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California Law


  •   July 2021 Non-exempt employees in California who work more than five hours in a day are guaranteed at least one 30-minute unpaid meal break that must be taken no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work.  California Labor Code § 226.7 requires employers to pay employees a premium payment of “one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation” if the employees are not provided with a compliant meal break (e.g. if the meal break is less than 30-minutes or if the employees are required to continue working during their meal period). […]

  •   On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for COVID-19 related safety in the workplace. For those following Cal/OSHA’s recent meetings, the revised ETS has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. In early June, the Standards Board adopted an ETS seen by many as overly restrictive. For example, the ETS would have required continued mask usage for all employees, regardless of vaccination status. One week later, the Standards Board held an emergency meeting where it rejected the previously approved standards. The newly approved ETS continues Cal/OSHA’s policies for worker safety […]

  •   May 2021 Recent Evolution of California’s Independent Contractor Laws reviewed changes to California’s independent contractor laws over the last few years, including the implementation of the ABC Test. The ABC Test was first established by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903, 916-917 and then codified in 2019 by Assembly Bill 5 (“AB-5”). The ABC Test presumes that a worker is an employee unless the employer can establish: (A) The worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both […]

  • On April 16, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 93 into law, enacting Labor Code section 2810.8. This new law, which is effective immediately, provides employees in certain hospitality industries the right-to-recall if they were laid-off due to COVID-19. This right-to-recall is effective through December 31, 2024. Employers who fail to provide employees with these recall rights face substantial consequences. What Employers Are Subject to SB 93? SB 93 applies to certain employers in the hospitality industry or connected to the hospitality industry. These employers include: • Airport Service Provider: An airport service provider is defined as “a […]

  • California affords employees the right to a meal period if they work five or more hours in a day. A compliant meal break requires: (1) That the employee is relieved of all work duties; (2) That the employee can take a meal period of at least 30-minutes; (3) That the employee can take a meal period no later than the end of the fifth hour of work; and (4) That the employee can take a second meal period no later than the end of the tenth hour of work. An employer that fails to provide meal periods compliant with these […]

  • Construction employers with worksites in the Central Valley should be aware of new Valley Fever training requirements for their employees. Under Labor Code section 6709, construction employers with worksites in specific counties must provide employees with yearly Valley Fever awareness training on or before May 1 of each year. Training must be provided if the “work activities disturb the soil, including, but not limited to, digging, grading, or other earth moving operations, or vehicle operation on dirt roads, or high winds.” The provision applies to construction sites in the following counties: • Fresno • Kern • Kings • Madera • […]

  •   January 2021 CDC Moratorium             On September 4, 2020, the CDC published an order (“CDC Order”) entitled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.” The CDC Order was originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020. It was further extended through January 31, 2021. On January 29, 2021, CDC Director Walensky signed an extension of the CDC Order through March 31, 2021.[1]   State Moratorium             On August 31, 2020, the California Legislature passed AB 3088, also known that the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (the “Act”) in response to the impact of the […]

  • January 2021 In 2019, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 51 which aimed to prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.  The United Stated Chamber of Commerce and several large businesses quickly filed suit in federal court, arguing that AB 51 was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). In early January 2020, the court issued a preliminary injunction, holding that California could not enforce AB 51. California subsequently appealed the ruling, which is working its way through the 9th Circuit. The court’s injunction means that employers can continue to require […]

  • January 2021 Since March 4, 2020, when Governor Newsom issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency, the State has been in a constant pattern of slow down, shutdown, ramp up, repeat. In addition to Governor Newsom’s emergency orders, most counties are establishing (or already have established) emergency procedures as well. This makes it particularly difficult for construction companies with projects in multiple counties to track emergency procedures such as training and reporting. The following provides a quick guide to construction site compliance based on California’s Assembly Bill 685 (“AB 685”) and how to prepare for potential shutdowns related to […]

  • January 2021 Employers big and small benefit from having detailed, updated handbooks.  Handbooks are a great way to communicate internal and mandatory policies. They can help employees find answers to many employment related questions. Handbooks can also help employers protect or defend against liability.  Mandatory Policies California mandates that employers develop and distribute certain policies to their employees. For example, employers must have written policies concerning discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prevention.  A handbook is an efficient way to distribute these policies and helps protect the employer if discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claims arise.  At-Will Employment A handbook is an effective […]