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New DFEH Notice and Certification Related to Medical Leaves and Parental Leaves under California Law

Posted in FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

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.

  1. 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

In the News: Lukas Clary in Stateline Article on the Unfolding Impacts of Dynamex Decision

Posted in New Legislation and Regulations

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

Do California Employers Have Any Scheduling Flexibility Options Left?

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

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

In the News: Lizbeth West In SBJ Article “California Raising the Minimum Wage is Causing a Domino Effect”

Posted in New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Minimum Wage Hikes Leave Businesses Feeling the Pinch

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

Employees Are Entitled to Reporting Time Pay if Required to Call In to Confirm Shifts

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, Wage & Hour

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

Upcoming Seminar: Exempt Status – More Than Just a Salary

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

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

Co-Worker Non-Solicitation Provisions in Jeopardy?

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, Trade Secrets and Competition

For years, California courts have recognized the right of employers to use non-solicitation provisions in employment agreements to prevent employees from “soliciting” their coworkers to join them at a new employer.  For instance, in 1985, a California appellate court in Loral Corp v. Moyes, 174 Cal.App.3d 268 (1985), held that a non-solicitation of fellow employees provision in an employment agreement was lawful because the co-workers were free to seek employment with a competitor, they just couldn’t be contacted first by the departing employee. Continue Reading

Upcoming Seminar: Independent Contractors v. Employees – Do Independent Contractors Still Exist?

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour

Summary of Program

The risks involved in misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee have always been serious. A number of federal and state agencies regulate the proper classification of workers and have the authority to impose significant monetary and non-monetary sanctions against employers who get the classification wrong. In 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that made independent contractor status even harder to establish under some circumstances – so now the risk of misclassification is amplified! Continue Reading

Neutral Solutions 2019: A New Year that Brings New Training Obligations

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

While it has always been good practice for employers of all sizes to train both their supervisory employees and non-supervisory employees on the prevention of harassment, California law now mandates such training by 1/1/20 (and every 2 years thereafter) for any employer with 5 or more employees.  The attorneys in Weintraub Tobin’s Labor & Employment Department have years of experience conducting energetic, compliant, and effective harassment prevention training for employers of all sizes and in all industries.  The Training Division of the Labor & Employment Department is headed up by Shareholder Beth West.  Feel free to reach out to her or Department assistant Ramona Carrillo if you are interested in scheduling training – we are available to discuss a training program that meets the specific needs of your workplace. Continue Reading

New Year, New Minimum Wage

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Effective January 1, 2019, California’s minimum wage rate increased to $12.00 per hour (from $11.00) for employers with 26 or more employees and $11.00 per hour (from $10.50) for employers with 25 or fewer employees. The minimum wage will continue to increase yearly until it reaches $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees and January 1, 2023 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

In California, many cities are increasing their minimum wages faster than the state. Click here for a chart of increases set to take place in 2019.