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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California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission recently amended its regulations to the state’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law.  The new regulations provide expanded protections and clarifications with regard to employer obligations related to Pregnancy Disability Leave (“PDL”).  The regulations take effect on December 30, 2012.


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A 2-1 California Court of Appeal held on October 17 that drivers for a food service provider did not have to arbitrate their state statutory claims brought under the California Labor Code despite a binding arbitration agreement covering the “application or interpretation” of the driver agreements.  The drivers alleged that their employer, Mike Campbell & Associates, misclassified them as independent contractors, denying them wage law protections under the California Labor Code, and was thus liable for nonpayment of wages, illegal deductions, and recordkeeping violations.  Rather than challenge the trial court’s ruling that they were bound by the arbitration clause, the drivers argued that their statutory claims did not arise out of the arbitration agreement and thus did not require an interpretation of the arbitration clause. 


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The Bright v. 99 Cents Only Stores decision, issued by the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District last November, illustrates a recent wage and hour class action litigation trend against retail employers in California over lack of “suitable seating” for their employees. The California Supreme Court denied review of this case in February 2011.


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