The 2017 California Legislature adjourned on September 15, 2017, and resulted in more than 700 bills being sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. Although the deadline for the Governor to sign new bills into law does not officially expire until October 15, the Governor has already given his stamp of approval to a handful of new employment laws that will take effect on January 1, 2018, including one from the California Chamber of Commerce’s annual list of “Job Killers.” Below is a summary of the major bills recently signed into law.
Continue Reading 5 New Laws: California Governor Approves Employee-Friendly Laws

Just days after Cook County passed its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on October 5, 2016, several Cook County suburbs began the process of opting out of the law.  So far, four have successfully done so.  On November 15, 2016, Barrington was the first to pass its own municipal ordinance opting out of Cook County’s Ordinance, which requires all employers in Cook County to allow eligible employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year.  Oak Forest, Rosemont, and Bedford Park passed their own opt-out ordinances on December 13, December 15, 2016, and January 12, 2017, respectively.
Continue Reading The Continued Uncertainty of Paid Sick Leave Laws

On December 20, 2016, in a 9-4 vote, the Washington, D.C. Council passed bill B21-0415, The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015.  The bill establishes a universal paid leave system for individuals who work in the District of Columbia (“the District” or “D.C.”) and businesses operating in D.C.  It will be effective after Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature, inaction, or, if vetoed, a Council override, and a 30-day Congressional review.
Continue Reading D.C. Council Passes Expansive Family and Medical Leave Bill

Last month, Cook County passed an ordinance requiring employers in the County to provide eligible employees with certain paid sick leave benefits.  The ordinance largely mirrors a recent amendment to the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance, which was passed in July 2016.  Both are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017, and a new Illinois law pertaining to sick pay benefits is set to take effect on January 1, 2017.

Cook County’s ordinance applies to employees throughout the county except where a home rule municipality has passed its own sick leave law. So far, Chicago is the only home rule municipality in the County to have done so, although some other cities in Cook County have expressed an intent to potentially opt out of the ordinance. In addition to these two new ordinances, the state of Illinois has also passed a new law that extends sick pay benefits to family members of employees.


Continue Reading Dissecting New Sick Leave Laws in Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago

In Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, the California Court of Appeal held that California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) – which requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities – now requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees who are associated with a disabled person.  This is an unprecedented decision and will likely to be appealed.  Until that time, employers should train supervisors to seek assistance from human resources when making accommodations decisions, and to treat any such decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Continue Reading Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express: The Reasonable Accommodation of an Employee’s Family

April 2016 has proven fruitful for California employees.  Last month, Governor Brown approved a series of gradual increases raising the statewide minimum wage rate in California to at least $15.00 by 2022.  A week later the Governor approved Assembly Bill No. 908, which revises the income-based formula to calculate benefits for a leave of absence covered by either California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) or State Disability Income (SDI) programs for leave periods commencing on or after January 1, 2018. 
Continue Reading Onward and Upward – California’s Minimum Wage And Paid Family Leave Benefits Set To Increase Substantially Over The Next Few Years

This month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance that provides six weeks of parental leave for bonding with a new child at 100% of the employee’s rate of pay (subject to certain caps).  The ordinance which will take effect beginning January 1, 2017, will make San Francisco the first U.S. city to require employer-paid parental leave.
Continue Reading San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City To Require Employer-Funded Paid Parental Leave

This past year New Jersey state and local legislatures implemented several employment laws that are set to take effect at the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This update summarizes these new legal requirements to help New Jersey employers prepare and comply in 2016.
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New Jersey

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016.  Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as safe harbors, cure provisions, and employer incentives for reclassification of certain independent contractors.  This update highlights key provisions in some of the new laws taking effect January 1, 2016.  Links to the statutes are provided.
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown approved AB 304 Sick Leave: Accrual and Limitations, which amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (i.e., Sections 245.5, 246, and 247.5 of the California Labor Code).  These amendments took effect immediately upon signature.  The following is a summary of the key amendments to the law, most of which clarify what is required by the law.
Continue Reading California Paid Sick Leave Law Amended, Effective Immediately