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Labor and Employment

  • Direct Contractors to Assume Liability for Unpaid Wages by Subcontractors on Private Works That’s right–direct contractor liability just increased. Assembly Bill 1701, which adds section 218.7 to the Labor Code, imposes liability on direct contractors for any unpaid wages or fringe benefits owed by a defaulting subcontractor, even if the subcontractor has been paid in full. Here’s a breakdown of the law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018: Who is Impacted?  Labor Code section 218.7 applies to any private works direct contractor, meaning “the [contractor] that has a direct contractual relationship with the owner.” Cal. Civ. Code § […]

  • Nearly 1,000 bills were presented to the California Governor for his signature this legislative session. Here are five bills signed by Governor Brown that California employers should be aware of: Assembly Bill 168 – Prohibition on Requesting Salary History  Assembly Bill 168 prohibits all California employers (including state and local governments) from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment; however, applicants can voluntarily provide such information. The bill also requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request. Senate Bill 63 – Expansion of Parental Leave to “Small” Employers Senate […]

  • On October 12, Governor Brown signed into law two bills that California employers should be watching: AB 168 – Prohibition on Requesting Salary History  Assembly Bill 168 prohibits all California employers (including state and local governments), from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment. The bill also requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request.  The law seeks to eliminate “wage inequality that has spanned generations of women in the workforce” by removing institutionalized gender wage discrepancies, according to its author, Assembly member Susan Eggman.  SB 63 – Expansion […]

  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the U.S. Department of Labor’s appeal of an order enjoining the Department from enforcing a rule that raised the minimum annual salary for an employee to be exempt from overtime from $23,660 to $47,760. This comes on the heels of the District Court invaliding the salary increase, finding the Department exceeded its authority in adopting the rule. These two rulings effectively end the Obama-era increase to the minimum salary threshold for overtime exemptions. Here’s how the litigation played out.  November 22, 2016 – a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas […]

  • Proposed California Assembly Bill 1209, if passed in its present form, will require companies to have information regarding gender pay differentials published on the Internet.  Effects of Pay Inequity  In 2016, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee released a report stating that working women earn approximately 79 percent of what men earn, which can amount to nearly half a million dollars over the course of a woman’s career. Pay inequity has devastating effects on individuals, companies, and the workforce. Internally, it can cause reduced output and higher absenteeism, resulting in decreased economic productivity. It has also been shown to play […]

  • California has traditionally permitted a broad scope of discovery under the theory that discovery allows parties to ascertain the strength of their case prior to trial. Until recently, the California Supreme Court had not considered the scope of discovery in actions arising under California’s Private Attorneys General Act. Among other things, the Act has been used in recent years by savvy plaintiffs’ attorneys when bringing wage and hour class actions. In the recent California Supreme Court case of Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls of California, LLC), a Marshall’s employee brought an action under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) on behalf of […]

  • Over the past few years, California has gradually limited the ability of employers to utilize criminal records and background checks in making employment decisions. The City of Los Angeles recently enacted new regulations which further restrict an employer’s ability to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history and prevent employment decisions based on a candidate’s criminal record.  As of July 1, 2017, Los Angeles employers with at least 10 employees are now prohibited from inquiring about criminal history during a job interview or in a job application. This means that employers are barred from running criminal background checks on candidates before […]

  • As we’ve discussed previously, cities across the state have recently enacted ordinances increasing the minimum wages and the amount of paid sick leave available to employees above the state-wide minimums.  As a reminder to employers in the greater Southern California region, minimum wage rates are increasing July 1, 2017.  Employers also need to post their city’s Minimum Wage Ordinance poster (if available). The posters should be displayed in the same conspicuous and accessible place at all job sites where mandated federal and state labor postings are required to be displayed. Navigating various local ordinances, especially for employers with employees in more than […]

  • In April 2016, amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) that require employers to maintain detailed, written anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies went into effect. Last month, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released a Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers. The guide was produced by the DFEH to provide guidance to California employers concerning their obligation to “take reasonable steps to prevent and correct wrongful (harassing, discriminatory, retaliatory) behavior in the workplace” (Cal. Govt. Code §12940(k)) and comply with the regulations enacted in April 2016. The guide outlines the hallmarks of an effective and compliant anti-harassment program, which include: […]