At the request of the 9th Circuit, the California Supreme Court recently clarified the definition of “hours worked” under the Labor Code. In Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors, the employees worked at a solar power facility, which was located on privately-owned land. To reach the actual worksite, employees had to enter onto private land, present a badge at a security gate (at which point a security guard might “peer” into their car or truck), and then drive an additional 10–15 minutes to access the employee parking lot. It was estimated that the security check could take between 5-30 minutes. This would happen again at the end of the day. Also, because there were endangered species present on the privately-owned land, there were restrictions employees were expected to follow while driving on the road, including not exceeding a certain speed limit, and refraining from honking horns or playing loud music. The Court was asked to answer two questions with respect to the definition of “hours worked” as discussed below.

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In late March 2024, California Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill, AB 2751, that would recognize a right for employees in California to “disconnect” or ignore communications from their employer during certain non-work hours.  The Bill, in its current form, requires an employer to establish a workplace policy that will allow employees “the right to disconnect” from communications from their employer during non-working hours, except for emergencies and/or scheduling purposes.  The policy must define working vs. non-working hours and make clear that employees have the right to ignore communications from the employer during the policy’s specified non-working hours.  The proposed law also provides employees the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner if the employer engages in a pattern of violations of this new law. Finally, the proposed new law states that while violations may not be punished as a misdemeanor, the employer could be subject to a fine of not less than $100 as a result of a pattern of violation of the proposed new law.

Continue Reading California Legislature Considers Employee’s “Right to Disconnect”

Having a fair and meaningful disciplinary process can be a helpful tool for employers to improve employee performance. In this episode of California Employment News, employment attorneys Meagan Bainbridge and Nikki Mahmoudi share their best practices for implementing effective disciplinary procedures in the workplace.

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From minimum wage laws to confidentiality agreements, there have been several legal updates over the past year that apply to most CA employers. Lukas Clary and Ryan Abernethy break down five top developments in wage and hour law for 2024 in this special 50th edition of California Employment News.

Continue Reading California Employment News: Top Developments in Wage and Hour Law for 2024