New Year, New Laws for California Employers – Deposition Limits, San Francisco Ordinances and Meal Periods
In the final part of our series, “New Year, New Laws for California Employers,” we take a look at new deposition limits, San Francisco ordinances and meal periods. Prepared by Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, this series looks at some of the significant new regulations becoming law in 2013 affecting private employers doing business in California.
AB 1875 limits a deposition of any person to seven hours of total testimony, similar to the requirement in federal courts. Excepted from this limitation are depositions in employment and complex cases, and of expert witnesses.
San Francisco City Ordinances
For an employer who directly or indirectly employs or exercises control over an employee’s wages, hours and working conditions in the city of San Francisco, Minimum Wage, Health Care Security (HCS) and Paid Sick Leave (PSL) Ordinances benefit those employees (http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=430).
For 2013, hourly … Read More »
New Year, New Laws for California Employers – Right to Inspect and Receive Employment Records and Right to Inspect and Copy Wage Records
Next in our series, “New Year, New Laws for California Employers,” we take a look at the rights of the right to inspect and receive employment records and the right to inspect and copy wage records. Prepared by Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, this series looks at some of the significant new regulations becoming law in 2013 affecting private employers doing business in California.
Right to Inspect and Receive Employment Records
Under existing law, an employee has the right to inspect the personnel records relating to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee, and has a right to copies of documents the employee has signed. AB 2674 requires employers to provide a current or former employee—or the employee’s representative authorized by the employee in writing—an opportunity to inspect and receive a copy of those records at … Read More »
New Year, New Laws for California Employers – Added Whistle-blower Protections, With Whom Will the EDD Share Employer Reports and Contracts with Commission Employees
Continuing with our series “New Year, New Laws for California Employers,” we take a look at newly added whistle-blower protections, with whom the EDD will share employer reports and contracts with commission employees. Prepared by Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, this series looks at some of the significant new regulations becoming law in 2013 affecting private employers doing business in California.
Added Whistle-blower Protections
The California False Claims Act prohibits submission to the government of a false claim for money, property or services, and authorizes actions for treble damages and penalties. An example could be charging a government entity for goods or services that were not provided.
Employees, as “relators,” can inform the government or law enforcement, participate in these actions after satisfying certain requirements and share in the recovery. Employers cannot prevent employees from disclosing information to the government … Read More »
By: Mark D. Nelson
Many employers have dress codes that regulate what employees can wear, particularly employees who have contact with customers, clients, patients and business partners, in order to convey the organization’s image, brand, values and mission. The National Labor Relations Board issued a decision striking down an employer’s discipline of an employee for wearing a t-shirt that ridiculed its employee recognition program. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit took the Board to task for its ruling. According to the Court, the Board held this employer to a higher standard than it imposed on employers in the past and the Board provided no justification for the new standard. Medco Health Solutions of Las Vegas, Inc., v. NLRB, No. 11-1282 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 14, 2012)
To encourage excellent performance by employees, the employer introduced an employee recognition … Read More »
FTC Approves Settlement of Noncompetition Case Against Renown Health Voiding Ten Physicians’ Noncompetition Agreements
By: Mark E. Furlane
On November 30, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlement of a complaint it filed against Renown Health on August 3, 2012. A settlement was promptly reached between the FTC and Renown Health avoiding the unwinding of two acquisitions made by Renown Health of two independent local cardiology groups.
The complaint alleged that Renown Health’s acquisition of competitor cardiology groups in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates, Inc. (“NCA”) and Reno Heart Physicians, Inc. (“RHP”), and the employment of the 32 physicians employed by these entities, “is likely to lead to anticompetitive effects including increased prices and reduced non-price competition.” The acquisitions resulted in Renown Health employing approximately 97% of the cardiologists serving private patients in the Reno area. The FTC complaint focused on the fact that all of the employed physicians were subject to … Read More »
New Year, New Laws for California Employers – Religious Dress and Grooming Protected and Breastfeeding Further Protected
Next in our series, “New Year, New Laws for California Employers,” we take a look at new protections given to Religious Dress and Grooming and Breastfeeding under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Prepared by Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, this series looks at some of the significant new regulations becoming law in 2013 affecting private employers doing business in California.
Religious Dress and Grooming Protected
California employers should know that the Fair Employment and Housing Act protects the right of individuals to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination on account of religions creed, observance and belief. Similarly, employers are required to reasonably accommodate religious belief or observance of an individual unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship to the employer.
AB 1964 extends these protections to “religious dress practice” and “religious grooming practice.” Religious dress practice includes the … Read More »
California employers received more attention in 2012 with 554 bills introduced in the legislature mentioning “employer,” compared to 346 in 2011. Fortunately, most bills do not become law. However, those that do bring with them new challenges for California employers. As 2013 draws near we begin our series, “New Year, New Laws for California Employers. Prepared by Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, this series will take a look at some of the significant new regulations affecting private employers doing business in California.
Employer Access to Social Media
Social media is everywhere. Facebook, for example, claims 1 billion users with more than 140 billion friend connections among them. For some employers, this may be too attractive a source of information about employees and job applicants. Balancing employee expectations of privacy against employer business protection needs, AB 1844 prohibits employers from requiring or requesting an employee … Read More »
By: Jerrold J. Wohlgemuth
Much has been written about the NLRB’s recent holding in the seminal Costco case that the company’s facially neutral social media policy prohibiting postings on the Internet that damage the Company or any person’s reputation violates Section 8(a)(1) of the Act. But it is also important to understand how the Board came to decide that case in order to better evaluate the appropriate employer response.
The controlling law concerning the validity of facially neutral work rules was established in the 2004 decision in Lutheran Heritage Village in which the Board held that in evaluating such rules it must determine whether employees “would reasonably construe” the language as restricting their Section 7 to engage in protected discussions of their terms and conditions of employment, and recognized that the mere fact that a rule could be read as inhibiting employee rights … Read More »
As long as the sun rises each day, regulation of California employers will increases each year. And employers received more attention this year with 554 bills introduced in the California Legislature mentioning “employer,” compared to 346 last year. Fortunately, most bills do not become law. Mark Terman, partner in the Los Angeles office, has compiled an overview of significant new regulation affecting private employers which appears in the December issue of CAL CPA magazine. To read the list in its entirety click here.
Los Angeles partner David Raizman was quoted in the Daily Journal in an article titled, “Increasing Disability Discrimination Claims Bring up Fraught Workplace Issues.”
The article discusses the rise of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate disability complaints in California, a state that has long had strong provisions against workplace disability discrimination.
Lawyers on both sides of the fence attribute the increased filings to a growing awareness of workplace disability rights among employees and an increased willingness among judges to put such claims before a jury.
California legislators have long employed a broad definition of disability, for example, to include conditions that merely “limit” various life activities, as opposed to “substantially limit” such activities. Then in 2008, the U.S. Congress adopted many of California’s broad interpretations into federal law.
David, a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group, said, “California really led the way … Read More »