On June 23, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an emergency ordinance temporarily creating a right to reemployment for certain employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance, titled “Back to Work” emergency ordinance, requires that as certain employers reopen,  they must first seek to rehire the employee who previously held

Soon after San Jose passed its supplemental paid sick leave ordinance to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it issued further guidance regarding the leave. The Director of the Office of Equality Assurance, the office charged with enforcement of the emergency ordinance, has also issued an opinion letter to provide additional information.

The opinion letter addresses

San Francisco remains at the forefront of COVID-19 related relief to those employees who work within the City and County limits.  Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has continued this effort and passed the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO).  PHELO is an emergency ordinance set to temporarily require private employers with 500

Two California cities, San Francisco and San Jose adopted emergency ordinances to expand paid sick leave and emergency Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave benefits.  The ordinances cover gaps under federal law by expanding leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to employers with more than 500 employees.

The ordinances cover most

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

Last week, in Thomsen v. Georgia-Pacific Corrugated, LLC, a federal district court in California held that an employer might have violated its obligations under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) when it simply told an employee to return to his doctor to obtain a note outlining additional work restrictions.   The Court held that a reasonable jury could find that the employer was obligated to do more than tell the Plaintiff to go back to his physician and get a new doctor’s note, especially because evidence suggested it would have been possible to respond to some of Plaintiff’s concerns without a new doctor’s note.

The Facts

Plaintiff worked as a cut-and-die operator at a corrugated container plant. In May 2012, Plaintiff injured his shoulder at work, went on workers’ compensation leave, and returned to work eight months later after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder.
Continue Reading Employee Who Failed to Provide Additional Doctor Notes to Support New Restrictions May Still Survive Summary Judgment

This week, in Aro v. Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc., California Court of Appeal affirmed an intentional infliction of emotional distress award in favor of two employees who were pressured into taking a random, “on-demand” drug test.

The facts

Prior to the drug test at issue, the employer provided employees a revised 2011 employee manual stating, in pertinent part, that the Company reserves the right to test employees for the use of illegal drugs or alcohol where an employee’s job carriers a risk of injury or accident, or after an accident or probable cause. The Plaintiffs were provided the revised handbook containing the drug test policy by e-mail. However, when they asked what changes were made to the handbook, management advised that they should read it and “figure it out” themselves.
Continue Reading Employer to Pay for Emotional Distress Triggered by Random Workplace Drug Testing

A divided Ninth Circuit court ruled this week that California’s protections against contracts restraining employment were not explicitly limited to non-compete agreements.  Rather, the law can apply to any type of employment agreement, including settlement agreements.

In Donald Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group et al., case number 12-16514, the employer and employee entered into a proposed settlement agreement.  The no-employment provision in the settlement agreement states that the employee will not continue to be employed at any of the employer’s current facilities, or at any other facility with which the employer may contract in the future.  The employee appealed and sought to “un-do” the settlement agreement based on this clause.
Continue Reading California Court Rules On Protections Against Contracts: Why You Should Review Your Form Agreements Today