California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: New and Proposed Laws and Legislation

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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

Employment Protections For Members Of National Guard Expanded (AB 583)

Existing law provides employment protections for members of the National Guard who have been ordered into active state or federal service. Among other things, the member of the National Guard is entitled to be restored to his or her former position or to a position of similar seniority, status and pay without loss of retirement … Continue Reading

Grocery Workers Must Be Given Preferential Treatment Following a “Change In Control” (AB 359)

Following a change in control (a sale, transfer or other disposition) of a supermarket or other grocery establishment, the successor grocery employer will be required to maintain a preferential hiring list of eligible grocery workers composed of former employees of the selling entity. The successor employer shall hire from the preferential hiring list for the … Continue Reading

The Word “Alien” Is Stricken From The California Labor Code (SB 432)

Section 1725 of the California Labor Code defines “alien” as “any person who is not a born or fully naturalized citizen of the United States.” Section 2015 sets forth the “preference for employment” for the extension of public works by the state and requires the extension of such preference “First, to citizens of this State. … Continue Reading

California Legislature Targets Employment Arbitration Agreements

It is no secret that California is no friend to arbitration agreements. As the United States Supreme Court noted in its 2011 opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, “California’s courts have been more likely to hold contracts to arbitrate unconscionable than other contracts,” despite directives from the High Court that arbitration agreements must be … Continue Reading
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