Publications Archives

U.S. Congress Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act Impacting Employer Obligations in Light of Public Health Emergency

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, federal legislators passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "Act"). The purpose of the Act is to make emergency fiscal appropriations in response to the widespread repercussions of the novel coronavirus and its related coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Act will take effect on April 2, 2020, fifteen days after its passing, and will expire on December 31, 2020.

Orange County Order Issued to Slow Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Orange County officials have taken action, effective immediately, banning all public and private gatherings beyond those of a single household in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Issued by County health officer Dr. Nicole Quick, the Order prohibits "all public and private gatherings of any number of people, including at places of work, occurring outside all single household or living space."

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Workplace

As coronavirus continues to spread throughout California, and the world, it is important for employers to understand its workplace ramifications and the steps employers should take to ensure a safe workplace for its employees. Both Cal/OSHA and OSHA regulations require employers to provide a safe workplace and provide employees with information and training about workplace hazards, such as coronavirus. 

Reminder: California's Minimum Wage and Minimum Exempt Salary to Increase January 1, 2020

By: Tyler D. Kring

California's minimum wage is set to increase for employers of all sizes on January 1, 2020. Currently, the state's minimum wage for employers with 25 employees or less is $11.00 per hour and $12.00 for employers with 26 employees or more. The minimum wage will increase for all employers by $1.00. Importantly, certain counties and cities in California have higher minimum wage rates which you must comply with.

California Supreme Court Holds No Wage Recovery in PAGA Claims

By: Kyle D. Kring and Kerri N. Polizzi

On September 12, 2019, the California Supreme Court in ZB, N.A., et al. v. Superior Court, No. S246711, firmly held that employees cannot collect unpaid wages under the Private Attorneys General Act (commonly known as "PAGA"). This surprising decision curtails one avenue PAGA plaintiffs and their attorneys used as a workaround when faced with enforceable arbitration agreements containing class action waivers.

As Expected, Govenor Newsom Immediately Signed Assembly Bill 5 Which Now Affects Independent Contractor Classification

By: Huy M. Tran and Kerri N. Polizzi

The following is an update from our article last week. []

On September 16, 2019, Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) was enrolled and placed on Governor Newsom's desk. As predicted, on September 18, 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB-5 in a private ceremony in his state Capitol office.

California Legislature Passes New Bill Affecting Independent Contractor Classification

By: Huy M. Tran and Kerri N. Polizzi

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the California legislature passed a landmark bill known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) that will reshape many companies' ability to classify workers as independent contractor. Most notably, the bill directly targets Uber and Lyft's classification of their drivers. AB-5 is now en route to the desk of Governor Newsome, whose signature would solidify the new law.

California Governor Extends Sexual Harassment Training Requirement Deadline

By: Tyler D. Kring

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 778 on August 30, 2019, amending Government Code Section 12950.1. The Governor's signature extends the deadline for California employers to comply with sexual harassment training requirements for non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

As you may recall, fellow Associate Kerri N. Polizzi published an article titled "Getting a Jump Start on Compliance with California's Growing Sexual Harassment Training Mandate" explaining SB 1343's new requirements for employers with five (5) or more employee to provide at least two (2) hours of sexual harassment, abusive conduct, and gender harassment training to all supervisory employees, and one (1) hour of such training to all non-supervisory employees.

Racial Discrimination Based on Hairstyle Now Prohibited in California

By: Tyler D. Kring

On nearly a daily basis, our firm analyzes claims related to alleged "discrimination" in the workplace. Routinely, we must clarify the difference between what an individual believes to be discrimination and what California labor law says is illegal discrimination.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH") enforces laws that protect individuals from illegal discrimination and harassment in the workplace through the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"). In order to be considered illegal, FEHA requires that such discrimination be based off an individual's actual or perceived protected category. For quite some time, such protected categories were limited to ancestry, age, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, among a few others.

The Return of 'No-Match' Letters: How Employers Should Respond

By: Kyle D. Kring

The Social Security Administration ("SSA") has once again begun issuing employers "Request for Employer Information" letters, better known as "No-Match" letters (view sample letter here). The SSA sends no-match letters to those employers identified as having at least one name and Social Security Number ("SSN") combination submitted on Form W-2 that do not match SSA records.

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