The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The Standards Board Approved the Updated Cal/OSHA Covid-19 Requirements and Governor Newsom Issued an Executive Order Making Them Effective Note: This post was updated on June 18, 2021. On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted 5-1 to approve the revised Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) and, as promised, Governor Newsom promptly issued Executive Order No. N-09-21 holding that the new ETS shall not be subject to the regular 10-day approval process by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for emergency regulations.  Instead, the new ETS became effective when the OAL filed them with the California Secretary of State…
Cal/OSHA Has Come Full Circle to Align with CDC & CA Public Health Department Continuing the yo-yo of back and forth revisions to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), on June 11, 2021 Cal/OSHA submitted yet another draft of its proposed ETS to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board for review and approval.  While the draft contains a number of small changes to the earlier draft, the main revision deals with when masks – or face coverings – are required to be worn in the workplace. If you have been following the news over the last few weeks, Cal/OSHA and the Standards…
As California races towards reopening, employers are receiving (often conflicting) guidance on reopening procedures, especially with respect to when a mask is required for vaccinated individuals. In welcome news, it appears the various state agencies are moving towards more uniform policies, which will greatly relieve employers throughout the State. California Department of Health Guidelines First, on June 9th, California’s Health and Human Services Agency announced that California would be following the federal CDC guidance with respect to masking. Beginning on June 15th, individuals who are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask in public settings, except where masking of…
Despite California’s Plan to Reopen on June 15, 2021, The Revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Still Impose Restrictions in the Workplace After an all-day meeting on June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board approved revisions to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS” or “regulations”). The Board first indicated a vote to reject the revised regulations, but then did a complete 180 and voted unanimously to approve them as a stop-gap measure while its newly-formed Board subcommittee worked to consider further revisions that are more in line with California’s Department of Public Health and  CDC guidelines. Below are just some of…
On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed legislation ensuring new supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for eligible workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, SB 95, provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who are forced to miss work for qualifying reasons. The SPSL covers many more employers than previous legislation, and allows workers to use the leave for more reasons. The law is codified in new California Labor Code sections 248.2 and 248.3, the text of which can be found here. The Labor Commissioner has also issued FAQs, found here, to help employers…
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.  Part 5 of the ARPA provides for additional credits to employers whose choose to grant paid sick leave and emergency family leave to eligible employees under the FFCRA. To be clear, the ARPA does not require employers provide FFCRA leave to employees. That mandate expired on December 31, 2020.  However, the continuation of certain tax credits for employers who voluntarily provide FFCRA leave has been extended from March 31, 2021 until the end of September, 2021. Additionally, the ARPA made some other changes…
Background: Under California law, employers must provide non-exempt employees with one 30-minute meal period that begins no later than the end of the fifth hour of work and another 30-minute meal period that begins no later than the end of the tenth hour of work.  Cal. Lab. Code § 512; IWC Wage Order No. 4-2001, § 11(A).  If an employer does not provide an employee with a compliant meal period, then “the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday that the meal . . . period is…
While employers were busy dealing with a multitude of issues during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) quietly issued some amended regulations that employers should be aware of as they relate to employer interviewing and hiring practices. The regulations went into effect on July 1, 2020 and below are some of the highlights. Employers cannot seek information about an applicant’s religion or disability through certain pre-employment questions about the applicant’s availability for work. The regulations state expressly that: “Pre-employment inquiries regarding an applicant’s availability for work…
The CDC’s guidelines state that individuals should quarantine for 14 days after contact with someone with COVID-19, which can be reduced to 10 days if no symptoms developed after exposure.  Now that vaccines are becoming more widely available, employers are asking whether the quarantine period can be shortened or eliminated for their workers who have received the vaccine. The CDC has stated that the quarantine period can be eliminated entirely for a fully vaccinated individual who meets all criteria – but the guidance is conditioned on the individual meeting all three criteria: The criteria for allowing a vaccinated individual to…
On January 8, 2021 the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued new Posters, Fact Sheets, FAQs, and Certification forms in connection with the expansion of the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and its interplay with the Pregnancy Disability Leave law (“PDL”). As the DFEH’s Fact Sheet specific to 2021 explains, recent legislation (Senate Bill 1383) expanded CFRA in several major respects.  Below is a summary of the major changes: Employers of 5 or more employees covered by CFRA: Until December 31, 2020, CFRA applied only to private employers of 50 or more employees. Starting January 1, 2021,…