California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

Due to a rise in transmission of the Delta variant causing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in California, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a new order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals, high-risk congregate settings, and other health care settings. The order takes effect on August 9, 2021, and states that all covered facilities must be in full compliance by August 23, 2021. The order applies to the following types of facilities: Acute health care and long-term care settings, including: General Acute Care Hospitals Skilled Nursing Facilities (including Subacute Facilities) Intermediate Care Facilities…
When does the statute of limitations period begin to run on a harassment claim?  The California Supreme Court has ruled in Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, Inc. that the time to file a cause of action for failure to promote brought under the harassment provision of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) starts to run when the employee knows or reasonably should know of the employer’s allegedly unlawful refusal to promote the employee. Plaintiff, Pamela Pollock (“Pollock”) is a customer service representative for the defendant, Tri-Modal Distribution Services, Inc. (“Tri-Modal”). She alleges that her employer passed her over for…
California employers should review their employment background check procedures in light of recent developments. The California Court of Appeal recently ruled in All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick that an individual’s date of birth and driver’s license number cannot be used as data identifying a criminal defendant in public records.  The ruling will, if upheld, affect employers and third-party consumer reporting agencies when conducting background checks on applicants or employees. The case centers around a California Rule of Court which specifies how electronic trial court records are made available to the public. Rule 2.503 (b) requires that…
On June 17th the Cal/OSHA Standards Board passed amended COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, which were intended to bring consistency between the California Department of Public Health mask guidance and Cal-OSHA’s workplace requirements. However, since the passage of the amendments, several counties, including Los Angeles County, have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. In response, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department (LADPH) issued a revised order that went into effect on July 17, 2021. This followed a “strong recommendation” that all individuals wear masks indoors that was issued by the LADPH in late June. Under the new order, everyone…
Several months after Governor Newsom signed into law a statewide right of recall statute affecting the hospitality industry and building services, the Labor Commissioner’s office finally issued a Frequently Asked Questions page. The FAQs clarify that an acceptance by an employee of an offer must be delivered to the employer within 5 business days, which does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or California state holidays. Moreover, the obligation to offer positions does not end if an employee declines a position. If an employee turns down a job offer, an employer must offer the employee subsequent jobs that are to…
In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the California Supreme Court has concluded that an employee’s “regular rate of compensation” for meal and rest period premium pay is synonymous with the employee’s “regular rate of pay” for overtime.  Accordingly, employers paying meal and rest period premiums must pay those,  not at an employee’s base hourly rate alone, but at that rate plus all non-discretionary payments, meaning those that are paid “pursuant to [a] prior contract, agreement, or promise . . . .” Plaintiff Ferra alleged that Loews improperly calculated her meal and rest period premium payments when it excluded…
A piece-rate plan is a wage payment system where an employee is paid a fixed amount for each unit produced or action completed.  Piece rate is used in many different industries, including automobile repair, trucking, manufacturing, and call centers.  An example of a piece-rate plan is an automobile mechanic who is paid a certain amount per tune-up or a factory worker who is paid a certain amount per number of widgets produced. Piece rate law under the California Labor Code is not the same as piece-rate law under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), so it is important for California…
The state and some local COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirements continue through the summer. And the City of Los Angeles’ mayor issued a public order mandating additional paid leave. Under the order, employees who work within the City of Los Angeles and have been employed by their employer for 60 days are entitled to paid time off to get vaccinated for COVID-19, including traveling to and from the appointment, as well as recovering from the side effects of vaccination, if it prevents the employee from being able to work or telework. Effective Period The leave mandate went into…
On May 18, 2021, Santa Clara County ordered businesses to track employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status. This Order departed largely from the prior County Orders as well as the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  However, in conjunction with the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (commonly known as Cal/OSHA), the County has now issued a new Order limiting the requirement. The June 21, 2021 health order includes recommendations to continue to keep the community safe from COVID-19, which the County suggests include: (1) getting vaccinated; (2) continuing to emphasize outdoor activities; (3) avoid travel…
It’s summer and California has eased COVID-19 restrictions, which makes it the perfect time for employers to refresh themselves on the rules and regulations governing vacation time for employees in California. Vacation Not Required While California is known for its complex web of leave requirements, there is no requirement for California employers to provide vacation time to employees. Moreover, employers are permitted to exclude certain classes of employees, such as part-time, temporary, or probationary employees from vacation plans or policies. To avoid misunderstandings, a clear and specific policy that states the classifications that are entitled to vacation time is recommended.…