California Employment Law Update

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California Becomes a “Sanctuary State,” Restricts Employer Cooperation With Federal Immigration Authorities

On Thursday, October 5th, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law nearly a dozen new immigration-related bills, including AB 450, which prohibits employers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the absence of a judicial warrant or court order.  Among other things, the new law: Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent’s … Continue Reading

DFEH Releases Guidelines On Preventing and Correcting Harassment

Last month the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced the release of a new guide for California employers on the steps they should take to prevent and correct workplace harassment. The nine page document provides employers with a helpful FAQ-style guide to maintaining an effective anti-harassment program, appropriately responding to employee complaints, and … Continue Reading

Handful of State “Job Killer” Bills Move On to Second House

According to reporting from the California Chamber of Commerce, several recently introduced bills have passed the California State Senate or Assembly and now move on to a vote in the second house. These bills include: Assembly Bill 1209 – requires California employers with more than 250 employees to collect data on the mean and median … Continue Reading

Actors’ Ages to Remain Available Online (At Least for Now)

A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same. The lawsuit, IMDb.com, Inc. v. Becerra (Case No. 16-cv-06535-VC) was filed in response to the passage of A.B. 1687, which required … 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

Another Fortune 500 Employer is Leaving California…

Charles Schwab announced last week that it is planning to move “a significant number of San Francisco-based jobs” out of state over the next three to five years.  According to a recent article in Forbes, “Observers close to the situation blame the city’s extreme payroll tax and high cost of doing business in California as … Continue Reading

California Assembly Committee Rejects Flexible Workweek Bill

A bill that would have allowed California employers to offer employees a flexible workweek schedule has failed to pass the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment in a 5-2 party-line vote. The Committee rejected Assembly Bill 907 on the ground that the proposed law would “lead to employee intimidation and a breakdown of the … Continue Reading

California Chamber of Commerce Releases Its 2013 List of “Job Killer” Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce has just released its annual list of “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list identifies 32 proposed laws, including six new “Costly Workplace Mandates.” Chamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg cautioned against “increase[d] uncertainty for employers and investors and . . . higher … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Emphasizes Importance of Common Issues in Class Actions

Over the past two weeks, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly underscored the importance of having common questions that are susceptible to common answers in cases where plaintiffs are seeking class certification. Most recently, the Court clarified that this requirement, which has now been considered in both antitrust and employment cases, applies with respect … 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

Chamber of Commerce Releases Annual List of Job Killer Bills

With California’s unemployment rate hovering around 11%, both employees and employers are sensitive to proposed legislature that could further increase the burdens on businesses and hamper economic growth. With these concerns in mind,the California Chamber of Commerce has released it’s annual a list of “Job Killer Bills,” which consists of 23 proposed laws that could … Continue Reading

TV Writers and Proskauer Client CAA Reach Preliminary Agreement to Settle

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and representatives of a class of television writers today announced the settlement of a case alleging age discrimination in the representation of television writers. The case was the last of 23 separate class actions that were filed a decade ago by the writers against the major television networks, production studios, and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments in Brinker

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments in the landmark wage-and-hour case Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court on November 8 in San Francisco. In Brinker, the Court will decide whether employers must merely provide meal and rest breaks to their employees or actually ensure that breaks are taken, as well … Continue Reading

Proskauer Wins Summary Judgment on Behalf of Paramount in Breach of Contract, Discrimination Case

The plaintiff was an Australian citizen working as an associate attorney for the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP on a work visa. In October 2009, Paramount extended to her a conditional offer of employment to serve as its Vice President, IT Legal, the offer being contingent upon the completion of a background investigation … Continue Reading

The State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Presents 2011 Employment Law Update: A Mid-Year Review of Recent Developments

On Wednesday, June 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Anthony Oncidi of Proskauer and plaintiff-side attorney, Andrew Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP, will summarize the latest developments and discuss the practical implications of this year’s most significant employment decisions. Among other developments, attendees will hear about the new U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the “cat’s … Continue Reading

California Slips in Forbes’ ‘Best States for Business’ Rankings

California has fallen to No. 39 in Forbes’ rankings of The Best States for Business in 2010, down one position from its ranking in 2009. According to Forbes, the rankings are based on valuations of business costs, labor supply, the regulatory environment and other economic factors.  Among these specific measures, California ranked 44th in business … Continue Reading

Court Certifies Class Action Consisting Of 1.5 Million Female Wal-Mart Employees

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 222 F.R.D. 137 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (Jenkins, J.) Plaintiffs in this Title VII class-action lawsuit alleged that women employed in Wal-Mart stores are paid less than men in comparable positions, despite having higher performance ratings and greater seniority, receive fewer promotions to in-store management positions, and those who are promoted … Continue Reading
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