California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: New and Proposed Laws and Legislation

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Settlement Provisions Limiting Disclosure Of Information Regarding Sex Offenses Are Prohibited

A provision within a settlement agreement that prevents the disclosure of factual information that establishes a cause of action for civil damages for a felony sex offense; an act of childhood sexual abuse; an act of sexual exploitation of a minor; or an act of sexual assault against an elder or dependent adult that is … Continue Reading

Indoor Heat Illness Regulations Mandated

This bill requires by January 1, 2019 that the Division of Occupational Safety and Health propose to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board for the board’s review and adoption, a heat illness and injury prevention standard applicable to workers working in indoor places of employment. (SB 1167.)… Continue Reading

Clarification Regarding The Use Of Smart Phones While Driving

A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if both of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in … 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 Broadens Its “Fair Pay Act” to Prohibit Race And Ethnicity Discrimination

Around this time last year, Section 1197.5 of the California Labor Code was amended by S.B. 358 in order to “eliminate the gender wage gap in California.” Among other things, the amendment sought to increase wage transparency and made it more difficult for employers to defend against gender-based equal pay claims. On September 30, 2016, … Continue Reading

California Requires Single-Occupancy Restrooms To Be “All Gender”

On the heels of North Carolina’s controversial legislation, which requires that people use the public restroom that corresponds to their biological gender rather than the gender with which they identify, California has gone in a different direction. On September 29, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1732, which requires all single-user restroom facilities in … 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

San Francisco Approves City Ordinance Providing For Fully Paid Parental Leave

In yet another recent development on the hot topic of paid family leave, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved local legislation requiring businesses to provide employees with up to 6 weeks of fully paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child.  With this ordinance, San Francisco becomes the first … Continue Reading

California Raises Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour and Increases Minimum Salary for Exempt Employees

On April 4, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 3, which will increase California’s minimum wage annually, reaching $15 per hour for employers with at least 26 employees by January 1, 2022.  This bill enacts the highest statewide minimum wage in the nation, on par with New York, which enacted a bill mandating a $15 … Continue Reading

Labor Commissioner Enforcement Authority Broadened, Liability For Managing Agents Expanded

This law expands the Labor Commissioner’s authority with regard to the enforcement of judgments. For example, the law authorizes the Labor Commissioner to issue a lien on an employer’s property for amounts owed to an employee, such as unpaid wages, and other compensation, penalties, and interest. The law also provides that an owner, director, officer … Continue Reading

School Activity And Sick Leave Protections Expanded

This law provides additional circumstances under which employees may take school activities leave. California school activities leave now includes the addressing of a child care provider emergency, a school emergency, finding, enrolling, and reenrolling a child in a school or with a child care provider. The pool of eligible employees is expanded to include employees … Continue Reading

Gender-Based “Fair Pay Act” Enacted

This law amends Labor Code § 1197.5 (SB 358): Broader Prohibition of Gender Wage Differentials Enacted Currently, Section 1197.5 prohibits an employer from paying an employee at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work. The amendment revises this prohibition, instead prohibiting an … Continue Reading

Piece-Rate Compensation Requirements Changed

This law requires employers to pay piece-rate employees for rest and recovery periods and “other nonproductive time” at or above specified minimum hourly rates, separately from any piece-rate compensation. It also defines “other nonproductive time” as time under the employer’s control, exclusive of rest and recovery periods, that is not directly related to the activity … Continue Reading

Retaliation Against Family Members Of Whistleblowers Prohibited

This law prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who is a family member of an employee who has or is perceived to have engaged in protected conduct or made a protected complaint (such as whistleblowing). Additionally, the law excludes certain entities, such as certain household goods carriers, from the imposition of joint liability on … Continue Reading

Labor Commissioner’s Enforcement Capabilities Expanded

This law authorizes the Labor Commissioner to investigate and enforce local overtime and minimum wage laws and to issue citations and penalties for violations, except when the local entity has already cited the employer for the same violation. The law also authorizes the Labor Commissioner to issue citations and penalties to employers that violate the … Continue Reading

Trial Court Need Only Rule On Evidentiary Objections That It Deems Material To Summary Judgment/Adjudication Motion (SB 470)

SB 470 provides that in granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the trial court need rule only on objections made to evidence that the court deems material to the disposition of the motion. Any objections to evidence not ruled on for purposes of the motion are preserved for appellate review.… Continue Reading

Cheerleaders Of Professional Sports Teams Are Employees Under California Law

AB 202, for purposes of all provisions of state law that govern employment, including the California Labor Code, the California Unemployment Insurance Code and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, requires a cheerleader who is utilized by a California-based professional sports team during its exhibitions, events or games to be deemed an employee.… Continue Reading
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