Some good news for California employers: recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that California employers can require employees and applicants to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of employment, reversing its own prior decision which vacated U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California’s grant of a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51).
Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Rules California Employers Can Require Arbitration Agreements”
On December 31, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), as previously summarized, expire after being in place since November 2020. On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards (Cal/OSHA) Board voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 regulations to replace the ETS.
The new regulations are set to take effect in January 2023 after the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) completes its review. Once finalized, the new regulations will remain in effect for two years (but the recordkeeping requirements will remain in effect for three years).
The non-emergency regulations contain some of the same requirements as the ETS, but they also include new provisions. According to Cal/OSHA’s updated Fact Sheet, the new provisions are intended to be easier for employers to follow and allow for greater flexibility if changes are made pursuant to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.
Continue reading “Summary of Cal/OSHA’s Non-Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations”
In 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed many laws impacting California employers. Some of the new laws became effective immediately and others, including some that were signed into law just weeks ago, take effect January 1, 2023, or later. These new laws address several topics, including supplemental paid sick leave, pay transparency, leaves of absence and fast-food restaurant employment standards.
As a reminder, the minimum wage in California is increasing to $15.50 per hour on January 1, 2023, for all employers — regardless of the number of workers employed by an employer. Also, many cities and local governments in California have enacted minimum wage ordinances exceeding the state minimum wage.
Continue reading “New California Laws for 2023 and Beyond: What Employers Should Know”
On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court ruled in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. that unpaid meal and rest period premiums can form the basis of claims for wage statement violations under California Labor Code section 226 and waiting time penalties under California Labor Code section 203. This is yet another significant decision by the Supreme Court impacting California employers in California particularly since the Court overruled the Court of Appeal, which had held that meal and rest period premiums are not “wages” and therefore cannot lead to wage statement or waiting time penalties.
California law generally requires that employers provide non-exempt employees a reasonable opportunity to take an unpaid, off-duty and uninterrupted meal period of at least 30 minutes before the end of their fifth hour of work, and a second meal period before the end of their tenth hour of work. Employers also generally must provide 10-minute uninterrupted, paid rest periods to non-exempt employees for every four hours worked (or major fraction thereof). If an employer does not provide a compliant meal or rest period, the employee in question is entitled to payment of one hour of wages at the employee’s regular rate of pay. That extra hour of pay is often referred to as a meal or rest period “premium.”
Continue reading “California Supreme Court: Unpaid Meal and Rest Period Premiums Can Lead to Wage Statement and Waiting Time Penalties”
On April 21, 2022, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards (Cal/OSHA) Board voted to readopt its COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards (ETS) incorporating changes Cal/OSHA posted in preparation of its business meeting on April 21, 2022. If approved by the Office of Administrative Law (which is expected), the revised ETS will become effective upon filing by the Office of Administrative Law with the Secretary of State. This is the third readoption of the ETS, which was authorized by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order and will be in place until December 31, 2022.
Continue reading “Summary of Cal/OSHA’s Revised COVID-19 ETS Adopted on April 21, 2022”
On March 3, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021” (the Act) into law. Upon signing the bill, which had bipartisan Congressional support, President Biden proclaimed, “[w]hen it comes to sexual harassment and assault, forced arbitration shielded perpetrators, silenced survivors, enabled employers to sweep episodes of sexual assault harassment under the rug and it kept survivors from knowing if others have experienced the same thing in the same workplace, at the hands of the same person.”
Continue reading “New Law Prohibiting the Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Claims Goes Into Effect”