We previously alerted employers to California employment law bills that were still alive toward the end of the most recent legislative session. That session ended on September 14, 2023 and Governor Newsom had until October 14, 2023 to either sign, approve without signing, or veto the bills that survived. Below is an update on the fate of these employment law bills so employers will know which ones are slated to become law. The Governor vetoed several noteworthy bills that would have expanded the state’s protected classes, employee work-from-home rights and CalWARN notice requirements. On the other hand, the Governor signed multiple significant employment law bills into law, including those creating increased paid sick leave requirements, expanded re-hiring rights, a new reproductive loss leave, and a new requirement that employers establish a workplace violence prevention plan. Unless otherwise noted, the approved bills will take effect January 1, 2024.Continue Reading California employment law legislative update: bills that will become law in 2024 and beyond
The California Legislature had until September 14, 2023, to pass bills in the current Legislative Session before these bills are sent to Governor Newsom to either sign, approve without signing, or veto each bill by October 14, 2023. Several key bills relate specifically to employment law, including expansion of paid sick leave, CalWARN notice requirements…
On September 11, 2023, labor unions and the California restaurant industry reached an agreement that promises to significantly impact the fast-food chains throughout California. This deal involves, among other things, raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour and eliminating an industry-supported referendum scheduled for the 2024 ballot. The deal also…
On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1383 (SB-1383), which significantly expands employee eligibility for family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
The law, which will go into effect January 1, 2021, reduces the number of employees required for an employer to be covered under the CFRA and also expands the reasons why employees may take these leaves.
Currently, private employers with 50 or more employees working in a 75-mile radius are required to provide employees with leave under the CFRA, while private employers with 20 or more employees are required to provide limited leave time for baby bonding pursuant to the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA).
SB 1383 expands the leave entitlement to cover smaller employers, requiring employers with five or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for a qualifying reason. Qualifying reasons include:
- Leave for the birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with the adoption or foster care of the child by the employee;
- Leave to care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition;
- Leave because of an employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of that employee, except for leave taken for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;
- Leave because of a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States;
This list of qualifying reasons further expands leave entitlement beyond what employers are required to provide under the current CFRA and NPLA. Under SB 1383, qualified employees will be entitled to take leave to care for the serious health condition of a grandparent, grandchild, or sibling in addition to the current requirement covering an employee’s parent, child, and spouse or domestic partner.Continue Reading California expands Family Care and Medical Leave eligibility
California employers need to be aware of impending local minimum wage increases in 13 California cities and counties on July 1, 2020, under local ordinances. The minimum wage will increase in the following localities on July 1 as described below. Clients must make sure their minimum wage postings reflect these changes.
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On June 18, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidance mandating that face coverings be worn state-wide. While several California counties and cities have passed local laws requiring face coverings over the past few months, state public health officials had only previously recommended the use of face coverings.
Face covering requirements
People in California must wear face coverings when:
- Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
- Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
- Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
- Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
- Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
- Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
- Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
- Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
- In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
- Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.
- While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.
On May 6, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which dramatically expands workers’ compensation eligibility for employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19, as part of his continued plan to create a robust safety net for California workers. The Order creates a rebuttable presumption that employees who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of performing work at their place of employment contracted the virus while at work.
To be entitled to this presumption, an employee must show: (1) the employee was diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of performing work at the employee’s place of employment and under the employer’s direction; (2) the work day at issue was on or after March 19, 2020; (3) the place of employment at issue was not the employee’s place of residence; and (4) when the employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, the diagnosis was done by a California board-certified physician and confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the initial diagnosis.Continue Reading California Executive Order expands workers’ compensation eligibility for employees diagnosed with COVID-19
On April 29, 2020, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, signed into law two COVID-19-driven workforce ordinances: the Right of Recall Ordinance and the Worker Retention Ordinance.
The ordinances cover “Airport,” “Commercial Property,” “Event Center,” and “Hotel” employers, including:
- Owners, operators, or managers of (i) Event Centers (g., concert halls, stadiums, sports arenas, racetracks, coliseums, and convention centers), (ii) Hotels with 50+ rooms or gross revenues exceeding $5 million in 2019, and (iii) any restaurant physically located on the premises of said covered Hotel.
- Any employer that provides any service at any Airport it operates in the City or provides any service to any employer servicing these airports. This ordinance does not apply to airlines.
- Owners, operators, managers, or lessees, including contractors, subcontractors, or sublessees, of a non-residential Commercial Property in the City that employs 25 or more janitorial, maintenance, or security service workers.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. We have prepared a series of FAQs compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with California-based employees have posed to us over roughly the past six weeks.
These FAQs are general and high-level…
Health officials in six Bay Area counties – Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa – have issued orders mandating the use of face coverings in public areas like essential businesses, common spaces, and on public transit. The San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, and Sonoma county orders went into effect on April 17; however, enforcement of the San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo county orders will not begin until 8 a.m. on April 22, 2020. The Contra Costa and Marin county orders went into effect at 8 a.m. on April 20, 2020.
Acceptable face coverings
Under these orders, individuals should not purchase N95 or other factory-made masks in order to meet the requirements. Those masks should be reserved for health care workers. Instead, individuals should use any cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face – even if homemade. Examples of acceptable face coverings include a scarf or bandanna; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, held on with rubber bands or otherwise; or a mask, which need not be medical-grade.
Continue Reading Bay Area counties mandate face coverings for essential businesses and other public areas