It’s that time of the year again! The deadline for California Governor Gavin Newsom to sign, approve without signing, or veto bills on his desk was October 10, 2021. Now that the dust has settled, we have compiled a comprehensive list of bills signed by the governor that will impact employers. We also highlight bills
California Supreme Court: Meal and rest break premiums must be paid at regular rate of pay; applies retroactively
In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the California Supreme Court departed from the longstanding view that non-exempt employees’ meal and rest break premiums are paid at the employee’s base hourly rate, rather than the employee’s regular rate of pay used to calculate overtime pay. Instead, the Court held that the phrase “regular rate…
Sonoma County passes emergency paid sick leave ordinance
Sonoma County (the County) initially enacted Ordinance No. 6320 on August 18, 2020 to provide COVID-19 related paid sick leave to employees not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) in the unincorporated areas of the County. Ordinance No. 6320 expired on December 31, 2020, however, because its expiration date was tied to the FFCRA. On January 26, 2021, the County extended Ordinance No. 6320 until June 30, 2021.
On February 9, 2021, the County enacted Ordinance No. 6336, which required all employers in the unincorporated areas of the County to allow their employees to use up to 80 hours of any unused paid leave benefits previously furnished to employees in 2020 for various COVID-19 sick purposes and/or for the care of the employee’s immediate family member whose senior care provider or whose school or childcare provider was closed or was unavailable due to COVID-19 reasons.…
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Department of Labor withdraws pro-business independent contractor final rule
As we previously reported here and here, in January 2021 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a business-friendly final rule concerning the classification of workers as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule, which was scheduled to take effect in March 2021 (but never did), reaffirmed the use of the so-called “economic reality test” to distinguish between independent contractors and employees under the federal wage/hour law. In essence, the rule was intended to provide a more uniform approach to worker classification.
Shortly after taking office, however, President Biden postponed the effective date of the final rule and suggested it should be repealed. The Biden administration has now followed through on that plan, with the DOL blocking the rule entirely earlier today. In a press release announcing the rule’s withdrawal, the DOL stated: “Upon further review and consideration of the rule and having considered the public comments, the [DOL] does not believe that the Independent Contractor Rule is fully aligned with the FLSA’s text or purpose, or with decades of case law describing and applying the multifactor economic realities test.”…
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California requires new COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave
On September 9, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1867 into law, adding section 248.1 to the Labor Code. Under this new section, “hiring entities” are required to provide supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave (CPSL) to “covered workers.” This is in addition to any paid sick leave that may be available to the covered workers under California’s Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (HWHFA).
“Hiring entities” include private businesses with 500 or more employees in the United States or public entities that employ health care providers or emergency responders that have elected to exclude such employees from emergency paid sick leave under the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Notably, there is no exception for unionized workforces with a collective bargaining agreement providing for paid sick leave.
“Covered workers” include individuals employed by a hiring entity that leave home to perform work. Excluded from covered workers are food sector workers, who are instead provided supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave under Labor Code section 248. …
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California’s recent guidance for employers facing COVID-19 outbreaks
On June 16, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance for employers responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. An outbreak at a non-health care or congregate setting workplace is defined as three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a two-week period among employees who live in different households.
The guidance provides a road map for local public health departments (LHDs) and employers to use in understanding the steps that should be taken in response to an outbreak at work. In short, employers should be ready to report positive COVID-19 cases to the LHD and to collaborate with the LHD to coordinate a response to the outbreak.…
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Oakland passes COVID-19 paid sick leave
On May 12, 2020, Oakland passed an emergency ordinance joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose in requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons. Codified as Code of Ordinances Chapter 5.94 and known as the “Protecting Workers and Communities During a Pandemic – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance” (Emergency Paid Sick Leave), Oakland’s new paid sick leave requirements aim to fill the gaps in the coverage provided by the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).
Unlike the FFCRA, which only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, Oakland’s new paid sick leave requirements apply to all private employers, regardless of the number of employees, but subject to the exemptions noted below. Covered employers must pay the Emergency Paid Sick Leave payment by no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the employee takes Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and no more than 14 days after the employee takes Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
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COVID-19 FAQs for California employers
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…
Updated COVID-19 FAQs for employers with U.S. employees
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. Please click here for a series of FAQs we have compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with U.S.-based employees have posed to us within the past few weeks.
These FAQs are general…
California requires expanded COVID-19 paid sick leave for food sector workers
On April 16, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring employers to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for food sector workers. The executive order is effective immediately and extends paid sick leave requirements to cover not only employees, but also independent contractors working in the food sector.
The executive order applies to “hiring entities,” defined as private companies that have 500 or more employees in the United States. It specifically includes any “Delivery Network Company” (a business entity that maintains an internet website or mobile application used to facilitate delivery services for the sale of local products) and “Transportation Network Company” (an organization operating in California that provides prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform to connect passengers with drivers using a personal vehicle). …
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