California Employment Laws

The California Supreme Court has ruled that California employers cannot rely on the federal de minimis doctrine to avoid claims for unpaid wages on small amounts of time.   Under the de minimis doctrine, employers may be excused from paying workers for small amounts of otherwise compensable time if the work is irregular and administratively difficult to record.  Federal Courts have frequently found that daily periods of approximately 10 minutes are de minimis even though otherwise compensable.
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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.
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The new year brings new laws for California employers to grapple with. We highlight the most significant new employment laws affecting California employers as of January 1, 2018.  Companies based in California or with operations in California are encouraged to review their policies and procedures in light of these developments.
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