The California Supreme Court, in the case of Jessica Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC recently clarified the correct way to calculate meal period and rest break premium pay . . . and it’s not how most California businesses were calculating it. What are Meal Period and Rest Break Premiums? California Labor Code Section 226.7 requires employers to pay employees “one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday” that an employee was not provided with a meal or rest period. Unfortunately, many employers are not aware of this requirement to pay a meal and rest period premium if employees are not able to take their meal breaks and rest breaks. Before we discuss the correct way to pay the premiums, let’s review the basic meal and rest break rules in California. What are the Rest Break Rules in California? In California, the Wage Orders require employers to authorize and permit non-exempt employees to take a 10-minute, uninterrupted, rest period for each four-hour work period or major fraction thereof. The Division of Labor Standards … Continue reading
The EEOC just announced the opening of 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 component 1 data collection of workforce demographics after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Required filers must provide demographic workforce data including data by race/ethnicity, sex, and job categories. EEO-1 Component 1 data are used by the EEOC to investigate charges of employment discrimination against employers and to provide information about the employment status of minorities and women. Who Must Submit Data? Private employers with 100 or more employees, and Federal contractors with 50 or more employees meeting certain criteria When is the Deadline to Submit the Demographic Data? The deadline to submit EEO-1Component 1 data is July 19, 2021. This July 19th deadline applies to demographic data for both 2019 and 2020. How Do I File EE-1 Component 1 Data? Create an account at https://eeocdata.org/EEO1/cb326247-33b9-4318-9c39-f63948021d67/GetStarted Once a user account is created, there are two different ways to file the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1Component 1 Report(s): ONLINE FORM (available beginning Monday, April 26, 2021) Filers may enter their data into a secure data entry form via the EEO-1 … Continue reading
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020. Thus, employers are no longer obligated to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work due to a Covid-19 related illness, the need to quarantine because of exposure, to care for a family member who is ill due to Covid-19, or to care for a child because of school closure related to Covid-19. However, employers may voluntarily choose to provide paid sick leave to employees for Covid-19 related reasons. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, extended the employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021. To voluntarily provide paid sick leave, or not to pay, that is the question. The Pros of Extending Paid Sick Leave Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise and the need remains. Paid leave slows the spread. Providing leave to employees who test positive or exhibit symptoms will slow the spread of the disease generally and within your workplace. … Continue reading
As a California business owner or advisor, you may have been juggling the challenges of keeping the business afloat, keeping employees safe, and keeping updated on the new regulations that seem to appear every day.
To help with that last task, this free webinar will address the new California employment laws that recently went into effect and/or will go into effect in 2021.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” became law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was passed in an effort to help small businesses continue operations and retain workers as the country meets the challenge of curbing the devastation of COVID-19 and the resulting impact such efforts have had, and will continue to have, on the economy. The CARES Act is an extensive piece of legislation. This post will focus on providing a summary of the main provisions related to the Paycheck Protection Program available to businesses with less than 500 employees. What is the Paycheck Protection Program? The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allows the Small Business Administration (SBA) to administer and work with lenders to provide forgivable loans to small businesses through June 30, 2020, to be used by borrowers for certain permissible purposes related to payroll costs and certain necessary business expenses. Who qualifies for the Paycheck Protection Program? To qualify for the Paycheck Protection Loan, the borrower must be: 1. A businesses with not more than 500 employees; Includes, individuals who … Continue reading
Updated 1/3/20: A federal court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of AB51. That law makes it illegal for employers to make it mandatory for employees to enter into arbitration agreements. A new law in California attacks employee arbitration agreements and prohibits anyone from requiring an applicant for employment or any employee to waive their right to sue for a violation of any provision of the Fair Employment and Housing Act “FEHA” (California’s anti-discrimination laws) as a condition of employment, continued employment, or receipt of any employment-related benefit. These waivers usually exist in an arbitration agreement. Employers also can not retaliate, discriminate against, or terminate someone’s employment for refusing to sign an arbitration agreement. The new law applies to contracts signed after January 1, 2020. However, it specifically does not apply to arbitration agreements that are valid under the Federal Arbitration Act, negotiated severance agreements, or post-dispute settlement agreements. Practical Tip: There will be plenty of litigation on this new law, but until we have the courts’ interpretations of the new prohibitions, what should employers do? 1) If you don’t have an arbitration agreement, or aren’t quite sure what one is, you should still have one. 2) If you have an arbitration agreement, have it reviewed by counsel before you … Continue reading
Watch my FREE AB5 WEBINAR on-demand to learn about “AB5 and the ABC Test for independent contractors.” What You Will Learn In this AB5 webinar you will learn about: The new ABC test for independent contractors. Which professions/categories of workers are exempt from the ABC test. How to keep those excepted categories independent contractors. Consequences for misclassifying workers, including individual liability. What you can do to minimize exposure. Did You Get a Letter from the EDD? California companies received a letter from the EDD about AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) and the ABC test in Dynamex v. Superior Court. Many business owners are hearing about the expansion of the new independent contractor test for the first time just days before the law went into for the New Year on January 1, 2020. Are you trying to wrap your head around the new AB5 rules and asking the following questions? Do I have to convert independent contractors to employees? Can I keep independent contractors as contractors? How do I keep independent contractors a contractors? What are the risks of misclassifying independent contractors? Background AB 5 was the big bill to watch this year. … Continue reading
The Governor of California approved SB 188, known as the CROWN Act, in July 2019 to amend anti-discrimination laws in the areas of education, employment, and housing. Hair As a Proxy for Race In the employment context, the bill noted that in U.S. society, hair has historically been one of many determining factors of a person’s race and that hair today remains a proxy for race. Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group. Thus, hair discrimination targeting hairstyles associated with race is racial discrimination. California’s Anti-Discrimination Law To review, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful to engage in specified discriminatory employment practices, including hiring, promotion, and termination based on certain protected characteristics, including race, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification or applicable security regulations. FEHA also prohibits housing discrimination based on specified personal characteristics, including race. … Continue reading
If your business uses independent contractors at all, you have probably heard about Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court and the new “ABC Test” to analyze whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. You were probably worried about whether your independent contractors pass the ABC Test. You are justified in worrying because the new test makes it much more difficult for someone to be classified as an independent contractor. This then opens the door for claims of misclassification, for missed meal break and rest break penalties, and unpaid overtime because that’s what you paid your hourly workers but not your independent contractors. Your business may be sitting on a 5 to 6-figure time bomb. ABC Test Recap If you have not heard about Dynamex or the ABC Test, or if you need a recap, here it is. Under this new independent contractor test, a worker is properly considered an independent contractor to whom the applicable wage order does not apply if the hiring entity establishes all of the following: (A) that the worker is free … Continue reading
This is the time of year that Californians, especially California businesses, learn of the slew of new laws that will go into effect in the coming year. This year is not any different and the new laws are reflective of the social discussions around sexual harassment over the course of the last couple of years. California employers now have a number of laws that will require changes in your documents, training requirements, and how you do business, to name a few. Below is a list of new laws that I thought were the most interesting and relevant by category, although there is inevitably some overlap. Contracts 1. Employers will be prohibited, with certain exceptions, from requiring an employee to execute a release of a claim or right under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or to sign a nondisparagement agreement or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. This is applicable when the release is provided in exchange for a raise … Continue reading