New and Proposed Laws and Legislation

With the sweeping presence of technology today, the boundary between work life and home life has become increasingly blurred. A new bill recently introduced to the California legislature seeks to change that by protecting employees’ “right to disconnect.”   

Assembly Bill 2751, introduced by Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), proposes to add a Section 1198.2 to the Labor Code that would effectively prevent employers from contacting employees

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act (the “Act”), a bill that, if enacted, would lower the threshold for a “standard” workweek by 20 percent, from 40 to 32 hours. Should the Act become law, it would have a significant impact on employers not just in California but across the nation. (Of course, there’s always a California connection—companion legislation, H.R. 1332

On February 14, 2024, California State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas introduced Senate Bill 1137 (“SB 1137”), a bill that would make California the first state to specifically recognize the concept of “intersectionality.” Smallwood-Cuevas has stated that SB 1137 “makes it clear that discrimination not only happens based on one protected class, such as race, gender or age, but any combination thereof.”

Specifically, SB 1137 would amend

On September 30, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 553 (“SB 553”) into law.  Among other things, the new legislation added section 6401.9 to the California Labor Code (“Section 6401.9”), which requires that virtually all employers implement a workplace violence prevention plan (“WVPP”) by no later than July 1, 2024.  Now, after months of waiting, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“CalOSHA”)

A newly enacted, under-the-radar statute in California could undermine efforts by employers to challenge the expert opinion testimony regarding alleged emotional distress offered by employees at trial. 

In many if not most employment trials, the employee’s lawyer offers the expert testimony of a psychiatrist/psychologist (paid for by the plaintiff) who tells the jury about the existence and extent of the emotional distress the employee allegedly

In what has become an annual tradition, California – that fabled workers’ paradise on earth – has enacted a slew of new laws that, come January, may keep even the most hearty HR professionals up at night.

As we reported earlier this year (here), the California Chamber of Commerce initially identified 11 “Job Killer Bills” that were introduced early in the legislative session, but

Last week, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 616 (“SB 616”), an amendment to California’s statewide paid sick leave law that significantly increases the amount of leave that employers need to provide and permit employees to carry over from year-to-year.  The bill was sent to Governor Newsom on Wednesday, and he is expected to sign it into law.

Many employers in California’s major population centers already

On September 1, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 699, which amends California Business & Professions Code Section 16600 to prohibit an employer from entering into or attempting to enforce a non-compete agreement regardless of whether the contract was signed outside of California.  The law goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

Previously, California law banned non-compete agreements, subject to limited exceptions. 

The so-called “Fight for 15” – those widespread protests for a $15 minimum wage – are so passé now!

As of July 1, 2023, West Hollywood takes the crown for the highest mandated minimum wage in the United States at $19.08.  Why they didn’t just top it off at $20 is anyone’s guess.  (Not to be completely outmatched, several other localities raised their minimum wage