On September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1947, which extends the period to file a discrimination or retaliation complaint to one year with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) or better known as the Labor Commissioner. Before the passage of this legislation, employees alleging they had been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law enforced by the California Labor Commissioner were required to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement within 6 months after the occurrence of the violation. The Labor Commissioner was required to commence an action to enforce labor standards within 3 years of their accrual.

The extension of the statute of limitations from 6 months to one year is applicable to claims for discrimination or retaliation against an employee regarding any law enforced by the DLSE. Employers should also be aware that there are different statute of limitations for employees to bring other types of claims at the DLSE. For example, an employee has three years to bring a claim for unpaid wages.

There may be an increase in employee claims for violations of Labor Code 1102.5. The statute also now authorizes reasonable attorney’s fees to a plaintiff who brings a successful action for violation of Labor Code 1102.5. Labor Code 1102.5 prohibits an employer from making or enforcing any rule, regulation, or policy that prevents employees from disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes is a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation.

Jackson Lewis will continue tracking state legislation that is relevant to employers. If you have questions about the effects of this or other recent legislation contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

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Photo of Jonathan A. Siegel Jonathan A. Siegel

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and…

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and counsel regarding labor and employment law with respect to various issues ranging from wage and hour law, reduction in force, WARN Act, discipline, leave management and harassment and discrimination issues. Mr. Siegel defends employers regarding different varieties of wrongful termination and discrimination claims.

Mr. Siegel has represented management in union organizing drives and regularly defends employers in unfair labor practice proceedings as well as in collective bargaining and arbitrations. He also has extensive experience conducting wage and hour preventive audits. He conducts single location and multi-location audits for employers. The scope of such audits can range from examining specific issues, i.e., exempt status under federal law and California, to comprehensive FLSA and California Labor Code audits. Mr. Siegel has conducted audits for a wide range of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, retail, transportation, various service industries, defense contractors and healthcare.

Mr. Siegel regularly speaks on a variety of topics including wage and hour, harassment/discrimination, national and California employment trends, Workers’ Compensation, EEO, managing leaves of absence under FMLA and state leave laws and union avoidance. He has moderated numerous programs and is featured as a keynote speaker for several different organizations.