California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

As the federal government and state of California adjusted their COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated individuals, Cal OSHA remained silent on how vaccination affected the requirements under its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). While there had been discussions of revisions to the ETS, it was unclear if Cal OSHA would be able to release such revisions prior to the targeted reopening of California by June 15, 2021. Last week Cal OSHA updated its guidance on how the ETS mandatory exclusion requirements should be applied to fully vaccinated individuals. Under the guidance, employees who are not fully vaccinated must be excluded…
Recently, the Biden administration announced plans for a federal paid family leave program – something that has been available to California employees for over a decade. California’s Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) program, which is administered by the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”), provides eligible employees with up to 8 weeks of wage replacement benefits when an employee is off work for certain qualifying reasons. PFL Benefits The PFL program provides wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who take time off work to: Care for a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner. Bond with…
The California Privacy Protection Act (CPRA) amended the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and has an operative date of January 1, 2023. The CPRA introduces new compliance obligations including a requirement that businesses conduct risk assessments. While many U.S. companies currently conduct risk assessments for compliance with state “reasonable safeguards” statutes (e.g., FloridaTexasIllinoisMassachusettsNew York) or the HIPAA Security Rule, the CPRA risk assessment has a different focus. This risk assessment requirement is similar to the EU General Data Protection’s (GDPR) data protection impact assessment (DPIA). Read the full article at Jackson
Despite the Governor’s recent announcement for a tentative reopening of the state by June, California’s legislature has been busy passing COVID-19-related laws. At the end of March, the Governor signed Senate Bill 95, which resurrected and expanded supplemental paid sick leave. And more recently, the Governor signed Senate Bill 93, which implemented a statewide right of reemployment for certain industries. Over the last four months, numerous localities (including the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and others) across California have issued or considered “hazard” or “hero” pay ordinances that mandate premium pay for grocery…
In 2020, a California district court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”) against motor carriers operating within California. AB 5 codified the judge-made “ABC test” for classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors. The district court concluded, “there is little question that the State of California has encroached on Congress’ territory by eliminating motor carriers’ choice to use independent contractor drivers, a choice at the very heart of interstate trucking.” Shortly after the district court’s decision, the State of California and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters appealed to the 9th Circuit.   On…
In November 2020, Cal OSHA passed the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Currently, the Standards are set to expire on October 2, 2021. As outlined in prior articles, the ETS require that employers: Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program. Implement COVID-19 preventative measures. Report information to their local health department. Retain records related to COVID-19 cases in the workplace in a confidential manner. Exclude workers known to have COVID-19 or who have had exposure. Identify and manage COVID-19 infections and outbreaks in the workplace. Unfortunately, the ETS are already lagging behind federal and…
The COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statute was signed into law a month ago and, despite a FAQ issued by the California Labor Commissioner, employers were faced with uncertainty as to whether their employee’s leave request qualified under the statute.  Fortunately, the Labor Commissioner has updated its FAQs to provide further clarity to employers. Reasons for Leave The first clarification pertains to leave for childcare purposes. The statute states that eligible employees may take supplemental paid sick leave if “caring for a child…whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the…
As California moves toward a tentative reopening date of June 15, employers may be considering bulking up their workforce again. If hiring new employees, employers should consider the guidance issued by the California Commission on the Status of Women (“Commission”), regarding starting compensation. The guidance from the Commission first sets forth the applicable California statutes that apply to compensation. Under California labor Code section 432.3(e), employers are prohibited from: Seeking salary history from applicants Relying on salary history information to determine whether to offer employment or what salary to offer Relying on prior salary to justify the disparity in…
The Governor has signed Senate Bill 93, which would require that covered employers offer employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic available positions based on a preference system. The new statute is targeted at the hospitality industry, which has started to reopen as the state moves toward full reopening. The bill is a budget bill and therefore the statute becomes effective immediately. Specifically, the ordinance applies to the following industries: Hotels Private clubs Event Centers Airport Hospitality Operations Airport Service Providers Building Services to office, retail, or other commercial buildings The bill includes further qualifications as to the…
As the state of California moves toward full reopening, employers in certain jurisdictions in California already have to contend with local right of reemployment or recall requirements. While last year Governor Newsom vetoed a statewide right of recall, the state legislature has approved a similar statute, Senate Bill 93.  If signed by the Governor, the bill would require that covered employers offer employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic available positions based on a preference system. Covered Employers Under the proposed legislation, employers who operate hotels, private clubs, event centers, airport hospitality services, or building…