an “adverse action notice” where the employer elects not to hire an applicant based on information in their background report.

The new Summary of Rights is available here in English or here in Spanish.

Employers nationwide who conduct background checks for applicants should begin using these new forms immediately. Please do not hesitate to contact Stokes Wagner for more information on the use of background checks in employment.

For a printable PDF of this article, click here.

On-call employees of fast food chain Yoshinoya claim they are owed reporting time pay when they call in for a shift but are not put to work. A L.A. Superior Court judge recently ruled that the plaintiffs may pursue their claims. This putative class of kitchen and cashier “on-call” employees call two hours before their scheduled shift to find out whether they are needed to work. If they fail to call in or do not show up for work when needed, they may face discipline. Plaintiffs claim that they are entitled to reporting time pay when they call in but are not put to work, even though they are not required to physically report to work.

In California, if an employee reports to work but is not put to work, the employer must pay the employee half their usual or scheduled day’s work, with a minimum of two hours. This case questions whether “report to work” means the employee must be physically present at the worksite. The employer sought to dismiss the case before trial, on the ground that the plain language of the reporting pay requirement defeats the plaintiffs’ case as a matter of law. Interpreting the reporting pay requirement in the context of “the modern era, where many workers remotely [use]{:target=”blank”} telephones to clock in and out for time keeping purposes,” the Court reasoned that common sense and the “ordinary reading” of the law would include remotely reporting via telephone under the reporting pay requirement.

This issue has been addressed in Ward v. Tilly’s, L.A. Superior Court Case No. BC595405, which is currently pending appeal and may result in a controlling decision.

What does this mean for you? While the L.A. Superior Court’s decision here is not law, this case may signal a new avenue of wage and hour liability and focus for employees and plaintiff’s counsel. As the Court notes, the issue is on appeal, and may result in controlling law in the near future. In the meantime, employers who use on-call shifts should review their policies to ensure they are implementing best practices.

For more legal news, check out our quarterly newsletter for April 2018!

Effective July 19, 2017, San Francisco became the first city in California to ban employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. This is the latest in a nationwide movement to promote gender pay equality. As cited in the San Francisco Ordinance, census data shows that women in San Francisco are paid 84 cents for every dollar a man makes, and women of color are paid even less. The ban seeks to stop the “problematic practice” of relying on past salaries to set new employees’ pay rates, which perpetuates the historic gender pay gap.

Dubbed the “Parity in Pay Ordinance,” the San Francisco law applies to all employers doing business in the City of San Francisco and to all employees applying for positions that will be performed in the City.

What does this mean for you? Employers in San Francisco may not:

  • Ask about an applicant’s salary history;

  • Consider an applicant’s salary history in determining a salary offer, even if the applicant voluntarily discloses his/her salary history;

  • Refuse to hire or otherwise retaliate against an applicant for not disclosing salary history;

  • Release the salary history of any current or former employee without written authorization from the employee.

San Francisco’s ban comes as the California legislature looks to impose a similar ban statewide. The State Assembly passed a proposed amendment (AB168) that is currently awaiting State Senate approval. New York City and the State of Massachusetts have already enacted similar bans, and efforts are underway in Philadelphia.

For more legal updates, check out our update for September 2017!