California Employment Law Update

Latest from California Employment Law Update - Page 2

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy (the “Order”), which, among other things, “encourage[s]” the “Chair of the [Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”)] . . . to consider working with the rest of the Commission to exercise the FTC’s statutory rulemaking authority . . . to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”  To be clear, the Order does not impact the current state of the law or enforceability of noncompetition agreements in any context, including those between an…
Just as California’s employers and small businesses begin to recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state legislature is about to spring another tax increase on them. This time the money is needed to bail out the severely underfunded unemployment insurance (UI) fund (a program recently featured in the news for paying as much as $2 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims, which included sending checks to death row prisoners). This comes as no surprise to many observers as the UI fund barely met its obligations in prior years. And as claims surged over the past year, California borrowed $21…
Meland v. Weber, ___ F.3d ___, 2021 WL 2521615 (9th Cir. 2021) In 2018, the California Legislature enacted Senate Bill 826, which requires all corporations headquartered in California to have a minimum number of females on their boards of directors; corporations that fail to comply with SB 826 are subject to monetary penalties.  One shareholder of OSI Systems, Inc., Creighton Meland, brought an action challenging the constitutionality of SB 826 on the ground that it requires shareholders to discriminate on the basis of sex when exercising their voting rights in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The district court granted…
As we previously reported (here), Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) held a series of special meetings to revise its controversial Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  And, on June 17, 2021, OSHSB approved updated ETS language that more closely aligns California’s workplace safety requirements with recommendations from the CDC and California Department of Public Health. Most significantly, the revised ETS permit fully vaccinated employees to unmask indoors. Unvaccinated employees still must mask-up while indoors (except in limited circumstances), but neither vaccinated nor unvaccinated employees are required to wear face coverings when…
As we previously reported (here), on June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) approved some controversial revisions to its Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) related to COVID-19.  Among other highly-contested provisions, the updated ETS would have required even fully-vaccinated individuals to don masks indoors unless everyone in a room was fully-vaccinated.  However, before the much-maligned revised ETS could take effect, the OSHSB did an immediate about-face. On June 9, 2021, the OSHSB convened a special meeting to consider how the new ETS aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the…
In a closely-watched vote, yesterday (June 3, 2021), California’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board  approved controversial amendments to the Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) related to COVID-19.  If approved by the Office of Administrative Law within the 10 day review period, the new ETS (available here) will require (among many other things) most California workers (whether or not they are vaccinated) to continue to wear face masks “when indoors, when outdoors and less than six feet away from another person, and where required by orders from the … [California Department of Public Health] or local health department[s].”  Employees…
The California Court of Appeal has determined that a wrongful discharge claim cannot be based upon an alleged violation of a municipal ordinance.  Bruni v. The Edward Thomas Hospitality Corporation. The California Supreme Court has previously ruled that wrongful termination claims must be based upon a violation of a “fundamental public policy.”  In the years since that decision, plaintiffs’ lawyers have asserted a wide variety of wrongful discharge, constructive discharge, and failure to hire claims based on a broad array of federal, state and local statutes, constitutional provisions, regulations and ordinances.  However, it had been an open question as…
On May 18, 2021, Santa Clara County issued a new Order of the Health Officer (the “Order”) that took effect on May 19th.  Of particular note, the Order imposes two new obligations:  First, it mandates that employers require all personnel to immediately alert their employer if they test positive for COVID-19 and were present in the workplace either (1) within the 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms or within 10 days after onset of symptoms if they were symptomatic; or (2) within 48 hours prior to the date on which they were tested or within 10 days after the…
Last week, New York announced new tax increases that will subject certain of its residents to higher personal income tax rates than even Californians pay.  Before the pages on that bill had cooled, the California legislature was well on its way to showing it would not relinquish its top-of-the-heap status without a fight by proposing a new “wealth tax” on California residents. In response, the California Chamber of Commerce added the following four bills to its annual list of Job Killer bills. Here are the fresh additions: ACA-8 (Lee; D-San Jose) New Wealth Tax – Would amend the California Constitution…
With COVID-19 cases falling and vaccination rates increasing, the County of Los Angeles is updating guidance for reopening the economy. Effective Monday, April 5, 2021, Los Angeles County non-essential office-based businesses can now reopen indoors, at 50% capacity, per the new County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer. This revised order was updated as a result of Los Angeles County’s move into the “Orange Tier,” which reflects a moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission. In addition to allowing offices to reopen at a limited capacity, the order increases capacity limits for restaurants, breweries,…