California Legislative Update

On October 10, 2023, California Governor Newsom signed into law S.B. 365, a bill that amends California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1294. The new law provides that when a party appeals an order denying a motion to compel arbitration (an order which is immediately appealable), the trial court is not obligated to stay the action during the pendency of the appeal. The law marks a major shift in California civil procedure law.Continue Reading New California Law Prohibits Automatic Stay of Trial Court Action When Appealing Denial of a Motion to Compel Arbitration

Major changes are coming to the Minor League. In April, Major League Baseball (MLB) players and owners voted to ratify a historic collective bargaining agreement that, for the first time in history, covers Minor League players. MLB owners voted unanimously to ratify the agreement on April 3, following a March 31 vote in which more than 99 percent of Minor League players voted to ratify the agreement. The five-year agreement, which was negotiated by MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA), more than doubles the salaries at all Minor League levels and provides that Minor League players will be paid almost year-round.Continue Reading A Major Deal for the Minor League: California Bill Paves the Way for Historic Collective Bargaining Agreement for Minor League Baseball

The Bill

The Expansion of California Family Rights Act, AB 1041, was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2022. AB 1041 expands the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to include a “designated person.” AB 1041 also expands the term “family member” under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (“HWHFA”), which governs paid sick day leave, to include “designated person.”Continue Reading Who Is a “Designated Person”? Changes to California’s Medical Leave

In February 2022, California enacted Senate Bill (“SB”) 114, which created California Labor Code section 248.6 to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“CSPSL”) to covered employees. CSPSL was due to expire on September 30, 2022. On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 152, which (1) extends CSPSL through December 31, 2022, (2) provides employers the ability to require an additional diagnostic test before employees use CSPSL in certain circumstances, and (3) creates a grant program to assist qualified small business and nonprofits with grants for costs incurred for CSPSL provided in 2022.Continue Reading California Immediately Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through 2022

In a last minute whirlwind of activity by California’s Legislature, a significant number of employment-related bills have now made their way to Governor Newsom’s desk and await their fate. Below are highlights of some of the bills that may affect California employers, should Governor Newsom sign them into law.Continue Reading What’s on Deck With Governor Newsom? Employment-Related Bills That May Soon Impact California Employers

We previously described the “framework” for an agreement to reinstate California’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.  Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 114 into law on February 9, 2022.  The specifics of the bill are summarized below.

Author’s Note: The prior version of this article noted SB 114 required employers to list the amount of CSPSL used by an employee during a given pay period.  SB 114 can be interpreted to require that wage statements list both available and used CSPSL.  The wage statement section has been updated to reflect best practices in light of the ambiguity in the law.Continue Reading California Reinstates COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On January 25, 2022, Governor Gavin Newson announced a “framework” for an agreement to reactivate California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“COVID PSL”) law for the period from January 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022.  California employers should assume this agreement will become law in some form and prepare accordingly to re-institute supplemental paid sick leave for their California employees in the near term.
Continue Reading California Likely to Soon Implement COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, Retroactive to January 1, 2022

On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued binding guidance requiring all Californians statewide to mask indoors irrespective of vaccination status. The new guidance supersedes California’s current guidance, which only requires masks for individuals on public transit and in K-12 schools and childcare facilities, emergency shelters and cooling centers, healthcare settings, state and local correctional facilities and detention centers, homeless shelters, long term care settings, adult and senior care facilities, and for unvaccinated individuals in all indoor public settings and businesses. The new guidance will go into effect on December 15, 2021, and will continue through at least January 15, 2022.
Continue Reading California Department of Public Health Requires Universal Indoor Masking Through January

In 2018, California passed Senate Bill 820, the STAND Act (Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure Act), in response to the #MeToo movement.  SB 820 prohibited the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements where the underlying claims were based upon sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex.  The law did not extend to claims based upon other protected characteristics.  Therefore, a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement could not prevent an individual from discussing the factual information related to sexual harassment or sex discrimination allegedly experienced in the workplace, but could preclude an individual from discussing factual information related to harassment or discrimination based upon any other protected characteristic (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.).  You can read our prior blog article here.
Continue Reading California’s SB 331 Extends Sweeping Changes to Workplace Settlement and Separation Agreements

On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 646 (“SB 646”), which creates a limited exception from the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) for certain janitorial employees performing work under a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). SB 646 will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Continue Reading California Legislature and Governor Approves New PAGA Carve-Out

On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 62, also known as the Garment Worker Protection Act, into law.  SB 62 makes California the first state to require an hourly minimum wage for garment workers by banning piece rate pay.  SB 62 expands the definition of a garment manufacturer and extends the scope of liability for wage and hour violations to clothing brands—and likely some retailers.  Under SB 62, “any person contracting for the performance of garment manufacturing” is joint and severally liable with any of their manufacturers and contractors, thus creating upstream responsibility for unpaid wages, attorney’s fees, and civil penalties arising from Labor Code violations.  Although the new law does not become effective until January 1, 2022, companies that contract or subcontract for garment manufacturing, or have employees who perform garment manufacturing functions in California, should begin familiarizing themselves with SB 62 and determining whether/how it affects their business.
Continue Reading California Passes Law Establishing New Wage and Hour Requirements for Employers in the Garment Industry