As the number of confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”) in the U.S. continues to rise, employers must prepare for issues that will inevitably arise as the virus spreads.  While the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) currently advises that “most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure,” it is prudent for employers to evaluate their organizations’ current policies and practices in the event a major outbreak occurs.  Some issues to consider include the following: Continue Reading What Employers Need To Know To Prepare For Coronavirus

On September 13, 2019, the California Senate and Assembly unanimously passed an amendment to the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) that places onerous obligations on employers and entitles employees to statutory damages for data breaches.  The landmark measure—AB 25—awaits Governor Newsom’s signature (or veto).  Regardless of whether AB 25 is signed into law, CCPA applies to employee data and employers have until January 1, 2020 to comply.  This article explores how the California Consumer Privacy Act impacts existing employee privacy rights and how employers can begin to develop a holistic privacy compliance program.

Continue Reading Employee Privacy by Design: Guidance for Employers Beginning to Comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act

On June 4, 2019, the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District issued an unpublished opinion in Krista Townley v. BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. holding that BJ’s Restaurants was not required to reimburse its employees for the cost of black, slip-resistant, closed-toe shoes that BJ’s required its restaurant employees to wear. Due to the lack of California case law addressing the issue, BJ’s requested the opinion be published in the Official Reports. On July 5, 2019, the Court of Appeal granted BJ’s request and ordered the opinion certified for publication. This is the first published opinion in California to adopt the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement’s (“DLSE”) interpretation of a “uniform” and to hold that an employer is not required to reimburse employees for the cost of “non-uniform” work clothing. Matthew Sonne and Jason Guyser of Sheppard Mullin represented BJ’s Restaurants in this matter. Continue Reading Employers Can Now Stand Firmly On Not Paying Employees For The Cost Of Slip-Resistant Shoes

This post originally appeared in Law360 on June 14, 2018.

Earlier this year, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards Board and Office of Administrative Law approved a “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program” that may result in sweeping changes to hospitality employers’ written policies and training practices concerning workplace injuries. The regulations take effect July 1, 2018, and affected employers have until Oct. 1, 2018, to complete their initial “work site evaluation.”

Continue Reading Preparing For New Calif. Hotel Housekeeper Regs

On April 18, President Trump signed a new executive order (EO) at a ceremony in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The EO is entitled “Buy American and Hire American” and focuses on these two themes, with the President’s stated goal of ending the “theft of American prosperity” by focusing on American workers and products. While the details of how the new EO will be applied will undoubtedly take months to implement (pending numerous agency-level reviews), companies doing business with the federal government, or with an interest in foreign high-skill workers, should be aware of these new developments so that they can prepare for the adjustments they will need to make in the near future, as the President’s efforts to put American workers first take shape. Continue Reading Buy American and Hire American – New Executive Order Promises to Put American Workers First, But Practical Impacts Remain Unclear

By Robert D. Rose

DOL’s View

Thomas Spinner was a CPA whose firm provided accounting and audit services to a public company. Spinner’s accounting firm was not publicly-traded. A month after being assigned to audit the pubic company, Spinner was removed and fired. As required by S-O-X, he filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA alleging that his termination was the result of his reporting internal control problems at the customer. A year later, in February 2010, OSHA concluded that Spinner was S-O-X protected, but he would have been terminated regardless of his report.

Continue Reading S-O-X Protects Only Public Company Whistleblowers, Or Does It?

Flu season is upon us. With the recent outbreak of the H1N1 Virus ("Swine Flu") as well as the ever-present seasonal flu, employers must face increased absenteeism by their employees. Much like the regular flu, H1N1 causes fever, sore throat, nausea and fatigue. However, this particular strain of illness is predicted to be particularly dangerous not only for those with preexisting medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes, but also for those under the age of 25, as opposed to the elderly who are normally at highest risk of severe injury or death from the seasonal flu. This means that employers will likely see more of their younger employees affected by the H1N1 virus than from the regular flu.

Continue Reading H1N1 Virus and the Workplace: Will this Year’s Flu Cause a Headache for Employers Too?

In its opinion in Lujan v. Shala Minagar, filed on December 9, 2004 (Appeal No. B170438), the California Court of Appeal ruled that an employer is liable for retaliation in violation of California Labor Code section 6310 when it terminates an employee out of fear that the employee may, in the future, file a workplace safety complaint with a governmental agency, even though the employee never filed a complaint with the agency. Continue Reading Termination for Fear of Complaint is Unlawful Retaliation