New Notice Requirements for California Warehouse Distribution Centers

Photo by Ryan Parker on Unsplash California’s AB 701 Amends section 138.7 and adds a new part to the Labor Code to specifically address Warehouse Distribution Centers. Which Employers Will be Affected by the New Law? Any company that employs (directly or through third parties and agencies):  100 or more nonexempt warehouse distribution workers at a single warehouse distribution center; OR  1,000 or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state of California. New Notice Requirement Beginning January 1, 2022, Certain employers will need to provide non-exempt employees with a written description of each quota the employee is subject to.  What must be in this notice? The quantified number of tasks to be performed by the employee, or materials to be produced or handled. The time period tasks must be performed or materials must be produced in. The adverse employment action that could result if the employee does not meet the quota. When must subject employers give the notice to warehouse distribution center employees? At the time of hire; or By January 31, 2022.  New Employee … Continue reading

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Employer’s COVID-19 Notice Requirements

AB-654 went into effect immediately on October 5, 2021, and will expire on January 1, 2023. The law amends California Labor Code Section 6325 and amends and repeals Labor Code section 6409.6 relating to occupational safety and notice requirements about COVID-19 in the workplace.  Below is an outline of an employers’ notice requirements as well as duties to report exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.  If you receive an OSHA that your place of employment, operation, or process, poses an imminent risk to workers of exposure to infection with COVID-19, resulting in OSHA prohibiting entry to the place of employment or prohibiting the risky operation or process, you must post the OSHA notice in a conspicuous place at the place of employment and may not be removed except by an authorized OSHA representative. If you receive notice of potential exposure to COVID-19, the employer must do the following within one business day of the notice of potential exposure: Provide a written notice of potential exposure to 1. All employees; and 2. employers of subcontracted employees who were at the same … Continue reading

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Post-COVID or Long-COVID As a Disability

What is Post-COVID condition? According to the CDC, although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions.  This prolonged after-effects of COVID may have different names such as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. Regardless of the name, the effect is the same; that is, for some people the road to recovery from COVID-19 will take longer than the anticipated 2 weeks.  Some of the reported symptoms include: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Tiredness or fatigue Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”) Cough Chest or stomach pain Headache Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations) Joint or muscle pain … Continue reading

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California Supreme Court Clarifies Proper Way to Pay Meal Period and Rest Break Premiums

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

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Paid Sick Leave Under FFCRA Expired – Now What?

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

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Free Webinar: New California Employment Laws Going Into Effect in 2021 (some already have)

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.
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CARES Act – Paycheck Protection Program

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

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) Signed Into Law

Yesterday, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) was passed into law and goes into effect on April 1, 2020, and stays in effect until December 31, 2020. If you are an employer with less than 500 employees, please read because this will apply to you. Employers, check out our COVID-19 Resource Guide. The Act: requires private insurance plans to provide free COVID-19 testing; requires employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers affected by COVID-19 and expands family and medical leave; and provides increased funding for state unemployment insurance programs, food stamp and nutritional programs and others. This post will focus on the emergency family and medical leave and emergency sick leave aspects of the Act, which will affect the vast majority of employers and employees across the country. There are two provisions providing paid leave to employees forced to miss work because of the COVID-19 outbreak: an emergency expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and a new federal paid sick leave law. Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act FMLA Coverage is Expanded to Include Most Employers – The Act … Continue reading

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COVID-19 Resource Guide for Employers

Please keep in mind that the situation is ever-developing and information and guidelines will constantly change. That being said, as of today, there are many programs available to you both on the state and federal level. Where can I get help if my business is facing financial strain due to COVID-19? The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) provides small business owners with low-interest disaster relief loans if their business is in a state and county that has been declared an “Eligible Disaster Area” by the SBA. In California, as of March 16, the following counties have been declared as eligible: Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Tuolumne, Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Ventura and Yolo. If your business is located in an Eligible Disaster Area, you may qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the SBA. To qualify, an applicant must have an acceptable credit history, … Continue reading

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Employee Arbitration Agreements No Longer OK Under New Law?

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

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