Employer Beware: New California Employment Laws for 2021

Among the lasting 2020 impacts of fires, politics and COVID-19, is increased regulation of California employers. More than 563 bills introduced in the last California legislative session mention “employer,” compared to about 300 bills in 2019. While most bills stalled in the Legislature, many were signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, bringing more rules and risks for employers in our state, dealing with workplace safety; sick leave; workers’ compensation; diversity and discrimination; worker classification and wages; privacy; employee leaves; and settlements.

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Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc.: Opening the Door to Non-Compete Agreements Between Businesses in California

In a recent decision, Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc.,[1] the Supreme Court of California opened the door for some restrictive covenants between commercial enterprises, but it left alone California law generally prohibiting post-employment restrictive covenants with employees.
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New California Laws for 2021: What Employers Should Know

Several new laws in California impact employers in a multitude of operational areas. From leave regulations to workers’ compensation, safety enforcement, wages and more, business leaders have much to research when it comes to compliance. All employers with operations in California should be aware of these new laws, understand how these laws may affect their operations and consult with counsel to address any questions on these new obligations.

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California Employers: Required Security Screening May Be Compensable Work Time

Employees must be paid for time spent waiting for, and undergoing, searches of their bags, packages and personal technology devices, the California Supreme Court ruled February 13, 2020, in Amanda Frlekin, et al. v Apple, Inc., Case No. S243805, answering a question posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving Apple. This decision marks a signature departure from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, under which time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings is not compensable, the U.S. Supreme Court previously held in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. 27 (2014). This is yet another example of the greater protection that California state laws typically offer employees.

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Labor Law Update: Your Labor of Love

*Originally published by CalCPA in the January/February 2020 issue of California CPA.

More than 300 bills introduced in the 2019 California Legislative session mention “employer,” compared to 589 bills in 2018. While most bills bogged down or died in the Legislature, many of the bills—which likely would have been vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown—were signed into law by first-term Gov. Gavin Newsom, ushering in a new wave of more regulation of employers in the Golden State.

The following are essential elements of many key state Assembly Bills (AB) and Senate Bills (SB) that became law Jan. 1 (unless otherwise noted) and affect private employers.

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Summary of Key New California Laws for 2020 (and Beyond): What Employers Should Know

In his first year in office, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed several laws impacting California employers. A summary of some of the key new laws follows. The effective date of the particular new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) or Senate Bill (SB).1 The list below is in numerical order by AB or SB.

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