Photo of Brooke Purcell

On April 14, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO).  Mayor London Breed signed the ordinance into law on April 17, 2020, making it effective immediately.  The PHELO was created in an effort to fill the gap left by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Continue Reading San Francisco Surpasses Other Jurisdictions and Enacts Expansive COVID-19 Related Paid Sick Leave

In an effort to fill the gap left by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the San Jose City Council unanimously passed the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (“Ordinance”) on April 7, 2020.  The Ordinance requires covered businesses operating in San Jose to provide Covered Employees with at least 80 hours of paid leave for uses related to COVID-19.
Continue Reading Additional Paid Leave for Some San Jose Employees Under the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Albert Einstein believed “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The Ninth Circuit seems to agree. In Gilberg v. Cal. Check Cashing Stores, LLC, No. 17-16263, 2019 WL 347027 (Ninth Cir. Jan. 29, 2019), the Ninth Circuit held a single form combining nearly identical federal and state disclosures violates both federal and state laws. Employers who conduct pre-employment background checks must now provide applicants with two separate standalone forms: (1) disclosure and consent under Fair Credit Reporting Act; and (2) disclosure and consent under California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (or other applicable state law). This decision applies to employees providing services in the Ninth Circuit (California, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington).
Continue Reading Complicating Simplicity: Ninth Circuit Requires Separate Stand-Alone Documents for Employment Background Checks

In a welcome departure from its recent practice, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently issued its first new opinion letters in almost ten years. In addition to issuing three new opinion letters earlier this month, on January 5, 2018, WHD reissued seventeen opinion letters previously withdrawn under the Obama administration.

The resurrection of this practice offers employers a useful tool to ensure compliance with federal employment laws. Prior to the Obama administration, the WHD had a longstanding practice of issuing opinion letters in response to inquiries from employers concerning the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other laws enforced by the WHD. These letters have traditionally provided guidance to both employers and employees concerning compliance with the laws and regulations under WHD’s purview. Significantly, for employers, good faith reliance upon WHD’s opinion letters can provide a defense to potential claims of a violation of the FLSA or other laws under the WHD’s jurisdiction.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Offers Employers Clarity By Resuming Its Practice of Issuing Opinion Letters