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

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

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

California has many requirements for the content of an employee wage statement, including this year’s new requirements for employees paid by a piece rate. Employees paid by piece rates must be separately compensated for rest and recovery periods and, where the employee does not earn at least minimum wage in addition to the piece rate, must be separately paid for non-productive time.  The amount of time for these periods, the applicable rates of pay, and gross wages for these periods is required to be on the wage statement. 
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The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 in favor of a proposed ordinance that would permit Los Angeles workers to earn at least six paid sick leave days annually. The new paid sick leave entitlement would double the mandatory minimum under California’s statewide paid sick leave law.

The proposed ordinance, which still needs to be drafted by the City Attorney’s Office before final approval, would take effect July 1, 2016. Businesses with 25 employees or fewer would have an additional year to comply with the new requirement.

In general, an employee would be entitled to the paid sick leave if, on or after July 1, 2016, the employee works in the City of Los Angeles for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year.  
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In Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., decided April 4, 2016, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are associated with a person with disabilities.

Plaintiff Luis Castro-Ramirez’s son was in need of a kidney transplant, required daily dialysis, and Ramirez was the only member of his family capable of operating the dialysis machine.  Ramirez drove a delivery truck for Dependable Highway Express, Inc. (DHE).  When he began his employment in 2010, he informed his supervisor that he needed to be assigned schedules that would permit him to be home in the evening to administer his son’s dialysis. 
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In 2004, California enacted the nation’s first paid family leave program, offering up to six weeks of paid leave to workers who need to care for a new baby or an ill family member.  The program was financed through disability insurance taxes paid by employees through payroll withholdings.  The 2004 program paid 55 percent of the employee’s wages, up to a set maximum of about $1,100 per week.
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On April 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court took a stand by issuing a long-awaited opinion in Kirby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc.  The decision clarifies certain ambiguities in an employer’s obligation to provide suitable seating to employees.  At issue was a provision in California’s Wage Orders that requires employers to provide all employees “with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.”  The Court held that “nature of the work” refers to the task performed at a given location where the employee is claiming a right to a suitable seat, instead of a holistic approach.  The Court also adopted a “totality of the circumstances” test to assess whether a work location “reasonably permits” suitable seating.

Background

Kirby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. arises from a putative class actions filed by a cashier and bank teller. The plaintiffs alleged their employer violated the suitable seating provision in various California Wage Orders by failing to provide seats. The plaintiffs appealed unfavorable district court decisions to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Ninth Circuit requested clarification from the California Supreme Court on the proper interpretation of three areas of the suitable seating provision, including the meaning of “nature of work” and “reasonably permits,” and who bears the burden to show suitable seating is available.
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California’s unfriendly business environment took another unprecedented step this week, with Governor Jerry Brown raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2022.  Governor Brown signed SB 3 into law on April 4, 2016. 

The new law annually increases the state minimum wage starting January 2017.  California’s minimum wage currently is $10.00 per hour.  California employers opposed the bill arguing the minimum wage increases will make it even more difficult for in-state producers to compete with out-of-state employers; employer advocacy groups also argued the bill will result in more employers leaving the state. 
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