California has become the third state in the country, after New York and Oregon, to ban sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace directed toward unpaid interns.

The new law (AB 1443) extends workplace harassment and discrimination protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to unpaid interns, volunteers, and individuals in apprenticeship training programs. It will go into effect January 1, 2015.
Continue Reading California Law Protects Unpaid Interns and Volunteers from Harassment and Discrimination

An amendment to the California data breach notification statute requires companies that experience a data breach to include information in the notification that if identity theft prevention and mitigation services are provided, they must be provided for at least 12 months to affected persons at no cost if the breach exposed or may have exposed certain personal information. This is the first time any state has imposed such mandates. The new law, AB 1710, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 30, 2014, also expands the application of safeguard requirements for personal information and further prohibits certain uses and disclosures of Social Security numbers. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2015.

New Identity Theft, Credit Monitoring Notification Mandates

Currently, California and 46 other states require entities that own or license certain personal information to notify individuals whose personal information has been involved in a data breach. No state has broadly required entities with a breach notification obligation to provide credit monitoring services or “identity theft prevention and mitigation services” to affected persons. Of course, many companies have provided such services, and State Attorneys General have urged businesses to extend such services.
Continue Reading California Becomes First State to Require Credit Monitoring Services Information Following a Data Breach

The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014).

The

AB 2053 (click for California new law) was recently signed into law which requires California employers to update their AB 1825 training programs to include “Abusive Conduct.”

For purposes of the new law, “abusive conduct” means conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive,

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from the risk of heat illness, as temperatures in parts of Southern California climb into the upper 90s today and will continue to rise through the weekend and into early next week.

“California’s heat illness standards are the strongest in the country, and we will

With the enactment of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB1522), California has become the second state in the nation, after Connecticut, to mandate employers provide their employees, including part-time and temporary workers, paid sick leave.

The Act, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2014, requires that  employers, public

In a recent opinion with important implications for California businesses, the California Supreme Court held that franchisors are not vicariously liable for the conduct of employees managed by its franchisees.

In Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, et al., the plaintiff, a service employee at a Southern California Domino’s Pizza franchise, alleged that she had been sexually harassed by her supervisor, the store’s Assistant Manager.  She asserted claims against the alleged harasser, the franchisee, and Domino’s Pizza, the franchisor, alleging that, although she (and the alleged harasser) formally were employed by the franchisee, the franchisor was vicariously liable for her injuries.  More specifically, she argued that because the franchisor exercised extensive control over the franchisee’s operations, the franchisee was an “agent” of the franchisor and the franchisor was an “employer” of the franchisee’s employees, subjecting the franchisor to liability for injuries arising out of the employees’ performance of their job duties. 
Continue Reading California High Court Rules that Franchisors are Not Liable for Workplace Injuries Inflicted By Franchisees’ Employees

Employers with at least 50 full-time employees in the San Francisco Bay Area must offer commuter benefits, such as payments for commuter transit passes made with employees’ pre-tax earnings, to any employee who works at least 20 hours per week no later than September 30, 2014.

Covered employers also must communicate commuter benefits information to employees, designate a commuter benefits coordinator, and register with the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (“CBP”). The CBP is a pilot program that will be effective until December 2016. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (“Air District”) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (“MTC”) are authorized to adopt and implement the CBP.

Covered Employers

The CBP applies to all public, private, or nonprofit entities that employ at least 50 full-time employees per week in the San Francisco Bay Area
Continue Reading San Francisco Bay Area Employers Must Provide Commuter Benefits by September 30th

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., No. S196568 (Cal. June 26, 2014), the California Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration law did not preempt California law extending employee protections and remedies “regardless of immigration status,” except to the extent it authorized damages for any period after the employer’s discovery of an employee’s ineligibility

A clause delegating to an arbitrator the authority to decide questions of an arbitration agreement’s enforceability was not unconscionable under California law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Malone v. Superior Court, No. B253891 (Cal. Ct. App. June 17, 2014). The Court affirmed an order enforcing the delegation clause and compelling arbitration. Significantly,