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The California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (Labor Code Section 1400 et seq.) sets forth procedural requirements that a covered employer must follow prior to a mass layoff, relocation, or termination.  On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-20, concerning COVID-19 and the conditional suspension of certain requirements under California WARN.  The Order can be found here, and you can read our prior analysis about the Order’s effect on commercial drivers here.  Governor Newsom ordered the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to provide guidance about the suspension of the WARN requirements.
Continue Reading California Issues Guidance on Conditional Suspension of California WARN Act Notice Requirements

Massachusetts issued a revised Essential Services and Revised Gatherings Order that goes into effect at noon on March 24, 2020.  The Order is set forth here.  The Order requires that all businesses and organizations that do NOT provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” are to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public from Tuesday March 24, 2020 at noon until Tuesday April 7, 2020 at noon.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Statewide Essential Services and Revised Gathering Order: What Employers Need to Know

Ohio issued a Stay at Home Order that goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020.  It will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless rescinded or modified.  The Order is set forth here.  Like many other states, the Order generally includes the following directives:
Continue Reading Ohio’s Statewide Stay At Home Order: What Employers Need to Know

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 226.7(c) actually mean? In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, a 2-1 majority of the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s holding that in paying meal period and rest break premiums, the regular rate of compensation is equal to one hour of the employee’s base hourly wage and is not synonymous with the “regular rate of pay” used to calculate overtime payments. This clarification is important to every employer in California.
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

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, which imposes personal liability for certain wage and hour violations. Specifically, Section 558.1 states that “[a]ny employer or person acting on behalf of an employer, who violates, or causes to be violated,” provisions regulating wages or hours, may be held personally liable “as the employer.” Section 558.1 expressly defines “employer or other person acting on behalf of an employer” to include a “natural person who is an owner, director, officer, or managing agent of the employer.” Accordingly, potentially any managing agent who “causes” a wage and hour Labor Code provision to be violated could be held personally liable. While the passing of Section 558.1 caused uproar over the imposition of personal liability for wage and hour violations, the California Court of Appeal recently clarified that even in the absence of this new section, the labor code imposes personal liability.
Continue Reading Managers Beware: Can you be held personally liable for wage and hour violations?

In AHMC Healthcare, Inc. v. Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, extended a prior line of California cases holding that California law follows federal law with respect to evaluating the lawfulness of time clock rounding systems. You can read our prior article about See’s Candy Shops I here. Specifically, California follows 29 C.F.R. § 785.48, which permits employers to compute employee worktime by rounding “to the nearest 5 minutes, or the nearest one-tenth or quarter of an hour,” so long as the rounding system adopted by the employer “is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked.”
Continue Reading California Court Reaffirms And Extends Rounding Rules

Many employers rely on pre-dispute arbitration agreements to resolve employment litigation in private arbitration rather than in court. However, two recent bipartisan bills introduced in Congress may change the employment litigation landscape.
Continue Reading The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act May Apply To More Than Sexual Harassment

Governor Brown recently approved Senate Bill No. 836, which amends the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) in a few minor technical ways, including new filing and notice requirements.  Although employers had hoped for substantive changes following the Governor’s initial budget proposal which expressly acknowledged that “employers are being sued and incurring substantial costs defending against technical or frivolous claims,” the enacted amendments fail to deliver any major gains for employers.  SB 836 amends PAGA in four main ways:
Continue Reading New PAGA Amendments Fail to Substantively Address Employers’ Concerns

On October 11, 2015, Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill No. 465. AB 465 was one of the most closely watched, controversial employment related bills passed by the California Legislature in recent memory. Understandably, employers were nervous by the bill’s potential implications.
Continue Reading California Employers Exhale Relief, Governor Vetoes Ban on Employment Arbitration Agreement

On February 10, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced another one-year delay for a portion of businesses covered by the Employer Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (also known as the “ACA” or “ObamaCare”). Specifically, otherwise-covered entities with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not have to comply with the Mandate until January 1, 2016. Meanwhile, employers with 100 or more full-time employees now only will need to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015. However, all covered employers will be required to offer coverage to the previously mandated 95 percent of full-time employees beginning in 2016.
Continue Reading ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate is Delayed for Another Year Until 2016 for Businesses with Less Than 100 Full-Time Employees and is Modified for Larger Businesses Too

On December 31, 2013, in Vasquez v. Franklin Management Real Estate Fund, Inc., the California Court of Appeal held that a maintenance technician, who alleged that he was constructively discharged in violation of public policy when his employer refused to reimburse gas mileage, pleaded facts sufficient to support a cause of action.  Accordingly, the appellate court held that the trial court abused its discretion by sustaining the employer’s demurrer without leave to amend.  While at first glance, employers may shudder at the expansion of constructive discharge claims, the case actually has a narrow, fact-specific holding.
Continue Reading New Decision Examines the Scope of Constructive Discharge