Jacqueline A. Godoy
Jacqueline A. Godoy
Shareholder, San Diego
Formerly: Hostess, Toscanini Restaurant (Beaver Creek, CO); Fine Dining Server, Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar (New Orleans, LA)
  • B.A., Environmental Studies, Tulane University;
  • B.A., Philosophy, Tulane University;
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law.

I am a southern California native who, after living in several wonderful places across the U.S., happily ended up back in my home state. I love San Diego’s sunny weather, friendly people, and endless number of things to do outside. Add to that San Diego’s emerging restaurant scene and world famous craft breweries and there’s no place I’d rather live. That being said, I love traveling, exploring new cultures, and meeting new people.

I’ve played pretty much every sport there is, including Division I women’s soccer at Tulane University in New Orleans. I am fiercely competitive and welcome a challenge. Whether it’s on the pitch or writing a winning brief, I strive to come out on top of the competition. I believe strongly in teamwork and collaboration as the means for achieving top results.

Working with hospitality clients has been a natural fit for me. I enjoy partnering with human resources professionals and managers in navigating California’s employment laws, as well as working through the day to day challenges of managing people. I am grateful to be practicing in an area of law that allows me to work directly with colleagues and clients on a daily basis. It is truly the personal aspect of my job that makes me love what I do. And when it comes time to fight the good fight, I couldn’t choose a better set of individuals to represent.

Mayor Garcetti has issued an executive order requiring customers at grocery stores and other essential businesses to wear face coverings.

In addition, employers at non-medical businesses such as grocery stores, hotels, and restaurants must:

  • either provide workers with cloth face coverings that shield their noses and mouths or reimburse employees for their cost;
  • implement physical distancing measures for employees, customers, and visitors;
  • make sure employees have access to clean and sanitary restrooms, stocked with all necessary cleaning products like soap and sanitizer; and
  • allow employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.

If a customer or guest is not wearing a mask, the business can refuse to serve that person. It is likely that other cities will follow Los Angeles’ lead. Businesses should be prepared to provide their employees with face masks and cleansing products.

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Even in California, where the courts have resisted sending employee claims to arbitration, the tide is turning in favor of mandatory employment arbitration agreements. The California Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District reversed the decision of Los Angeles Superior Court judge William Fahey denying the employer’s petition to enforce its arbitration agreement.

The plaintiff, Erika Diaz, filed a complaint of discrimination against her employer, Sohnen Enterprises, who moved to have the case submitted to binding arbitration pursuant to the employer’s arbitration agreement. Prior to the lawsuit, the employer had announced to its employees that it had implemented a mandatory arbitration agreement and that their continued employment constituted acceptance of the agreement.

In filing her lawsuit in Superior Court, Diaz argued that she was not bound by the agreement because she had not signed it, and because she had explicitly voiced her refusal to agree to arbitration. The Court of Appeal found that because the employer had made it clear that the arbitration agreement was mandatory and that continuing her employment constituted acceptance, Diaz was bound by the agreement to arbitrate. Specifically, the Court found in its decision that “California law in this area is settled: when an employee continues his or her employment after notification that an agreement to arbitration is a condition of continued employment, that employee has impliedly consented to the arbitration agreement.”

While this case demonstrates that courts are increasingly willing to enforce mandatory arbitration agreements in the employment context, employers taking this route should carefully review their agreements to ensure that the agreement holds up against other claims of procedural or substantive unconscionability. For more information, contact your Stokes Wagner attorney!

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Due to a recent California Court of Appeal ruling, employers must now pay employees “reporting time pay” when employees are required to call their worksite two (2) hours prior to a scheduled on-call shift and must report to work for that shift if the employer requests. In Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc., the Court made clear that this ruling applies prospectively and not retroactively.

California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) wage orders require employers to pay employees “reporting time pay” for each workday an employee is required to report for work and does report but is not put to work or is put to work for less than less than half of their usual or scheduled shift. Employers must pay the employee reporting time pay, which is half of their scheduled shift at their hourly rate, or a minimum of two hours. Traditionally, “reporting time pay” was only owed if an employee physically reported to work but was sent home due to business needs. However, this ruling broadens the interpretation of “reporting time pay” in favor of employees.

In Ward vs. Tilly’s Inc., Tilly’s employees were scheduled as “on-call” and required to call in to their store two hours prior to the start of their shift. The employees were required to work that shift if the store requested them to do so and employees were disciplined if they failed to contact their stores, if they contacted the stores late, or if they refused to work. The employees brought a class action lawsuit against Tilly’s claiming that, under these practices, the employees were owed reporting time pay.

Tilly’s argued that “reporting time pay” was not owed because the employees did not physically report to their stores. This Court disagreed, concluding that “reporting to work” does not have a single meaning, and does not necessarily only mean that an employee must physically show up for work at a particular time. The Court further reasoned that on-call shifts take a toll on employees as they are forced to make, among other things, childcare and financial arrangements. As such, the Court sided with the employees and held that Tilly’s owed them reporting time pay.

Employers should immediately consider how on-call shifts are handled as these practices may now warrant reporting time pay. Keep in mind that this ruling also extends reporting time pay to situations where an employee is required to log on to a computer remotely to determine if they must report to work or appear at a client’s job site.

For a printable PDF of this article, click here.

Massachusetts recently passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which protects women from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and expressing milk. Effective April 1, 2018, it is unlawful for an employer to deny reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions upon request unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

On the flip side, the Act also makes it unlawful to require a pregnant or nursing job applicant or employee to accept an accommodation, including requiring an employee to take leave when there are other accommodations available that would not cause an undue hardship to the employer. The Act makes it unlawful to take adverse action against an employee who requests an accommodation, and mandates that the employee must be reinstated to her original job or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and benefits upon return from leave. The Act makes it unlawful to make pre-employment inquiries regarding the applicant’s condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

What does this mean for you? Starting April 1, 2018, Massachusetts employers must post a notice, through a handbook, pamphlet or other means, of the rights of pregnant and nursing mothers to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions.

The Act also provides examples of what qualifies as a reasonable accommodation including but not limited to: more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks; time off to attend to a pregnancy complication or recover from childbirth, with or without pay; acquisition or modification of equipment or seating; a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position; job restructuring; light duty; private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk; assistance with manual labor; and modification of work schedule.

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