Category Archives: California Employment Legislation

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Priority Hiring Required for Laid Off Workers of Covered Employers in Los Angeles

On April 29, 2020, the City of Los Angeles issued a new ordinance, entitled “COVID-19 Right of Recall,” that requires covered employers in Los Angeles to offer priority hiring for laid off rank and file workers, and to allow those workers 5 business days to accept or deny the offer of employment.  Specifically, covered employers … Continue Reading

Los Angeles County and City Ban Gatherings and Order Immediate Closure of “Nonessential” Businesses in an Effort to Curb COVID-19: What You Need to Know About L.A.’s Safe At Home Orders

On March 19, 2020, Los Angeles County and City officials issued separate orders which significantly restrict public mobility and business operation in Los Angeles in an effort to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.… Continue Reading

The Cost and Burden of Discovery for California Employers Will Likely Increase in 2020

A new change to California’s Civil Discovery Act has all of the trappings of a burdensome and costly requirement for employer defendants litigating in California state court. In addition to a litany of new California employment laws discussed in prior blog posts, Governor Gavin Newsom also signed into law SB 370, which became effective on … Continue Reading

Back to the Joint Employer: Having Changed the Classification Test for Independent Contractors, Will the California Legislature Target the Joint Employer Test Next?

As reported here and here, California recently enacted new legislation – Assembly Bill 5 – that expanded the scope of an “employee” under state law.  Beginning January 1, 2020, the answer to whether a person providing services in California is an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee) under the California Labor Code, the Industrial … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Clarifies the Monetary Amount for Meal Period, Rest Break, and Recovery Period Premiums, and Affirms an Employer’s Neutral Rounding Policy

On October 9, 2019, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal issued a decision clarifying the rate of pay at which an employer must pay meal period, rest break, and recovery period premiums. More specifically, the appellate court answered the question: what does the “regular rate of compensation” in Labor Code Section … Continue Reading

AB 1291 Forces California Cannabis Companies To Sign “Labor Peace Agreements” With Unions, But Statute May be Unconstitutional

On October 12, 2019, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1291 (“AB 1291”) into law, which requires companies to sign a so-called “labor peace” agreement with a union or risk losing their cannabis license; thereby, strengthening already union-friendly statewide cannabis law. AB 1291 was supported and endorsed by various unions, including the United Food and Commercial … Continue Reading

2020 Vision: California’s New Employment Laws

To close out the 2019 legislative season, Governor Gavin Newsom signed dozens of bills into law, which will have lasting impacts for California employers. In addition to the summaries and clarifications from prior blog posts, below is an overview of key new employment laws.… Continue Reading

A Heads Up On The CROWN Act: Employees’ Natural Hairstyles Now Protected

On July 3, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 188 also known as the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act.  The CROWN Act amends the California Education Code and the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s definition of race to include traits historically associated with race, including hair … Continue Reading

Coming Soon? Expanded Employment Protections for Victims of Sexual Harassment

In a continuing trend that began with the launch of the MeToo Movement, the California legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 171, another proposed law designed to expand safeguards for employees who have been the victims of sexual harassment. This latest measure follows California’s enactment of a new law in 2017, which, as we discussed in … Continue Reading

California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Remain Preempted by Federal Law . . . For Now

Signaling another positive development for interstate motor carriers operating in California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California (the “Central District”) recently dismissed a truck driver’s claims that motor carrier U.S. Xpress failed to provide a class of drivers with legally required meal and rest periods compliant with California law. See, … Continue Reading

“Panic Button” Laws Make Their Way Across The U.S.

Last August, we wrote about a Chicago ordinance requiring hotel employers to, among other things, equip hotel employees assigned to work in guestrooms or restrooms with portable emergency contact devices. The emergency contact devices, referred to as “panic buttons,” may be used to summon help if the employee reasonably believes that an ongoing crime, sexual … Continue Reading

No Rest For The Weary – California Employment Legislation Update

California lawmakers passed over a dozen employment-related bills last year that imposed new or different obligations on California employers. Just as employers may be finally settling into the new world order and getting into compliance with the litany of new laws, there are two new legislative updates that employers must be aware of. These new … Continue Reading

California Legislature Amends Section 1542: Are Employer Settlement Agreements Now More Vulnerable to Attack?

On January 1, 2019, California’s Senate Bill No. 1431 went into effect, making a slight, but potentially significant amendment to Civil Code Section 1542. The prior version of the statute read: “A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at … Continue Reading

Managers Beware: Can you be held personally liable for wage and hour violations?

After two years, California courts are finally putting California’s “A Fair Day’s Pay Act” (the “Act”) to the test. While intended to help employees collect judgments against employers that are judgment proof, the Act created potential personal liability for an employer’s owners, directors, officers, and managing agents. Indeed, the Act added Labor Code Section 558.1, … Continue Reading

#MeToo Changes the Face of Sexual Harassment Litigation for Employers

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, companies have been forced to re-examine how they litigate and settle allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Specifically, companies are facing increasing criticism if they compel claims of sexual harassment to private arbitration or force employees who allege sexual harassment to sign settlement agreements with confidentiality clauses, … Continue Reading

New Wave of Employment Bills Signed into Law

On Sunday, September 30, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of bills that will have a significant impact on litigation and legal counseling in the employment context. Many of the new laws are a response to the traction gained by the “me-too” movement and are summarized herein.… Continue Reading

New California Law Puts an End to Secret Sexual Harassment Settlements

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prohibits a provision in settlement agreements that prevents the disclosure of information pertaining to sexual harassment and sex discrimination. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2019, and serves as an extension of the already-existing law that prohibits provisions in settlement … Continue Reading

Court Expands Reach of California PAGA Representative Actions

The California Court of Appeals recently decided a new case potentially expanding the scope and impact of Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims brought by an employee against his employer. In Huff v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., the court posed the question of “whether a plaintiff who brings a representative action under PAGA may … Continue Reading

California Legislature Introduces Bill That Could Result In Massive Penalties For Employers For Late Payment of Wages

Currently working its way through the California Legislature is AB 2613, a potentially massive expansion of liability on employers and individuals for underpayment of wages. AB 2613 seeks to amend the California Labor Code in three separate ways. First, Labor Code Section 210 would be amended to provide that an employer “or other person acting … Continue Reading

It’s High Time to Update Your Marijuana Policies

The legalization of recreational use of marijuana in several states, including California, has left many employment policies vague and confused. This article offers insights to questions every employer should be asking in light of legalization. California’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“Prop 64”) on November 8, 2016, … Continue Reading

New Year, New Minimum Wage Rates in California

Beginning January 1, 2018, the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 26 or more employees will be $11.00 per hour and the new California minimum wage rate for employers with 25 or fewer employees will be $10.50 per hour. As we previously reported, effective January 1, 2017, the California state minimum wage began … Continue Reading

Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of Dollar Tree in Electronic Wage Statement Class Action

On November 7, 2017, after a four-day trial, a federal jury in Los Angeles, California returned a verdict in favor of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. in a class action filed against the company by former employee Francisca Guillen. The case was pending in the Central District of California before Hon. Michael W. Fitzgerald.… Continue Reading
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