If you’re like me – and thousands of other attorneys, business owners, and individuals in California – you’ve probably been following the progress of Assembly Bill (“AB”) 5 and holding your breath and wondering with anticipation if Governor Newsom will sign the Bill if it makes it to his desk. As a reminder, AB 5 is the proposed Bill to codify the decision in Dynamex v. Superior Court so that the very strict “ABC Test” would apply in order to determine the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor for all provisions of the Labor Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code, except in certain industries and professions. Continue Reading
Many employers routinely conduct background checks of potential and current employees. It comes to no surprise that in the current digital age, employers can obtain extensive background information on applicants and employees quicker than ever from third party reporting companies. However, employers must remain vigilant to avoid receiving information prohibited under federal, state, and local laws, and to follow the proper procedures.
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In this age of expensive class-action litigation, many California companies have found solace in their arbitration agreements. Under certain circumstances, the enforcement of such agreements includes the dismissal of class action claims. This has largely been made possible by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) which requires judges to enforce a wide range of written arbitration agreements notwithstanding contrary state law. California courts have a long history of delivering rulings that attempt to narrow the scope and effect of the FAA. As one of the latest examples, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that truck drivers who complete only intrastate deliveries are exempt from the FAA because their work was part of a “continuous stream of interstate travel.” Continue Reading
By: Kritika Thukral
Mandatory arbitration agreements are a source of contention in employment law. However, since 2000, they are generally permissible in California. In response, the California Legislature has made repeated efforts to ban such agreements over the years. In the past, many such bills have passed both the state assembly and the state senate and have ended up on the Governor’s desk. However, none of the bills have been enacted into law. Nevertheless, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego has introduced Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) in the current legislative session. This bill is nearly identical to the previous vetoed measures to make mandatory arbitration agreements illegal. Continue Reading
California employers covered by the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and/or the California New Parent Leave Act (“NPLA”) should take note that California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has issued two new documents that are relevant to the administration of an employee’s leave under these laws.
- Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave Notice.
The DFEH’s new Notice provides notice to employees that under the CFRA they can take up to 12 workweeks within a 12 month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of their child or for their own serious health condition, or that of their child, parent, or spouse, if they meet the eligibility requirements for leave under the statute – which are: more than 12 months of service; 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the date leave begins; and are employed at a worksite where the employer has 50 or more employees at that worksite or within a 75 mile radius. So far, nothing new right? Continue Reading
Gig Economy Workers Gain Security, But at What Cost?
by Scott Rodd, Stateline
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It started with installing some red and green LED lights. Then came the disco balls, neon eyeglasses and a gold Bluetooth karaoke microphone.
Daniel Flannery had transformed the car he drives for Uber and Lyft into a party on wheels.
“You put everything together, and it encourages people to loosen up,” he said. “Sometimes, I have people call me up and say, ‘We don’t want to go anywhere — we just want to drive around and sing.’”
Flannery, who drives to supplement his retirement income, said he loves the freedom that comes with it — setting his own schedule and adding his own flair to what he dubs his “Swag Rides.” Continue Reading
Scheduling employees is becoming more difficult for employers, and the State seems to be hurtling toward predictive scheduling laws.
Last month, my partner Lukas Clary blogged about the recent California Supreme Court case, Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc., in which the Court ruled that “reporting time” pay is owed whenever an employee is required to “report” to work, even if that “report” is by phone, instead of physically showing up for work. In Tilly’s, the employer required employees to call in two hours before their shift to find out whether they were needed, or not. If needed, the employees would come to work; if not, Tilly’s did not pay the employees any compensation. The Court ruled that this was a violation of the applicable Wage Order, finding that Tilly’s requirement that employees phone in, triggered the obligation to pay the employee a “reporting time” premium (between one and four hours of pay). Continue Reading
by Scott Rodd, Sacramento Business Journal
California’s minimum wage is set to increase annually over the next three years, and businesses large and small are feeling the pinch.
On Jan. 1, the minimum wage rose from $11 to $12 for companies with more than 25 employees, and from $10.50 to $11 for companies with 25 or fewer employees. The state minimum wage will increase to $15 in 2022 for companies with more than 25 employees and in 2023 for companies with 25 or fewer employees. That increase is up from $10 an hour — or $10.50 for companies with more than 25 employees — in 2017. Continue Reading
Figuring out how many employees to schedule each day can be an inexact science. Unexpected surges or lulls in customers, employee absences due to illness or emergencies, and various other circumstances can impact personnel needs. Employers sometimes choose to navigate these situations by overscheduling and then cutting loose employees who are not ultimately needed. That approach, however, triggers “reporting time” obligations, under which those employees are entitled to a minimum amount of pay for reporting for work. But what does it mean to “report for work”? What if an employer allows employees to call in a few hours before a scheduled shift to determine whether they are needed? Are employees required to physically show up to trigger reporting time obligations, or do these phone calls constitute “reporting for work” for this purpose? The answer is the latter according to a recent California appellate court in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc. Continue Reading
Summary of Program
With the ever increasing number of claims filed with the Department of Labor and California Labor Commissioner for unpaid overtime, and the increasing number of wage and hour class action lawsuits, the importance of correctly classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt is clear. This seminar is designed to help employers and HR professionals gain a more thorough understanding of the various exemptions available under California law and learn how to conduct an exemption analysis in order to reduce potential liability. Continue Reading