California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Employment Policies

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Vacation Policy May Lawfully Require “Waiting Period” Of One Year Before Benefits Begin To Accrue

Minnick v. Automotive Creations, Inc., 13 Cal. App. 5th 1000 (2017) Nathan Minnick, who had worked for only six months before his employment ended, sued his former joint employers under PAGA, alleging their vacation policy violated state law because it required employees who worked for less than one year to forfeit their vested vacation pay. The … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Think About Arbitration Agreements Again Following Recent $15 Million+ Employee Verdicts

Jury panels in the Los Angeles Superior Court (which is often referred to as “The Bank” by the plaintiffs’ bar) have recently delivered multimillion-dollar verdicts to former-employee plaintiffs.  Many employers doing business in California already have insulated themselves from such disasters by adopting comprehensive arbitration regimes, which would require that such cases be heard by a retired … Continue Reading

San Francisco to Bar Employers from Seeking Disclosure of Salary History

San Francisco has become the latest jurisdiction to pass a law restricting employers from inquiring about prior salary history during the hiring process.  The ordinance, which will go into effect on July 1, 2018, will restrict employers from: (i) considering or relying on an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining whether to make … Continue Reading

New Notice Requirement For Domestic Violence Victims’ Rights To Go Into Effect (July 1, 2017)

As we previously blogged, Assembly Bill 2337 (approved by the Governor last fall) will go into effect on July 1, 2017, and California employers will be required to give written notice of workplace rights that must be provided to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Labor Commissioner has just posted a form … Continue Reading

New Transgender Identity and Expression Regulations (July 1, 2017)

In May 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) approved new regulations regarding transgender identity and expression in the workplace. The regulations become effective July 1, 2017. The new rules further expand the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) role in preventing discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of gender … Continue Reading

“100% Healed From Injury” Policies May Violate the CA Fair Employment and Housing Act

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) recently obtained a settlement on behalf of a custodian for a school district who was fired after an on-the-job injury.  As part of the settlement, the employer agreed to pay $290,000 and offer reinstatement with reasonable accommodations. During an investigation by the DFEH, the district told … Continue Reading

Court Properly Dismissed PAGA And Class Action Claims

Silva v. See’s Candy Shops, Inc., 7 Cal. App. 5th 235 (2017) The Court of Appeal held that the trial court properly granted summary judgment to See’s Candy as to the class-certified claims for failure to properly pay wages as a result of the employer’s rounding and grace-period policies, based on expert testimony that employees … Continue Reading

San Jose Passes “Opportunity to Work” Ordinance

San Jose is the third northern California city to enact a scheduling ordinance that further regulates employers’ scheduling and hiring practices.  Following on San Francisco and Emeryville’s lead, San Jose recently passed “The Opportunity to Work Ordinance” (Ordinance No. 2016.1, codified at Chapter 4.101 of the San Jose Municipal Code), which went into effect on February 6, 2017. … Continue Reading

Immigration-Related Protections Expanded

This bill makes it unlawful for an employer to request more or different documents than are required under federal immigration law, to refuse to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine, to refuse to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies … Continue Reading

Additional Workplace Smoking Restrictions

This bill expands the prohibition on smoking in a place of employment to include an owner-operated business. It also eliminates most of the specified exemptions that permit smoking in certain work environments, such as hotel lobbies, bars and taverns, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, and employee break rooms. (ABX2-7.)… Continue Reading

California Prohibits Employers from Considering Juvenile Criminal Convictions

In the past, a California employer could freely inquire about and consider a job applicant’s history of criminal convictions in determining any condition of employment including hiring, promotion, or termination. Although California law prohibited employers from asking about or considering arrests or detentions that did not result in convictions, the law did not impose any restrictions regarding what types of convictions employers could ask about … Continue Reading

California Protects Employees’ Rights to Have Their Claims Heard in the State, Under California Law

In recent years, some employers doing business in the Golden State have required their employees to sign arbitration and employment agreements that require the employee to sue or arbitrate in – or under the law of – another state.  After January 1, 2017, this practice will be illegal unless the employee was represented by legal … Continue Reading

Employees Are Entitled To Suitable Seating If The Tasks Being Performed Reasonably Permit Seating

Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 63 Cal. 4th 1 (2016) In this opinion, the California Supreme Court answered three questions posed to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit involving suitable seating requirements under California law. Section 14(A) of California Wage Order No. 7-2001 states that “All working employees shall … Continue Reading

Thou Shalt Not Bully – Employers Must Educate Supervisors about “Abusive Conduct”

California businesses that have 50 or more employees are already required to train supervisors on legally prohibited sexual harassment. Following California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent signing of A.B. 2053, that training must now also include education on preventing “abusive conduct” in the workplace, even if the conduct is not based on a protected characteristic nor … Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns Are Now Protected Against Discrimination and Harassment

On September 9, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1443, which extends the state’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns. Employers are now prohibited from discrimination based on protected characteristics in the “selection, termination, training or other terms” of unpaid interns. A.B. 1443 also prohibits harassment of unpaid interns based on protected characteristics, … Continue Reading

Update: California Employees Entitled to Paid Sick Leave Starting July 2015

On September 10th, California became the second state in the country to require businesses to provide employees with paid sick leave, following Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of A.B. 1522, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, and will be known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.   Click here to read … Continue Reading

California Employees May Soon Be Entitled to Paid Sick Leave

California Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto A.B. 1522, a recently passed bill that would require businesses employing at least one person in California to provide employees with paid sick leave and to comply with new recordkeeping and informational requirements. If signed by the governor, the bill will become effective … Continue Reading

Certification Was Properly Denied In Class Action Seeking Reimbursement From Employer

Morgan v. Wet Seal, Inc., 210 Cal. App. 4th 1341 (2012) Crystal Morgan and two other former employees sued Wet Seal because the company allegedly required employees to purchase Wet Seal clothing and merchandise as a condition of employment and also failed to reimburse employees for their mileage between Wet Seal business locations. The trial … Continue Reading

New California Law Protects Employee Use of Social Media

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law protecting employee use of social media by prohibiting an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing the employee’s personal social media.  Additionally, an employer may not require an employee or applicant … Continue Reading

Employee Who Attempted To Buy Shoes For A Friend At Company Expense Was Entitled To Unemployment Benefits

Robles v. Employment Dev. Dep’t, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1029 (2012) Jose Robles worked as a service technician for Liquid Environmental Solutions for four years prior to his termination. His job was to collect food grease from restaurants and other food outlets. Robles’s employment was terminated after he attempted to buy shoes for a friend … Continue Reading

Dogs at Work

Many employers have a policy that allows employees to bring dogs to work, either regularly or on occasion. ... While there appear to be benefits to policies permitting pet presence, employers should keep a few things in mind in developing and implementing them. … Continue Reading

Employees May Have Committed A Crime By Violating Employer’s Computer Use Policy

U.S. v. Nosal, 642 F.3d 781 (2011) In this criminal proceeding brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the United States government filed a 20-count indictment against David Nosal (a former employee of Korn/Ferry International) and his accomplices (also from Korn/Ferry) as a result of their obtaining information from their employer’s computer system … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Reviews NLRB’s Controversial Register Guard E-Mail Solicitation Decision

As we reported previously, in December 2007 the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision relating to company e-mail policies in The Guard Publishing Company, d/b/a The Register-Guard, 351 NLRB No. 70 (2007), holding that an employer (i) may restrict the use of its computer systems to business related uses only, and (ii) could distinguish … Continue Reading
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