California Developments

On June 8, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an Order with definitions for “close contact” and “infectious period” that conflict and abrogate the definitions for these terms within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).  Employers must comply with the new CDPH definitions, even where they differ from the text of the California ETS or federal Centers for Disease Control guidance.
Continue Reading New “Close Contact” and “Infectious Period” Definitions Modify Compliance with Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS

San Francisco has significantly expanded its Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance to guarantee flexible or predictable work arrangements for employees with qualifying caregiver responsibilities when the employee provides notice of their preferred arrangement, unless the employer can demonstrate an undue hardship to the employer.
Continue Reading San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Amended Ordinance Gives Greater Flexibility

On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (Case No. 20-1573) reversing the California Court of Appeal’s decision to affirm the denial of Viking’s motion to compel arbitration Moriana’s “individual” PAGA claim and to dismiss her other PAGA claims.
Continue Reading BREAKING:  Supreme Court Reverses California Court of Appeal in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana

Assembly Bill 1651 or the Workplace Technology Accountability Act, a new bill proposed by California Assembly Member Ash Kalra, would regulate employers, and their vendors, regarding the use of employee data.  Under the bill, data is defined as “any information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular worker, regardless of how the information is collected, inferred, or obtained.” 
Continue Reading California Assembly Proposes Data Privacy Law for Workers

On October 4, 2021, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that California’s strict meal and rest period rules do not apply to commercial truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce.  The Court’s denial of the petition leaves in place a decision that came as a welcome sigh of relief for employers in the trucking industry.
Continue Reading Keep On Truckin’: California’s Meal And Rest Break Rules Preempted By FMCSA

Over the course of the pandemic, California employers have contended with rapidly changing rules on workplace safety. Mask requirements in the workplace have been an especially evolving area, where the rules have not only varied between the federal, state, and local jurisdictions, but were often inconsistent across different state agencies. California has now taken steps, however, to align the state’s new mask mandates for the public as well as in the workplace.
Continue Reading Gov. Newsom Suspends Cal/OSHA’s Requirement That Unvaccinated Workers Wear Masks Indoors

The California Supreme Court has clarified that state whistleblower retaliation claims should not be evaluated under the McDonnell Douglas test, but rather under the test adopted by the California legislature in 2003, thus clarifying decades of confusion among the courts.  
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof in Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

On February 9, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 114, which reestablishes the state’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirements. Employers will not be able to simply dust off their 2021 policies and reimplement them, however, because the 2022 law contains some important changes from prior laws.
Continue Reading California Enacts COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave For 2022