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

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

As we have previously reported, several states, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, now require employees, customers and/or the public to wear face coverings.  As we have also written about, in other states, like California, local governments are leading the way.  For example, Bay Area counties Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa all require face coverings to some degree.  Since then, additional California municipalities have also joined, including San Bernardino, Riverside, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Carson, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pasadena.  Links to our prior publications on these location-specific mandates can be found below.

Other states and municipalities continue to follow suit.  As of April 17, employees of essential businesses in Hawaii must wear face coverings.  On April 18, Maryland established a similar requirement for employees, as well as customers over nine years of age. Like California, in states that are not currently requiring face coverings, some local governments have taken the initiative to establish their own requirements.  For example, in Illinois, Cicero, Glenview, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie and Wilmette have each implemented some type of face covering requirement.  Municipalities in other states that have joined the movement include Laredo, Texas; Miami, Florida; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Chickasaw, Oklahoma.
Continue Reading Employers must face it: Face covering requirements growing across states and municipalities

On July 3, California became the first state to pass legislation that bans discrimination based on natural hairstyles. Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair). The CROWN Act amends the state’s Government Code and Education Code to define “race or ethnicity” as “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” The new law expressly protects hairstyles including, but not limited to, “braids, locks, and twists.” Governor Newsom called the law “long overdue.” The bill passed unanimously in the senate and the assembly, and takes effect on January 1, 2020.
Continue Reading New York and California ban discrimination against natural hair

The California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (“Healthy Families Act”) is fully effective July 1, 2015, including the significant potential for class-action liability for non-compliance. It is critical that employers ensure that their sick leave policy is current, given the ever-developing legal guidance. We have created a helpful list of common areas of confusion with this new law.

(1) General Background on the Healthy Families Act

The Healthy Families Act provides sick leave for absences from work for: (1) the diagnosis, care, or treatment (including preventive treatment) of an existing health condition of the employee or the employee’s family member, and (2) the employee being the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Family member is expansively defined to include children, parents, foster parents, legal guardians, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouses, and domestic partners.

The law requires employers to include information regarding accrual and use of sick leave with their employees’ wage statements. Further, employers must preserve these sick leave records for three years. Moreover, relevant posters and individual notices should have been posted and delivered as of January 1, 2015. New hires must also receive pertinent individual notices explaining their rights under the Healthy Families Act.

(2) Employees Must Provide “Reasonable” Notice.

The Healthy Families Act limits employers to requiring only “reasonable advance notification” of employee use of sick leave. Where unforeseeable, an employer may only require notice when “practicable.”Continue Reading California Sick Leave To Go into Effect July 1 – Be Aware of These Common Traps

Under California Labor Code 2751 (amended in 2012), effective January 1, 2013, employers must provide all commissioned employees who render services in California with a written contract detailing the method by which the commission shall be computed and paid.  This law applies to all employers (both in-state and out-of-state) who pay commissions to employees working in California. Continue Reading Got “Receipt”? Effective January 2013, Employers Must Have Written Contracts for Commissioned Employees Working In California

Following the lead of Maryland and Illinois, California is the latest state to stop employers from requesting social media log-in information, such as user names and passwords for Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail, from employees and job applicants. The new law also includes protections from employer retaliation against employees who refuse to provide this personal access

Most employers assume that if they successfully defeat a plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a wage and hour class action, the same class claims cannot be raised again in another case. On January 18, 2012, however, the California court of appeal in Bridgeford v. Pacific Health Corp, 2012 WL 130615, dashed that commonly held assumption.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Green Lights Repetitive Class Action Litigation

Effective January 1, 2012, private California employers of non-exempt employees not subject to certain collective bargaining agreements will face new reporting and recordkeeping requirements and penalties for violations of California’s aggressively-titled “Wage Theft Prevention Act” signed into law in October 2011. Similar to New York’s law of the same name enacted last year, the Act

In a unanimous opinion, the California Supreme Court has ruled that California’s overtime laws apply to workers from out of state who perform work in California for a California-based employer. Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., No. 06-56649 (9th Cir. June 30, 2011). Answering certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,