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California Workplace Law Blog

Tag Archives: employee

California Governor Signs SB 435 Which Expands the One Hour Pay Penalty in Labor Code 226.7 to Missed “Recovery Periods”

Labor Code 226.7 provides that an employee should receive one hour of pay as a penalty for not receiving rest or meal periods in accordance with California law. Yesterday, Governor Brown signed into law SB 435 which expands the one hour of pay penalty to missed “recovery periods.”  The new law applies to any meal, rest… Continue Reading

New Bill Expands Scope of Paid Family Leave Law

 On September 24, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that expands the application of the Family Temporary Disability Insurance program beginning on July 1, 2014. Family Temporary Disability Insurance is also known as Paid Family Leave. Paid Family Leave is a paid benefit provided by California Employment Development Department (“CA EDD”)… Continue Reading

Are you ready? Additional Issues if the California State Minimum Wage Changes, Part 2

If the California state minimum wage changes, are you ready?  Employers may need to review the salaries of certain exempt employees to ensure compliance with the minimum salary basis test under the Executive, Administrative, and Professional overtime exemptions. On September 16, 2013, AB 10, the California state minimum wage increase legislation,  was enrolled meaning it… Continue Reading

Certain Communications with Represented Parties Allowed

The California Court of Appeal has held in a case under the California False Claims Act (FCA) that California’s Rules of Professional Conduct, generally prohibiting an attorney, directly or indirectly, from communicating with a represented party, including the party’s employees, did not apply to prohibit communications between two qui tam plaintiffs and the defendant-employer’s current… Continue Reading

Discrimination as a Substantial Motivating Factor in Mixed Motive Cases

A positive development for employers. To establish liability in “mixed motive” employment discrimination cases under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the employee must show that unlawful discrimination was a substantial factor motivating the adverse employment decision, the California Supreme Court ruled. Harris v. City of Santa Monica, No. S181004 (Cal. Feb. 7,… Continue Reading

Support Dogs and Other Animals in the Workplace

California employers should be prepared to welcome support dogs and other animals into the workplace as a reasonable accommodation for disabled workers requiring support under new disability regulations issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission. The new regulations significantly expand protections for disabled workers and outline new requirements regarding reasonable accommodations, the interactive… Continue Reading

California Court Of Appeal Rules Refusal To Cooperate With Company Investigation or Giving False Information To Company Investigator Is Not Protected By FEHA

  A California court of appeal has recently ruled that an employee is not protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for refusing to participate in or cooperate with a Company investigation into misconduct. McGrory v. Applied Signal Tech., Inc., (Cal Ct. App. No. H036597, 1/24/2013). In McGrory, California’s Sixth Appellate District rejected… Continue Reading

New California Laws Effective January 1, 2013

There are a number of new California  laws which could impact the workplace. We prepared a chart which lists the major pieces of employment legislation introduced in the California State Senate and Assembly during 2012 that were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. All of the bills listed become effective January 1, 2013. Please click… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rejects Honest Belief Defense Involving CFRA Claims

On November 13, 2012, the California Court of Appeal expressly rejected the viability of the “honest belief” defense in Richey v. Autonation, Inc.  In Richey, an employer terminated an employee who was on California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) leave because, during that leave, the employee was allegedly working at a restaurant he owned.  Shortly thereafter,… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court to Review whether Employer’s Insurance Applied to Accident Caused by Employee Driving his Car while Working

  In a case that could impact employers whose employees use their own vehicles for work, the California Supreme Court granted review to address whether an employer’s insurance policy covered a deadly automobile accident caused by an employee driving his own car. American States Ins. Co. v. Ramirez, No. S205073 (Cal. Oct. 24, 2012). Although this case… Continue Reading

A California Court of Appeal Permits Class Action Regarding Independent Contractor Status But Affirms Denial of Class Certification For Unpaid Overtime and Meal and Rest Period Violations

  A new case presents a mixed bag of results for California employers. As a general matter, California employers should be careful when classifying individuals as independent contractors, rather than employees. Reversing the denial of class certification in an action for various Labor Code violations, a California Court of Appeal held that whether newspaper delivery… Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Rules Independent Contractor Status Beyond the Scope of Poorly Drafted Arbitration Agreement

  Employers must carefully draft arbitration agreements and ensure the agreements are regularly updated for compliance with state and federal law. A California Court of Appeal held that owner-operator truck drivers were not required to arbitrate whether they were misclassified as independent contractors where the parties’ arbitration agreements applied to any dispute that arose “with… Continue Reading

Employee Who Did Not Sign Arbitration Agreement is Not Required to Arbitrate Claims

  Another arbitration case which is unfavorable to employers. A California Court of Appeal ruled that a human resources director who never signed the employer’s arbitration agreement, concealed that fact from her employer, and quit her job before doing so, could not be required to arbitrate her employment claims. Gorlach v. The Sports Club, No. B 233672… Continue Reading

AB 1565: California Establishes New Bidding Requirements for Certain Contracts with Public School Districts

On October 1, 2012, California enacted AB 1565, modifying certain rules for soliciting contractor bids under the California Public Contractor Code. Existing law permits school districts to request prospective bidders for public contracts to submit standardized questionnaires and financial statements to be verified under oath. AB 1565 adds section 20111.6 to the code, which now mandates… Continue Reading

California Becomes Third State to Limit Access to Employees and Students’ Social Media Accounts

 Written by: Joseph Lazzarotti Late last week, California Governor Jerry Brown "took to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace to announce that he has signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users in California." As discussed, one of the bills, A.B. 1844, updates California’s Labor Code to significantly limit when employers could ask employees and job applicants for social… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules A Labor Code Section 132a Violation Is Not a Proper Public Policy Basis for A Wrongful Termination Claim

California’s Third Appellate District has held that a violation of Labor Code section 132a cannot support a common law claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. In general terms, Labor Code section 132a states an employer may not discriminate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for having a work… Continue Reading

SB 1186: New California Law Regarding Disability Access Lawsuits

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bi-partisan measure that seeks to curb rampant, frivolous Americans with Disabilities Act access lawsuits in the state and expand access to businesses for those with disabilities.  This is good news for California businesses.  The state reportedly has 12 percent of the country’s disabled population, but 40… Continue Reading

Delay in Requesting Arbitration Until After Key Legal Decision Did Not Result in Waiver of Right

 A California Court of Appeal has issued a favorable opinion for employers regarding arbitration agreements. Specifically, the Court held that an employer did not waive its right to enforce an arbitration agreement by waiting to request arbitration until after the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a decision addressing the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements,… Continue Reading

Religious Dress and Grooming Practices Qualify As Religious Belief Or Observance Under The Fair Employment & Housing Act

The California Governor signed into law AB 1964 which amends the Fair Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”) to prohibit discrimination against individuals for the wearing of religious dress or the practice of religious grooming in the workplace. The FEHA already prohibits discrimination against “religious belief” or “observance.” However, the new amendment expressly states that religious dress… Continue Reading

Non-Compete Clause Can Be Unenforceable Where Not Sufficiently Related to Business Sale

A California Court of Appeal has ruled that a non-compete agreement executed as part of a business sale was unenforceable under California law because it was insufficiently related to the sale. Fillpoint, LLC v. Maas, No. G045057 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug 24, 2012). Non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable in California. A limited exception under Business… Continue Reading