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California Law Pushes Virtue of Diversity Requiring Females on Boards of Directors

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill 826 into law which requires publicly-held corporations with principal executive offices in California to have a certain number of females on their boards of directors. The new law sets forth phased requirements for these corporations. By the end of 2019, each covered company must have at least … Continue Reading

California Governor Vetoes Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Employment Contracts

In a last-minute action on the September 30 legislative deadline, California’s Governor vetoed a bill that, among other things, would have imposed restrictions on the use of arbitration agreements for certain employment claims. Under vetoed Assembly Bill 3080, beginning on January 1, 2019, employers in California would have been barred from requiring employees and independent … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signed Bill Amending a Key Term in the California Arbitration Act

California Assembly Bill 3247 amends the California Arbitration Act (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1280 et seq.) by replacing the current term revocation with rescission. The bill removes any potential ambiguity by inserting the proper terminology. On July 16, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 3247 (“AB 3247”), which amends the … Continue Reading

New California Law Prohibits Refusing Entrance to a Business Because a Member is Wearing Their Military Uniform and Adds Other Protections

On July 16, 2018, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1500 which expanded protections for members of the Armed Forces of the United States and to members of the Federal Reserve components of the Armed Forces. The new law makes clear that no business and other covered establishments may deny a member of the Armed … Continue Reading

Employer Found Liable Where Supervisor Mocked Employee’s Stuttering Problem

In responding to claim of harassment, discrimination or retaliation based on protected categories, California employers must timely respond to and thoroughly investigate workplace complaints to avoid exposure. On July 9, 2018, a California Court of Appeal court found an employer liable where an employee was mocking a person for having a stutter on more than five, … Continue Reading

Federal District Judge Puts On Hold Parts of AB 450 Which Prohibited Employers From Voluntarily Consenting To A Federal Immigration Agent’s Request To Enter Nonpublic Areas or For Voluntarily Providing Records

On July 4, 2018, Federal District Judge John A. Mendez granted a preliminarily injunction enjoining the State of California, Governor Brown, and Attorney General Becerra from enforcing parts of AB 450, the controversial new law that limited employer conduct when dealing with federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, the Judge stopped the enforcement of the California Government … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA Issues Advisory for Employers to Take Precautions to Protect Workers Exposed to Hazards Relating to Wildfires

A high heat advisory for employers with outdoor workers in Central and Southern California has been issued by Cal/OSHA. With temperatures rising and more than 10 active wildfire incidents in California, Cal/OSHA is also advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke and other possible concerns. Cal/OSHA … Continue Reading

California’s Hotel Housekeeping Standard: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

California’s long-awaited standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention” is finally here, coming into effect for California hotels and other lodging establishments on July 1, 2018. The standard is designed to control the risk of musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers.  The standard applies to “lodging establishments,” such as hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns. … Continue Reading

Employers Required to Post Transgender Rights in the Workplace Posters

Effective January 1, 2018, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) requires employers with 5 or more employees to post Transgender Rights in the Workplace Posters which may be accessed here. The posting obligation is not met by prior versions of the poster. The Transgender Rights in the Workplace poster provides information regarding transgender … Continue Reading

Pending California Legislation Alert! Recently Introduced Bill Seeks to Protect Medicinal Marijuana Users from Employment Discrimination in California

Although both medicinal and now recreational consumption of marijuana have been legalized in California, this legalization did not impact an employer’s right to discipline or even terminate employees for marijuana use. That could change for medical marijuana users if a bill pending before the California legislature becomes law.  To read the rest of this article, … Continue Reading

Surge of ICE Raids Expected in California Following State Adoption of Immigration Laws

California seems to be at odds with the Trump Administration over many subjects, including the legalization of marijuana, the expansion of off-shore drilling, the elimination of state and local tax deductions, and immigration. The most recent clash over immigration began with the passage in October of “The California Values Act” (CVA) (SB54) and the Immigrant … Continue Reading

Exemption, Not Pre-Emption: California Federal Court Clarifies Meal and Rest Break Rules May Be Exempt From Labor Code Enforcement For Employers With Valid Collective Bargaining Agreements

In a recent decision, Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the United States District Court for the Central District of California clarified an available avenue for employers with collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) to combat the growing trend of wage and hour lawsuits in California. In granting defendant Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.’s (“Kiewit”) motion for summary judgment … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Attorneys’ Fees To Plaintiff Who Proved His Termination Was Substantially Motivated By His Disabilities, But Was Not The Prevailing Party At Trial

In Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc., (E065869, Cal. Ct. App. January 16, 2018), Plaintiff William Bustos and a number of his co-workers were terminated by Global in an economic layoff.  Bustos sued Global alleging his disabilities were a substantial motivating reason for his termination. At trial, the jury awarded Bustos nothing, although the jury answered … Continue Reading

Reminder! California Employers Must Provide Notice of the Federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit

California employers should remember that they must revise their notice to employees regarding the federal Earned Income Tax Notice to include California’s version of it. Effective January 1, 2017, employers must revise their notice to employees regarding the earned income tax credit when issuing W-2 or 1099 forms. For several years, California employers have been … Continue Reading

Obesity Discrimination Claims Allowed to Proceed Under California Law

Is obesity a disability under California law? Are a supervisor’s alleged “fat remarks” sufficient evidence of disability discrimination?  On December 21, 2017, a California Appellate Court published an extensive decision regarding obesity as a disability under California law and issued further guidance on both counts.  To read the rest of this blog, please visit this post on … Continue Reading

A PAGA Case Cannot Stand Without Standing: Court of Appeal Affirms Trial Court’s Dismissal of PAGA Action After the Plaintiff Settles His Individual Labor Code Claims in Arbitration

In Kim v. Reins International California, Inc. (B278642, Cal. Ct. App., December 29, 2017), the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District addressed for the first time the question of whether an employee-plaintiff, who had settled and dismissed his individual claims under the Labor Code against his employer, was able to maintain a representative action … Continue Reading

It’s Cut and Dry: Ninth Circuit Adopts “Primary Beneficiary” Analysis, Concludes Cosmetology and Hair Design Students Were Interns, Not Employees

Former students at a cosmetology and hair design school with locations in California and Nevada were interns and not employees entitled to wages under the FLSA or state law, the Ninth Circuit has held.  Benjamin v. B&H Education, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25672 (9th Cir. Dec. 19, 2017).  To read more please visit this article … Continue Reading

New California Disability and Leave Laws – Are You Ready for 2018?

With the turn of the year comes a wave of new California disability and leave laws.  Employers should review their existing policies and procedures to determine if they will be in compliance with these new laws—many of which will go into effect on January 1:  To read more please visit this article at our Disability, … Continue Reading

DLSE Reverses Its Position on California Rest Breaks

In November 2017, the California Labor Commissioner’s office, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”), published updated guidance on employer provided paid 10-minute rest breaks.  Specifically, the DLSE maintains that employees must be relieved of all duty during rest breaks, and now has taken the position that employees must be permitted to travel off-site during their … Continue Reading

SB 306 Expands Labor Commissioner’s Powers to Enforce Anti-Retaliation Laws

Effective January 1, 2018, Senate Bill 306 amends Labor Code § 98.7 and adds Labor Code §§ 98.74, 1102.61 and 1102.62 to provide the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) with expanded authority to enforce the retaliation provisions of the Labor Code. Specifically: The Labor Commissioner will be authorized to conduct an investigation of an … Continue Reading

California to Hold Direct Contractors Jointly Liable for Subcontractor’s Unpaid Wages and Fringe Benefits

Beginning with contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, direct (general) contractors in California will be held jointly liable for their subcontractors’ unpaid employee wages, fringe benefit or other benefit payments or contributions under Assembly Bill 1701, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 14th. This joint liability requirement is codified…… … Continue Reading

California Shields Workers from Immigration Enforcement While On The Job

Effective January 1, 2018, new obligations will be imposed on California employers to shield their employees from immigration enforcement efforts in the workplace. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 450 along with Senate Bill 54, a “sanctuary state” legislation that limits California state and local law enforcement agencies’ authority to hold, question, and transfer individuals at … Continue Reading

California Adds ‘Transgender,’ ‘Gender Nonconforming Individuals’ to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors

Employers subject to California’s mandatory sexual harassment training requirement for supervisors will need to ensure their programs include prevention of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation following an amendment (SB 396) to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 396 into law. … Continue Reading
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