California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

Latest from California Workplace Law Blog - Page 2

The passage of Prop 24, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”), has caused a bit of confusion among businesses in California.  The confusion stems from the fact that the CPRA has an effective date of January 1, 2023, amending the existing California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) when it takes effect, but also immediately extending the current limited exemptions under the CCPA for employment-related data, also to January 1, 2023. (Without the CPRA, the limited exemptions would have already expired.)_ It appears that this labyrinth of amendments, extensions, and exemptions has misled some businesses subject to CCPA (the rules for
California passed an expanded COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statute (SPSL) in March, that included coverage for employees to get vaccinated. More recently, the County of Los Angeles passed an urgency ordinance on May 18th that mandates additional paid leave for some employees in unincorporated areas of the county to be vaccinated. Covered Employers This new ordinance would cover all employers in the unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles. Paid Time Off Requirement Full- and part-time employees who have exhausted time off under the state SPSL and who perform any work in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles…
On May 20th, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board was set to vote on revisions to COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). The evening before the vote the Deputy Chief for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Division”) submitted a request that the Standards Board not to vote on proposed revisions and instead allow the Division to submit new proposals that would align with updated guidance from the CDC and state agencies. While the proposed changes were intended to adjust the ETS to new developments pertaining to COVID-19 guidance, the Division wanted to ensure the revisions follow the more recent guidance. The…
Santa Clara County wasted no time in altering its public health regulations in response to the county’s graduation to the ‘yellow tier’ of California’s Blueprint For a Safer Economy on May 18, 2021.  Within hours, the County announced a new Public Health Order that went into effect on May 19, 2021. The Order retires several of the most burdensome requirements of the County’s October 5, 2020, Risk Reduction Order.  As a result, businesses are no longer required to (1) maximize the number of people who work remotely; (2) submit Social Distancing Protocols to the County Public Health Department; or (3)…
As COVID-19-related litigation increases, courts are being called upon to interpret the scope of employers’ duties to protect their employees with relation to the virus.  Last week, a California federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a spouse attempting to hold her husband’s employer liable for her COVID-19 infection.  The judge held that California’s worker’s compensation law barred the wife’s claim, noting that the employer’s duty to provide a safe work environment is limited to the employer’s employees. In the matter of Corby and Robert Kuciemba vs. Victory Woodworks, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Kuciemba both tested positive and were hospitalized…
On May 13th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.  The new guidance identified circumstances in which fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear face coverings, including indoors. However, fully vaccinated individuals must still comply with federal, state, local, or workplace guidance for face coverings. Earlier in the month, the CDC also issued guidance easing outdoor mask requirements in non-crowded gatherings or when gathering with other vaccinated individuals. In response to the most recent update to CDC guidance, Governor Newsom stated in a press briefing that subject to certain conditions being met,…
On May 20th, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board will consider changes to COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). The proposed changes would still require employers to have an established written COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”) that covers everything from training and communication with employees to the investigation of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. However, there are notable proposed changes in the requirements for the CPP, definitions, and COVID-19 case management procedures, which will have significant impacts on California employers. Close Contact Instead of COVID-19 Exposure This proposed change replaces the defined term “COVID-19 exposure” with the more commonly used term, “close contact.”  Although…
An effective settlement agreement memorializes the resolution of a dispute between a claimant-employee and a business, provides the parties with a clear path forward, and creates peace of mind. A poorly-drafted settlement agreement, on the other hand, can create further conflict and problems. This is what litigators would like employers to understand about effective settlement agreements. What Can Be Included Waiver of Unknown Claims. A settlement agreement always includes monetary and/or non-monetary consideration provided to the claimant to settle known claims against the business. Under California Civil Code section 1542, a claimant may also agree to waive the right to…
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…