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Sonoma County passes emergency paid sick leave ordinance

Background 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 … Continue Reading

It pays to be vaccinated in Los Angeles County with new paid leave ordinance

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently enacted an urgency ordinance that requires employers to provide supplemental paid leave of up to four hours per injection for employees working in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. The Employee Paid Leave for Expanded Vaccine Access Ordinance (the Ordinance) is effective … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit reverses preliminary injunction: California’s independent contractor law applies to motor carriers

In a split 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order preliminarily enjoining enforcement of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 5 in California Trucking Association et al. v. Bonta (CTA). If this ruling is not appealed, AB 5, which is chaptered in the California Labor Code under 2750.3, will no longer … Continue Reading

Cal-OSHA released proposed revisions to the COVID-19 prevention order

UPDATE on May 20, 2021: Since this article was published, Cal/OSHA has delayed the vote on the new proposed Emergency Temporary Standards. Please read details on the delayed vote on the Reed Smith EHS Law Insights Blog. As vaccination rates increase in California, the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) has released a … Continue Reading

California requires new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in 2021

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (SB 95), which creates, in part, new Labor Code Section 248.2.[1] As a reminder, Governor Newsom previously signed AB 1867, which added Labor Code sections 248 and 248.1 to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave to food sector workers and employees who worked for employers … Continue Reading

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing blesses employers’ use of mandatory vaccination policies

Recently the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released guidance stating that employers generally may require their employees to receive a Food and Drug Administration approved vaccination against COVID-19. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employer may implement a mandatory vaccination policy so long as the employer: Does not discriminate … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court rejects rounding time for meal breaks

On February 25, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC[1] (Donohue).  In that case, the court held that (1) employers cannot round time in the meal period context and (2) time records showing noncompliant meal periods raise a rebuttable presumption of a meal period violation.  Accordingly, the court’s decision has significant implications … Continue Reading

Brief refresher for California employers: 2021 updates to local COVID-19 paid sick leave requirements

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), requiring employers with 50-500 employees[1] to provide supplemental paid sick leave and paid family leave to their employees, and California’s statewide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirement expired on December 31, 2020.  While employers may voluntarily continue to provide FFCRA and receive tax credits through March 31, 2021, … Continue Reading

California expands Family Care and Medical Leave eligibility

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

San Francisco mandates certain workers be rehired in emergency ordinance

Effective July 3, 2020, San Francisco’s Back-to-Work Emergency Ordinance (Emergency Ordinance) seeks to mitigate the economic harm for individuals who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency by creating a temporary right to reemployment for certain employees laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic if their employer seeks to fill the … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

15 California localities increase minimum wage on July 1, 2020

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. Locality Employers with 25 … Continue Reading

California now requires face coverings in public

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 … Continue Reading

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” … Continue Reading

California Executive Order expands workers’ compensation eligibility for employees diagnosed with COVID-19

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 … Continue Reading

Los Angeles City’s New Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances

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, … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Bay Area counties mandate face coverings for essential businesses and other public areas

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

San Francisco Board of Supervisors approves amended paid sick leave ordinance in response to COVID-19 pandemic

On April 7, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) to expand paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  That ordinance was not signed and enacted by Mayor Breed, and the Board of Supervisors has now passed an amended … Continue Reading

San Francisco and San Jose expand paid sick leave in response to COVID-19 outbreak

On April 7, 2020, San Francisco, California and San Jose, California passed emergency ordinances to expand paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave benefits.  The ordinances cover gaps under federal law by expanding leave benefits under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), which is limited to employers with fewer than 500 … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal addresses “unlimited” vacation policies

California law does not require employers to provide paid vacation. But if a California employer does choose to give paid vacation time, state legal requirements apply regarding accrual and compensation. For example, vacation may not be on a “use it or lose it” basis, and all vested but unused vacation is considered earned compensation that … Continue Reading

California’s Judicial Council adopts emergency rules tolling statutes of limitations

On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council held its second emergency meeting to address issues arising in the California court system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Judicial Council, led by Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani Cantil-Sakauye, is the rulemaking body of the California court system. California’s Government Code … Continue Reading
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