The Anaheim Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance takes effect January 1, 2024, though it had a rocky path to passage.

It started with a more expansive ordinance proposed in May, which was sent to the voters in October and failed.

Meanwhile, the City Council passed an ordinance focused on the safety of hotel workers over the summer that will take effect next year. The following is an overview.

Covered Employers

The ordinance covers hotel employers defined as any person who owns, controls, or operates a hotel in the City of Anaheim, and includes any person or contractor who, in a managerial, supervisory, or confidential capacity, employs hotel workers to provide services at a hotel in conjunction with the hotel’s purpose.

Personal Security Devices

As with many of the hotel employee protection ordinances, Anaheim’s ordinance requires covered employers to provide a personal security device commonly referred to as a “panic button” whenever a worker works in a guest room or restroom facility where other workers are not assigned to be present.

Covered employers must also provide training to workers regarding how to use and maintain the personal security device, the hotel’s protocol for responding to activation, and the employee’s rights.

Employers must retain records of incidents where personal security devices were activated for three years from the incident.

Employee Reporting

If a hotel worker brings attention to violent or threatening conduct occurring on hotel property or in the workplace the employee must be afforded the following rights:

  • sufficient paid time off up to 3 hours on the date of the incident to report violent or threatening conduct to a law enforcement agency and to consult with a counselor or advisor of the hotel worker’s choice.
  • Upon request by a hotel worker, a hotel employer shall provide reasonable accommodations to a hotel worker who has been subjected to violent or threatening conduct. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, a modified work schedule, reassignment to a vacant position, or other reasonable adjustment to job structure, workplace facility, or work requirements.

If you have questions about the Anaheim Hotel Workers Protection Ordinance or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

For an employee to be exempt from overtime regulations under California law, the employee must fit into a category of work that is deemed exempt.

The most common exemptions are the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions.  Workers who are employed in administrative, managerial, executive, or professional capacities generally fall under one of these exemptions. Each exemption has detailed requirements as to the amount and type of work performed and most exempt employees must meet a minimum salary threshold. The minimum salary threshold is typically no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment (40 hours).

For certain exempt categories, however, the Department of Industrial Relations sets increases based on changes to the California Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI). For example, under Labor Code section 515.5, certain computer software employees and licensed physicians and surgeons must be paid a statutorily specified rate based on the CPI in order to be deemed exempt from overtime regulations.

Under section 515.5, “employee[s] in the computer software field” who meet certain criteria will be exempt from overtime regulations. The exemption applies to those who are “primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative and that requires the exercise of discretion and independent judgment,” are “highly skilled,” and who perform work including programming, systems analysis, and software design. Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum hourly rate for computer software employees to meet this exemption will be $55.58, with a minimum monthly salary of $9649.96 (annually $115,763.35).

Similarly, under Labor Code section 515.6, certain licensed physicians and surgeons must be paid a minimum hourly rate. Effective January 1, 2024, that hourly rate is $101.22 to meet the exemption.

If you have questions about overtime exemption requirements or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

As the temperatures cool outside, the regulations for indoor heat illness prevention are heating up. Cal/OSHA has been working on a proposed Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard since 2017. In the spring Cal/OSHA Standards Board published a draft standard and announced a public hearing on Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment.

On November 9, 2023, the Board issued its Second Notice of Proposed Modifications. These revisions were the result of further comments from stakeholders and Board staff.

Here are some of the proposed modifications:

  • Clarifying that compliance is not required for incidental heat exposures where an employee is exposed to temperatures above 82 degrees for less than 15 minutes in any 60-minute period.
  • Adds a definition for “high radiant heat source,” which is “any object, surface, or other source of radiant heat that, if not shielded, would raise the globe temperature of the cool-down area five degrees Fahrenheit or greater than the dry bulb temperature of the cool-down area.”  
  • Adds detail that measuring temperature and heat index should be done where employees work and at times during the work shift when employee exposures are expected to be the greatest.  
  • Clarifying that Indoor Heat Illness Prevention may be added to training pertaining to heat illness prevention for outdoor employment where employees are affected by both.

The Board is accepting written comments on the modifications of the text and the changes to documents until 5:00 p.m. on November 28, 2023, at the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, California 95833 or e-mailed to

If you have questions about heat illness prevention in the workplace or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

As we move into what many refer to as the holiday season, employers may have questions about handling wages and the holidays. Here are four things for employers to understand about holidays and pay for hourly (non-exempt) employees.

  1. Hours worked on a holiday, Saturdays or Sundays should be treated like hours worked on any other day. This means that employers do not have to pay a special premium for work performed on those days, other than the overtime premium required for work performed in excess of eight hours in a workday, 40 hours in a workweek, or for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day. Depending on the number of hours worked each day of the workweek, a double-time premium for work performed may be required.
  2. Employers are not required to provide paid time off for holidays. An employer may be closed for the holidays and not pay employees or choose to operate even on days such as Thanksgiving.  
  3. Paid time off for holidays does not count toward the overtime requirement. If an employer elects to provide paid holidays off, the hours paid but not worked do not count toward overtime.
  4. If payday falls on a holiday, the employer may pay on the next business day after the holiday. Under California law, employers may pay on the next business day after the holiday. The California Government Code identifies the following holidays:
  • January 1 — New Year’s Day
  • Third Monday in January — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 12 — Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Third Monday in February — George Washington’s Birthday
  • March 31 – Cesar Chaves Day
  • Last Monday in May — Memorial Day
  • July 4 — Independence Day
  • First Monday in September — Labor Day
  • September 9 – Admission Day
  • Fourth Friday in September – Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Second Monday in October — Columbus Day
  • November 11 — Veterans Day
  • Fourth Thursday in November — Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25 — Christmas
  • Other days appointed by the governor for a public fast, thanksgiving, or holiday

If you have questions about handling employee holiday pay, or related issues contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

In October, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 476, which requires food facility employers to pay an employee for any cost associated with the employee obtaining a food handler card, considering the time it takes for the employee to complete the training and certification program to be compensable as “hours worked.”

Under the Health and Safety Code, a food handler is required to obtain a food handler card within 30 days of their date of hire and maintain a valid card for the duration of their employment.  A food handler is defined as an individual who is involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility, other than an individual holding a valid food safety certificate or an individual involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a temporary food facility.

To obtain a food handler card, an individual must complete a food handler training course and examination that meets certain requirements.

Under SB 476, employers are required to consider the time that it takes for an employee to complete the training and examination as compensable “hours worked.” Moreover, employers must reimburse for necessary expenditures.

SB 476 requires that employees are relieved of all other work duties while taking the training course and examination.

Finally, under the new legislation, an employer is prohibited from conditioning employment on the applicant or employee having an existing food handler card.

These changes take effect January 1, 2024.

If you have questions about SB 476 or related issues contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

California’s 2023 legislative session ended on October 14, 2023, with a slew of new bills affecting employers. Governor Gavin Newsom signed more than 30 employment-related bills.

Highlights of the new laws affecting employers in California are summarized below. Most of the laws take effect January 1, 2024, unless otherwise indicated.

Read the Full Article on Jackson Lewis’ Legal Updates.

Depending upon many different factors, a state-wide minimum wage has been established for healthcare workers in California which will be phased in over time. On October 13, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 525, which enacts a multi-tiered statewide minimum wage schedule for health care workers employed by certain covered healthcare facilities. The new law established 5 different minimum wage schedules depending upon the nature of the employer.

This follows several California cities attempting to implement healthcare worker minimum wages. Additionally, the City of Inglewood has enacted a city-wide healthcare minimum wage law.

Categories of Employers

Senate Bill 525 establishes a comprehensive minimum wage schedule for “covered health care employees,” outlining schedules depending on how a facility is classified.   A hospital’s classification is determined by facility size, type, location, and governmental payor mix percentage.  SB 525’s definition of “covered health facility” applies to nearly every type of health care facility except those owned, controlled, or operated by the California Department of State Hospitals, tribal clinics exempt from licensure, and outpatient settings operated by federally recognized Indian tribes.

The law applies to “covered health care employee,” which also encompasses a broad array of positions, from patient care roles like nurses and physicians to support positions such as janitors and clerical workers. The law’s coverage extends to contracted or subcontracted employees when the healthcare facility has control over their wages, hours, or working conditions.

The law, however, excludes outside salespersons, public sector employees not primarily involved in healthcare, and delivery or waste collection workers not directly employed by the healthcare facility.   

In the context of this legislation, the focus is less on whether a healthcare facility is “covered,” as most are, and more on how a facility is classified for the purpose of implementing the phased minimum wage schedules.  SB 525 creates the following four classifications of healthcare employers:

  1. Large Employers and Integrated Health Systems: Covered healthcare facilities that: (1) have 10,000 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs); (2) are part of an integrated healthcare delivery system; and, (3) are county healthcare systems with 10,000 or more FTEs or operated by a county with a population of 5,000,000 or more, or (4) that is a dialysis clinic.   

Minimum Wage Schedule

  • From June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2025: $23 per hour
  • From June 1, 2025, to May 31, 2026: $24 per hour
  • From June 1, 2026, until indexed to the lower of inflation or 3.5%: $25 per hour
  1. Hospitals with High Government Payer Mix, Rural Independent Facilities, or County Run Facilities in Low Population Counties: Independent hospitals with elevated governmental payer mix (75% or more), hospitals with a very high governmental payor mix (90% or more), rural independent covered health care facility, or covered health care facilities owned, affiliated, or operated by a county with a population of 250,000 or less.

Minimum Wage Schedule

  • From June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2033: $18 per hour, with 3.5% increases annually.
  • From June 1, 2033, until indexed to the lower of inflation or 3.5%: $25 per hour
  • Primary Care, Free, Community, and Rural Clinics: Primary care clinics, Free clinics not run by governmental entities, community clinics along with their associated intermittent clinics, rural health clinics, and urgent care clinics owned and operated by primary care clinics.

Minimum Wage Schedule

  • From June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2026: $21 per hour
  • From June 1, 2026, to May 31, 2027: $22 per hour
  • From June 1, 2027, until indexed to the lower of inflation or 3.5%: $25 per hour
  1. Other Covered Health Care Facilities: All other covered health care facility employers that don’t fall into the above three categories, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities as specified, integrated delivery systems, ambulatory surgical centers, urgent care clinics, medical groups, medical foundations, county mental health facilities, and county correctional health facilities.

Minimum Wage Schedule

  • From June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2026: $21 per hour
  • From June 1, 2026, to May 31, 2028: $23 per hour
  • From June 1, 2028, until indexed to the lower of inflation or 3.5%: $25 per hour

Appeals and Waiver Program

For a limited period of time before January 1, 2025, employers will have the ability to challenge the accuracy of the classification of covered health care employers according to the numbers of full-time equivalent employees, system affiliation, payor mix, and any other relevant information with the California Department of Health Care Access and Information.

The Department of Industrial Relations, in consultation with relevant healthcare departments, will also offer waivers to certain healthcare facilities. To be eligible for this waiver, the healthcare facility must prove that compliance with the new wage laws would put its continued operations in jeopardy. Facilities can renew their waivers 180 days before the current one expires.

State Preemption

The bill preempts local ordinances, regulations, or administrative actions that relate to wages, salary, or compensation for covered health care facility employees. Any such local laws enacted after September 6, 2023, are void and cannot be enforced.

If you have questions about SB 525 or related issues contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1076 on October 13, 2023, which adds new Business & Professions Code §16600.1, making it unlawful to impose non-compete clauses on employees – which contractual restrictions already are void under Business & Professions Code §16600. 

AB 1076 codifies existing case law in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP (2008) 44 Cal.4th 937, regarding the prohibition on noncompete agreements being broadly construed to void such agreements and clauses in the employment context when they do not meet specific exemptions.

New Section 16600.1 states, in full:

16600.1. (a) It shall be unlawful to include a noncompete clause in an employment contract, or to require an employee to enter a noncompete agreement, that does not satisfy an exception in this chapter.

(b) (1) For current employees, and for former employees who were employed after January 1, 2022, whose contracts include a noncompete clause, or who were required to enter a noncompete agreement, that does not satisfy an exception to this chapter, the employer shall, by February 14, 2024, notify the employee that the noncompete clause or noncompete agreement is void.                                          

(2) Notice made under this subdivision shall be in the form of a written individualized communication to the employee or former employee, and shall be delivered to the last known address and the email address of the employee or former employee.

(c) A violation of this section constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200).

AB 1076 follows the passage of another bill reiterating California’s ban on restrictive covenants, Senate Bill 699, which provides that the ban extends to agreements regardless of the state in which it was signed and or the state in which the employee worked.  SB 699 also creates a private right of action.

Under AB 1076, employers must notify current employees and former employees (employed after January 1, 2022), that any noncompete agreement or noncompete clause contained within an agreement the current or former employee signed is void unless the agreement or clause falls within one of the statutory exceptions set forth in Business and Professions Code section 16600, et seq.  

Such notices must be an individualized communication to the employee or former employee, delivered to the last known address and email address the employee provided to the employer, and must be provided by next Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024.

AB 1076 also provides that a violation of the prohibition on noncompete agreements in employment also constitutes unfair competition under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq.

New Business & Professions Code §16600.1 takes effect on January 1, 2024.

If you have questions about AB 1076 or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

In December 2022, the City of Berkeley passed the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance. The ordinance will become operative on January 12, 2024.

The Berkeley ordinance is similar to the City of Los Angeles’s Fair Work Week Ordinance which took effect April 1, 2023,and other local ordinances regarding how employees are scheduled and the flexibility of scheduling provided to employees.

Covered Employers and Covered Employees

The ordinance applies to any employer in the City of Berkeley with 10 or more employees in the city that is:

  • primarily engaged in the building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, retail, or warehouse services industries, and employs 56 or more employees globally; or
  • primarily engaged in the restaurant industry, and employs 100 or more employees globally; or
  • a franchisee primarily engaged in the retail or restaurant industries and is associated with a network of franchises with franchisees employing in the aggregate 100 or more employees globally; or
  •  a not-for-profit corporation organized under Section 501 of the United States Internal Revenue Code in the industries specified under subsection (a)(1), (2), and (3) and employs 100 or more employees globally.

The ordinance applies to non-exempt employees who perform at least two hours of work within Berkeley for a covered employer.

Obligations of Covered Employers

The ordinance includes several obligations for covered employers pertaining to scheduling, including the following:

  • Provide each employee with a good faith estimate in writing of the employee’s work schedule. The employee may submit a written request to modify the estimated work schedule.  A covered employer, in its sole discretion, may accept or reject the employee’s request.  The covered employer is required to notify the employee of the covered employer’s determination in writing prior to or on the commencement of employment.
  • Provide employees with at least two weeks’ notice of their work schedules by doing one of the following:
    • Posting the work schedule in a conspicuous place at the workplace that is readily accessible and visible to all employees; or
    • Transmitting the work schedule by electronic means, so long as all employees are given access to the electronic schedule at the workplace.
  • Provide employees with predictability pay for scheduling changes under certain circumstances.
  • Provide new employees with an initial work schedule prior to or on their first day of employment. Thereafter, the covered employer shall include the new employee in an existing schedule with other employees.
  • Provide an employee written notice of any change to the employee’s posted or transmitted work schedule within 24 hours of a schedule change. This notice requirement shall not apply to any schedule changes the employee initiates.

If you have questions about the Berkeley ordinance or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.