The California Court of Appeal in Meda v. AutoZone, Inc. recently reversed a trial court’s finding that an employer demonstrated it “provided” seats to its employees as a matter of law under California’s suitable seating requirement. This rule stems from subdivision 14(A) of the Wage Orders, which provides that California employers must provide suitable seats to employees “when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” In Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 63 Cal. 4th 1 (2016), the California Supreme Court set forth the fact-intensive framework and multiple factors in analyzing whether the “nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seat,” triggering the employer’s obligation to provide suitable seats. However, no published California authority had considered what steps employers must take to “provide” seats under subdivision 14(A).
Harrison Thorne is an Associate in the Labor & Employment group in the firm's Los Angeles office.
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.…
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 September 9, 2021, California’s Court of Appeal issued an important decision in Wesson v. Staples The Office Superstore, LLC (“Wesson”), holding that trial courts have discretion to strike claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) when a trial of the action would be unmanageable. Unless the California Supreme Court grants review, Wesson will be binding upon California state courts and federal district courts.
Continue Reading Manageability – a New Weapon to Stave Off Unmanageable PAGA Claims
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)—the agency tasked with enforcing federal labor laws—was deputized by Congress in 1972 with authority to bring lawsuits against employers for violating anti-discrimination laws and retaliating against employees. Since then, the agency has made a concerted and aggressive effort to challenge, among other things, standard clauses in separation agreements that have the potential to chill former employees’ participation in legal actions against their former employers, including non-cooperation and covenant not to sue clauses. This concern is especially salient in the age of COVID-19, where many employers are using separation agreements at a breakneck pace due to the unprecedented rate of employee layoffs, and EEOC enforcement actions may be just around the corner.
Continue Reading Employee Separation Agreements Likely to Face Increased EEOC Scrutiny
On September 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1947 into law. Effective January 1, 2021, AB 1947 will, among other things, authorize courts to award attorneys’ fees to whistleblowers who prevail against employers under Labor Code section 1102.5. This amendment will likely incentivize employees (and their lawyers) to bring retaliation claims against California employers. For our previous analysis of this bill, click here.
Continue Reading Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuits Are About to Become More Expensive in California