Posts from 2020.
More Training Required for Human Resource Employees and Managers in California

On September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1963 expanding the list of mandated reporters in California.  Existing law, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, requires mandated reporters to report whenever they, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, have knowledge of or observe a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.  Failure by a mandated reporter to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months of confinement in a county jail, by a fine of $1000, or both. 

Tags: Training

California Labor Code section 1102.5 is an expansive whistleblower statute frequently used by plaintiffs’ attorneys to sue for wrongful termination.  Section 1102.5’s many protections include prohibiting employers from adopting rules preventing employees from making complaints (sub (a)), prohibiting retaliation against an employee who has “reasonable cause to believe” that an activity may be illegal (sub (b)) and prohibiting retaliation against an employee who refuses to participate in an activity that is illegal (sub (c)).  Subsection (d) also protects employees from retaliation based on conduct at prior employment.

New Benefits Required In Wine Country: Sonoma County Enacts Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On August 18, 2020, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors enacted an emergency ordinance to establish supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) requirements for private employers with employees who work in its unincorporated areas. The Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (“PSLO”) became operative immediately upon enactment and will run concurrently with the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), expiring on December 31, 2020; however, the PSLO would be automatically extended by any extension of the provisions of the FFCRA.

In Joana David v. Queen of the Valley Medical Center (2020) 51 Cal.App.5th 653, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s ruling granting summary judgment in favor of an employer in a wage and hour litigation bought by a former employee on the basis that the employer’s policies and procedures were legally compliant on their face and in practice. 

 In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Alito, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the ministerial exception set forth in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012).  (Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Case Nos. 19-267 and 19-348 (July 8, 2020)(“OLG”)).

Numerous California Cities and Counties Scheduled to Increase Local Minimum Wage July 1, 2020

With the local minimum wage in several California cities increasing on July 1st, employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of the cities in which they operate and prepare for any increases.

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a landmark opinion for the LGBTQ community and civil rights, holding employees are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (17–1618, June 15, 2020).

Beginning July 1, 2020, California’s family temporary disability insurance program, also known as the paid family leave program (“PFL”), will provide partial wage replacement benefits for up to eight weeks in any 12-month period, which is an increase from the maximum of six weeks presently available.  The benefits are available for employee who take time off to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption.  For purposes of new child bonding, California touts the expanded leave benefit as providing each family with a total of four months of PFL – two months per parent.

CalSavers Registration Deadline Extended

In December 2018, California announced the start of its CalSavers retirement savings program.  The program is available to California employees whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement plan, to self-employed individuals, and to others who want to increase their retirement savings.  Through this program, employees working for a participating employer may automatically contribute a portion of their pay to a Roth (post tax) Individual Retirement Account.  Individuals who do not work for a participating employer but want to save under CalSavers can set up recurring contributions. 

Tags: CalSavers

In Fleming Distribution Co. v. Younan (Cal. Ct. App., May 15, 2020, No. A157038) 2020 WL 2511680, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District held that an employer waived its right to compel arbitration of a dispute with a former employee over unpaid commissions by delaying the filing of a motion to compel arbitration and actively participating in an administrative proceeding before the Labor Commissioner.

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