California

Subscribe to California RSS Feed

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Employment Discrimination Laws Proposed in Six States: What Employers Need to Know (US)

We recently wrote about Colorado’s historic law aimed at protecting, among others, employees and employment applicants from harm arising out of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Although Colorado is the first state to pass legislation addressing AI-based discrimination, similar bills have been proposed in at least six other states as well as at … Continue Reading

In a Rare Win for California Employers, Good Faith is Good Enough to Avoid Wage Statement Penalties (US)

As California employers know all too well, the state is notorious for its employee-friendly laws that can be difficult to navigate and create administrative and compliance headaches. Even the most diligent employers can find themselves on the wrong end of the law for minor, inadvertent errors, subjecting them to harsh and expensive penalties. For example, … Continue Reading

Why You May Have to Comply with California’s New Noncompete – With a February 14 Deadline

Not surprisingly, California is once again passing employment laws that impact companies beyond the state. Specifically, the Golden State is continuing its war against noncompete clauses to conform to case law stating that such clauses are void for any employee working in California — even if the employment contract containing the noncompete was signed in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of California Holds Trial Courts Lack Inherent Authority to Dismiss Unmanageable PAGA Claims

In Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., No. S274340, 2024 WL 188863 (Cal. Jan. 18, 2024), the Supreme Court of California resolved a split among the Courts of Appeal regarding whether trial courts possess inherent authority to dismiss California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims based on their lack of manageability and held … Continue Reading

Amendments to California Anti-Retaliation Laws Facilitate Employee Lawsuits

Soon it will be easier for California employees to establish a prima facie claim of retaliation in violation of California law. On October 8, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 497 into law. Also referred to as the Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Protection Act, the legislation amends California Labor Code Sections 98.6, 1102.5 and … Continue Reading

California Legislative Year-End Review: Preparing for 2024 (US)

On October 14, 2023, California’s active legislative year came to an end, leaving numerous employment law updates in its wake. This year, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed novel laws that create new rights for employees (and requirements for employers) while also amending some current laws, thereby changing existing employer obligations. Here, we summarize the laws … Continue Reading

Attention California Employers! Soon, You Will Need to Provide Employees Five Days (or 40 Hours) of Paid Sick Leave (US)

On October 4, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) No. 616 into law, which expands California’s mandatory paid sick leave from three days (or twenty-four hours) to five days (or forty hours). The increased paid sick leave requirements take effect on January 1, 2024. Background In 2014, California enacted the Healthy Workplaces, … Continue Reading

California Court Says “Check Is in the Mail” Violates California Arbitration Act; Lets Employee Avoid Arbitration Over Non-Prejudicial Technicality (US)

Latest California court decision is another example of judicial hostility to employment arbitration agreements. California employers and their employees frequently agree to resolve disputes through binding private arbitration, rather than the more time-consuming and costly process of litigating claims in court. However, to require arbitration, California employers are required to pay all fees unique to … Continue Reading

Time OT! DOL Proposes Significant Updates to Overtime Rules…Again (US)

On August 30, 2023, the US Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that could significantly change the “white collar exemptions” to the overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Under current law, by default all employees covered by the FLSA are entitled to overtime pay at the rate … Continue Reading

Court Decisions Following Viking River Cruises Largely Disappoint California Employers (US)

California employers enthusiastically received the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, 142 S. Ct. 1906 (2022). That case held the Federal Arbitration Act allows employers to compel employees to arbitrate the individual part of their claim under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”). Some employers hoped … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Examines Unconscionability in Arbitration Agreements

In yet another chapter of the saga involving California and its treatment of employment arbitration agreements, a Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions examining the state’s legal standard for determining unconscionable arbitration clauses. Fuentes v. Empire Nissan, Inc., — Cal. Rptr. 3d. —, No. B314490, April 21, 2023, 2023 WL 3029968 (Apr. 21, 2023) … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Latest California Law Against Employee Arbitration Agreements (US)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down the California Legislature’s latest attempt in a prolonged effort to limit employers’ ability to make arbitration of all disputes a condition of employment. In an opinion issued on February 15, 2023, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the law, Assembly Bill 51, is preempted by … Continue Reading

California Labor Commissioner’s Office Answers A Few Key Questions on Pay Transparency (US)

Just in time for the new year, California employers finally received some clarity about their obligations under California’s new pay transparency law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2023. As discussed in more detail here, SB 1162 not only expands pay data reporting requirements for California employers with 100 or more employees, but the … Continue Reading

California Wage and Hour Issues for Employers to Watch in 2023: Is My Time-Rounding System Still Compliant? (US)

Virtually every employer in California has repeated the mantra of “no off-the-clock work” to its employees. But what about those minutes that are “on-the-clock” but remain unpaid because of rounding practices? Since 2012, when the California appellate court decided See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 210 Cal. App. 4th 889 (2012), employers have presumed … Continue Reading

California Legislative Year-End Review (US)

California’s active legislative year has finally come to a close, with Governor Gavin Newsom signing several new laws to further regulate the workplace. Summarized below are the laws expected to most significantly impact California employers. Unless otherwise stated, these new laws take effect January 1, 2023.… Continue Reading

California Issues New Definition of “Close Contact” – Time for Tape Measures and Calculators (US)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) revised its definition for what constitutes a “close contact” for purposes of Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).[1] The revised definition will likely be good news for big box retailers, large manufacturers and warehouses. The rest of the state will remain bound by the existing standard.… Continue Reading

Gov. Newsom Extends California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through December 31, 2022 – and Other COVID-19 Updates (US)

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several more employment-related bills impacting an employer’s obligations relating to COVID-19.  Of particular note, Assembly Bill 152 extends California’s 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave through December 31, 2022. This means employers with more than 25 employees must continue to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees for … Continue Reading

BREAKING: California Employers to Disclose Pay Ranges (US)

As a result of Governor Newsom’s signature on SB 1162, California will soon become the largest state requiring affirmative disclosure of pay scale information, thus contributing to the state’s ongoing effort to increase pay transparency. Effective January 1, 2023, many California employers will be required to include pay scale information in job postings and disclose … Continue Reading

Lessons for California Employers from Viking River (US)

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court waded into the complicated and controversial waters of California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).  At issue was whether pre-dispute arbitration agreements between employers and employees could be enforced to compel PAGA claims into arbitration – California courts had said no.  At stake is a huge loophole which … Continue Reading

Employers Beware:  Take-Home COVID Cases are on the Rise (US)

You’ve just been informed that an employee who apparently contracted COVID-19 from an exposure in your workplace brought the virus home, and now his spouse, who is in a high-risk category, has contracted the virus and is in the hospital.  Do you as the employer face potential liability for the spouse’s illness? More than two … Continue Reading

What Employers Need to Know about California’s 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law (US)

On February 19, 2022, California employers with more than 25 employees must begin complying with California’s latest paid sick leave legislation (Senate Bill 114 to be codified as Cal. Labor Code § 248.6) and provide supplemental paid sick leave to covered employees who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 related reasons. While … Continue Reading

California Legislature Enacts New Employment Laws To Take Effect in 2022 (US)

The California Legislature increased the complexity of employment law in the Golden State by enacting several employment laws that will soon take effect.  Below we summarize key aspects of the more significant new legislation. Intentional Failure to Pay Wages May Constitute the Felony of “Grand Theft” (Assembly Bill 1003) Under current law, employers who wrongfully … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Panel Reinstates Restrictions on California Employment Arbitration Agreements (US)

In October 2019, California enacted a new law, AB 51, that on its face prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. As expected, the law was immediately challenged in federal court. In the latest installment of the law’s journey through the courts, a split Ninth Circuit panel vacated a 2020 preliminary injunction that had forestalled … Continue Reading

California Becomes More Expensive for Employers: Meal and Rest Break Premiums Now Track Overtime and Must be Paid at the Regular Rate of Pay, Retroactively (US)

Issuing the California Supreme Court’s decision in a much anticipated case, Justice Liu on behalf of a unanimous court explained in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC that “[t]he calculation of premium pay for a noncompliant meal, rest, or recovery period, like the calculation of overtime pay, must account for not only hourly wages but … Continue Reading
LexBlog