California Developments

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

SB 606, which took effect January 1, 2022, greatly increases the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA’s”) enforcement powers by creating two new violation categories – “enterprise wide” and “egregious” violations.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Enters the New Year With Expanded Enforcement Authority

On December 27, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their isolation and quarantine recommendations for the general public, including more limited time periods for quarantine and isolation periods.  On December 30, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance to conform to the new CDC guidelines but added additional requirements, including testing to exit isolation or quarantine after the fifth day (which the CDC now acknowledges is the “best approach” but does not require as part of its formal guidance).  Notably, the new guidance also introduces a distinction between boosted and non-boosted individuals for the first time. 
Continue Reading California Adopts New CDC Guidance Regarding Quarantine and Isolation Periods With Its Own Twists

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a closer look at the enforceability of arbitration agreements that bar representative claims brought under PAGA, a California law that allows individual employees to police labor code violations.
Continue Reading SCOTUS Could Deliver Good News to California Employers Looking to Enforce Class Action Waivers Against PAGA Claims

A critical ruling in the world of franchising, in Haitayan v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 2021 WL 4078727 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 8, 2021), the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California applied the so-called Borello test to find that franchisees were independent contractors, instead of employees, for purposes of their claims for unpaid business expense reimbursements under California’s Labor Code section 2802.
Continue Reading 7-Eleven Franchisees are Independent Contractors Under Borello Test