While California inches closer to the state’s June 15 target to lift restrictions and reopen the economy, California employers will have to wait for guidance from CalOSHA on the standards that will govern COVID-19 workplace safety.  For now, CalOSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards released in November 2020 will remain in place and employers will need to continue to be mindful of these more restrictive guidelines, despite loosening of other state restrictions.
Continue Reading CalOSHA Withdraws Recently Proposed Revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued guidance to state unemployment insurance agencies, expanding the categories of workers that are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The PUA program was created in March 2020 to provide payments to certain people affected by COVID-19, as well as independent contractors and gig workers who do not usually qualify for unemployment insurance.  While funded by the federal government, states are responsible for administering it. 
Continue Reading Department of Labor Expands Unemployment Insurance Eligibility To Include Workers Who Declined Work Due to Pandemic Safety Concerns

Many employers use rounding methods to adjust the hours that an employee works to the nearest time increment, such as every five or ten minutes.  The California Supreme Court has ruled, however, that this rounding practice is impermissible at the meal period.  Equally as troubling for employers, the Court also held that time records showing a noncompliant meal period raise a “rebuttable presumption” of meal period violations.
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Declares Employers Cannot Round Workers’ Time At The Meal Period And Records Can Raise Rebuttable Presumption Of Violations

Los Angeles Mayor Gil Garcetti signed into law two new ordinances that affect certain employers in the following commercial sectors: airport businesses, commercial property businesses, event center businesses, and hotel businesses.  These ordinances give recall rights and impose obligations on employers upon a change in ownership.
Continue Reading As Workplaces Prepare To Reopen, Los Angeles Hospitality Employers Should Be Mindful of New COVID-19 Employment Ordinances

On December 6, 2019, a coalition of both national and state business organizations and trade associations filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.  The lawsuit seeks both a preliminary and permanent injunction against implementation and enforcement of the recently enacted California law that makes it unlawful for California employers to require employees to sign arbitration agreements, under certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Injunction Sought to Stop California’s Anti-Arbitration Law

As California braces for wildfire season, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved an emergency regulation on July 30, 2019, that requires California employers to monitor air quality for particle pollution, and reduce workers exposure to the potential harmful pollutants from wildfire smoke.
Continue Reading California Employers Must Take Steps To Protect Workers From Wildfire Smoke

The presence of alcohol in offices has ebbed and flowed over time and largely depended on the type of business, from drink carts in advertising agencies à la Mad Men to keg refrigerators at startups. The once popular office perk may or may not be waning, but the number of companies addressing the issue and the attention those decisions are generating is certainly increasing.
Continue Reading Companies Are Rethinking their Approach To Alcohol in the Workplace

Employers who operate in New York State and City are likely aware of the new sexual harassment laws that are starting to take effect.  Many companies have already revised their sexual harassment policies to comply with the new laws, but now face the hurdle of complying with the sexual harassment training requirements under both the State and City laws.  While there is overlap between the State and City requirements, there are differences that employers should note.
Continue Reading Deadlines Rapidly Approaching To Meet New York Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

The opioid epidemic is causing employers to consider the best ways to ensure a safe workplace, but companies should be careful when addressing employees’ prescription drug use.  Recent court filings and settlements by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission illustrate the potential pitfalls employers face when attempting to implement a drug-free workplace.
Continue Reading Employers’ Prescription Drug Use Policies Coming Under Scrutiny

California was one of the leading states to tackle pay discrimination by banning inquiries into salary history.  California Labor Code Section 432.2, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, prohibits public and private employers from seeking or relying upon the salary history of applicants for employment.  But some of the law’s terms were undefined and some of the provisions were unclear, so after Section 432.2 went into effect, employers had questions about how to remain compliant with the law when hiring new employees. Acknowledging the need for clarity, Governor Jerry Brown signed an amendment into law on July 18, 2018.
Continue Reading California Clarifies Its Law Banning Inquiries into Applicants’ Salary History