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Labor and Employment

  •   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 […]

  • On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (“SB”) 95, a new COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirement. SB 95 went into effect on March 29, 2021 but applies retroactively to January 1, 2021. SB 95 was passed in response to the expiration of sick leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1867 at the end of 2020. SB 95, however, is more expansive than either of those prior acts. The California Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) has published a comprehensive FAQ providing guidance on SB 95 compliance. […]

  • 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 • […]

  • February 2021     Since 2018, there has been a flurry of activity in the California courts and legislature regarding the classification of employees and independent contractors.  Dynamex establishes the ABC Test for wage and hour claims In 2018, the California Supreme Court decided Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (“Dynamex”) addressing the how employees and independent contractors are classified as such under California’s Wage Orders. The Court established the ABC Test, holding that a worker can only be classified as an independent contractor under the Wage Orders if the employer establishes: “(A) that 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 Workplace harassment continues to be a significant problem for employers and employees in California. A recent study showed that women and men in California are subjected to sexual harassment at a rate higher than the national average.[1]  That same study found that more than 86% of women and 53% of men in California have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault. Employees are challenging sexual harassment through administrative agencies, such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) and through civil lawsuits. In 2019, the DFEH received 22,584 complaints. Of these, over 7,000 concerned claims […]

  • 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 […]

  •   December 2020 Out of state businesses with out of state employees may now be subject to California labor requirements under the recently published case Gulf Offshore Logistics, LLC v. The Superior Court of Ventura County. In Gulf Offshore, the Court held that employees were entitled to protections under California law because they performed all or most of their work in California, despite living outside of California and working for a Louisiana based company. The defendant company in Gulf Offshore was headquartered in Louisiana. The plaintiffs Gulf Offshore were “crew members on a vessel that provided maintenance services to offshore […]