Julie Totten

Partner

Sacramento


Read full biography at www.orrick.com
Julie Totten, who leads Orrick’s Global Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group, built her reputation by helping companies prevent and resolve their most challenging litigation and compliance issues in the employment law arena.

In doing so, Julie closely collaborates with each client, gathering an in-depth understanding of their specific tensions, challenges and objectives. Legal 500 noted she "truly understands corporate politics and works with in-house counsel to understand the intersections of legal advice and business objectives." Julie then draws upon nearly three decades of experience to guide clients towards the best possible resolution. Her client-focused approach is one of many reasons she was selected to lead Orrick’s global employment practice, which Chambers ranks as one of the country’s foremost practices and describes Julie as “a big thinker and a thought leader.”

Julie handles complex wage-and-hour class and collective actions, complex pay equity and promotion matters and discrimination and retaliation litigation. She also guides clients through sensitive investigations, as well as government agency audits and litigation. Julie is proactive in helping clients avoid litigation by assisting them with the development of policies and practices designed to minimize exposure.

Julie is honored to be a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment and a member of the American Employment Law Council. She also serves as a Council Member of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.

Posts by: Julie Totten

Oregon OSHA Issues Revised Standards Regarding COVID-19 – Employers Should Take Note and Take Action

Oregon employers should take note of new state Occupational Health & Safety Administration (“OR OSHA”) standards that are likely to take effect soon.  On September 25, 2020, OR OSHA’s Infectious Disease Rulemaking Advisory Committee published its final COVID-19 Temporary Standard (following a brief notice and comment period). READ MORE

Navigating California’s New Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law – Guidance on Key Provisions and Common Employer Questions

On September 9, 2020 Governor Newsom signed AB 1867 into law, giving California employers just 10 days to implement new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statewide.  Below we highlight the major provisions of the new law (Labor Code 248.1, or “LC 248.1”) as well as nuances employers should keep in mind as they put their program into place.  (For clarity, we refer to this new leave as “LC 248.1 leave” to avoid confusion between this new statewide mandate and other federal and local laws expanding available paid sick leave due to COVID-19.) READ MORE

In Letter to Senators, DOL Clarifies Scope of the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

On April 17, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Joe Wheeler responded by letter to Senator Ron Wyden and other Democratic lawmakers who had raised concerns about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (CARES Act) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Notably, the letter clarifies several eligibility criteria, including that self-employed gig economy workers and workers who cannot work because they have coronavirus symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis may receive federal unemployment assistance under the PUA program. READ MORE

COVID-19 Update: DHS Modifies I-9 Physical Presence Requirements

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will defer the physical presence requirements associated with I-9s. Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. The new process is only for employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9. However, if newly hired employees or existing employees are subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockdown protocols, DHS will evaluate on a case-by-case basis. READ MORE

Employer Readiness Plans in the Wake of the Coronavirus Outbreak

While world governments scramble to contain the spread of the coronavirus, businesses are fielding questions from employees who are concerned for their safety and protection in the workplace. As you develop your coronavirus response strategy, be mindful of employee privacy, anti-discrimination, and other employment law considerations. Ultimately, any actions employers take should be proportionate to the risks presented. Here are a few of the most common questions employers should ask and some practical tips. READ MORE

The TRO on AB 51 is Still in Effect Following Oral Argument – With Modifications and Supplemental Briefing On The Way

On Friday, January 10, 2020, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California heard oral argument on plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.  As a result of clarifications made at the oral argument, the temporary restraining order (TRO) has been modified from its broad applicability to only enjoin defendants from enforcing AB 51 to the extent it applies to arbitration agreements covered by the FAA.  The revised TRO will remain in effect until January 31, 2020, at which point we might have a ruling on the preliminary injunction.  Judge Mueller concluded the oral argument by providing both parties the opportunity to submit supplemental briefing on two issues:  (1)  jurisdiction/standing; and (2)  severability.  As to the latter issue, Judge Mueller indicated she would accept specific proposals related to how the arbitration-related sections of the statute might be severed if she decided to grant the injunction on FAA preemption grounds. READ MORE

It’s About Time!: DOL’s Overtime Regulations Become Final

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule updating the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.  According to the DOL’s press release, “[t]he increases to the salary thresholds are long overdue in light of wage and salary growth since 2004,” and the DOL estimates that 1.3 million additional workers will be entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay as a result of the new regulations. READ MORE

“Judges Are Appointed For Life, Not For Eternity”: SCOTUS Rules That Judge’s Vote in Equal Pay Case Does Not Count Due To Judge’s Passing

In April 2018, an en banc Ninth Circuit held in Rizo v. Yovino that an employer cannot justify a wage differential between male and female employees under the Equal Pay Act by relying on prior salary. Before the Ninth Circuit published its decision, though, Judge Stephen Reinhardt passed away. On February 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision, reasoning that the appellate court should not have counted Reinhardt’s vote because he passed away before the decision was issued. Instead, the Ninth Circuit should not have released the opinion. READ MORE

Big Win for the Healthcare Industry on Meal Break Waivers as the California Supreme Court Resolves an Apparent Conflict in the Labor Code and IWC Wage Order

On December 10, the California Supreme Court issued an impactful decision for the healthcare industry. In Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, the unanimous Court endorsed the Hospitals’ meal break policy, over which the parties had battled for more than a decade.

The policy permitted employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their two meal breaks, even if their shifts lasted more than 12 hours. The Plaintiffs alleged the meal period waivers they signed were illegal because under the California Labor Code, waivers were not permissible for shifts greater than 12 hours.

READ MORE

Easy—Or Challenging—as ABC? California Supreme Court Rewrites Independent Contractor Test for Wage Order Claims

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles.  The Court announced a significant departure from the S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations, 48 Cal. 3d 341 (1989) test, previously used by California courts and state agencies for nearly three decades for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor under the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) wage orders.  In its place, the Court adopted the so-called “ABC” test for determining whether an individual is considered an employee under the wage orders, which govern many aspects of wages and working conditions in covered industries.  READ MORE