DLSE - Glossary

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good faith dispute

A "good faith dispute" that any wages are due occurs when an employer presents a defense, based in law or fact which, if successful, would preclude any recovery on the part of the employee. The fact that a defense is ultimately unsuccessful will not preclude a finding that a "good faith dispute" did exist if the defense was reasonable and presented in good faith. Defenses presented, which, under all the circumstances, are unsupported by any evidence, are unreasonable, or are presented in bad faith, will preclude a finding of a "good faith dispute." Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 13520


Gratuity means any tip, gratuity, money, or part thereof that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due the business for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, or articles sold or served to the patron. Any amounts paid directly by a patron to a dancer employed by an employer subject to IWC Order No. 5 or 10 shall be deemed a gratuity. Labor Code Section 350(e)

gross negligence

"Gross" negligence has been defined as an extreme departure from the ordinary standard of conduct, as an entire failure to exercise care, as the exercise of so slight a degree of care as to justify the belief that there was an indifference to the interest and welfare of others, and as that want of care that raises a presumption of conscious indifference to consequences. A determination of gross negligence is a legal conclusion that can only be arrived at by a court of law.

The distinction between ordinary negligence and gross negligence amounts to a rule of policy that a failure to exercise due care in those situations where the risk of harm is great will give rise to legal consequences harsher than those arising from negligence in less hazardous situations.