Labor & Employment Law Blog

Up-to-date Information on Labor & Employment Law

The Bill

The Expansion of California Family Rights Act, AB 1041, was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2022. AB 1041 expands the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to include a “designated person.” AB 1041 also expands the term “family member” under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (“HWHFA”), which governs paid sick day leave, to include “designated person.”
Continue Reading Who Is a “Designated Person”? Changes to California’s Medical Leave

The United States Supreme Court is currently considering two cases concerning whether race-conscious admissions programs are permissible under federal law. While these cases are limited to the relatively narrow universe of college admissions, the Court’s decision may be instructive to private employers and will likely have implications beyond the classroom.
Continue Reading Could the Supreme Court’s Decision in the Harvard and UNC Cases Indirectly Affect Corporate Diversity Initiatives?

President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“HR 5376”) (the “IRA” or the “Act”), on August 16, 2022.

There are numerous tax credits in the legislation that intend to facilitate access to clean energy. For the most part, these credits are available to energy producers or to support the construction or alteration of facilities to include energy efficient components. For example, the Act substantially changes and expands existing federal income tax benefits for renewable energy, including the existing Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code production tax credit (“PTC”) and Section 48 of the Internal Revenue
Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act: Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements

As economists argue whether a recession is on the horizon, some employers may begin to prepare to cut expenditures, including through a reduction in force. While not necessary under most state laws, many employers opt to provide severance to employees they choose to lay off. This severance is usually provided by way of a separation agreement in exchange for the employee’s agreement not to bring certain claims against the employer, among other things. As employers begin determining whether they will undergo a reduction in force, they should ensure their separation agreements adhere to applicable state laws.
Continue Reading Considering a Reduction in Force? Time to Revise Your Separation Agreement Template

On October 31, 2022, Jennifer Abruzzo, the NLRB’s General Counsel (GC), released a memorandum regarding employer use of electronic surveillance and automated management, and its potential interference with employees’ ability to confidentially engage in protected activity under Section 7 of the Act. Opining that “[a]n issue of particular concern to me is the potential for omnipresent surveillance and other algorithmic-management tools to interfere with the exercise of Section 7 rights by significantly impairing or negating employees’ ability to engage in protected activity and keep that activity confidential from their employer, if they so choose,” the GC signaled an increased scrutiny
Continue Reading Caught on Video No More? NLRB General Counsel Releases Memo Urging Board to Curtail Employer Use of a Variety of Surveillance Technologies in Workplace

On October 24, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Cadena v. Customer Connex LLC, concerning whether the time employees spend booting up and shutting down their computers is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Although the case arose out of a call center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the employees’ principal duties included answering customer phone calls, this case may affect all employers whose employees spend time turning on their computers to work.
Continue Reading Time Spent Booting Up Computers May Be Compensable Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

On October 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its proposed rule regarding the classification of employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) in an attempt to resolve inconsistent analyses amongst the Federal Courts of Appeals. The proposed rule would return to a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis of the “Economic Reality Test” (with a few modifications), which would have the effect of making it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors.
Continue Reading The Haunting Return of the Economic Reality Test: U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Resurrecting the Pre-Trump Era Employee/Independent Contractor Test

In February 2022, California enacted Senate Bill (“SB”) 114, which created California Labor Code section 248.6 to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“CSPSL”) to covered employees. CSPSL was due to expire on September 30, 2022. On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 152, which (1) extends CSPSL through December 31, 2022, (2) provides employers the ability to require an additional diagnostic test before employees use CSPSL in certain circumstances, and (3) creates a grant program to assist qualified small business and nonprofits with grants for costs incurred for CSPSL provided in 2022.
Continue Reading California Immediately Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through 2022

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced on October 11 that employers should continue to use the current I-9 form after the October 31, 2022, expiration date.
Continue Reading DHS Announces That Employers Should Continue to Use the Current I-9 Form After the Oct 31, 2022, Expiration

The constant fluctuations in precedent at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) continue as the Board overrules another case decided under the Trump Administration. This time the NLRB has set its sights on the collection of union dues following the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. On October 3, 2022, the Board issued its decision in Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a Valley Hospital Medical Center and Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas (available here) overruling the 2019 case of the same name.
Continue Reading NLRB Revisits Union Dues Checkoff Rule

Beginning January 1, 2024, and following the passage of Assembly Bill 2188, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) will add employee protections against discrimination based on off-the-job cannabis use with a few, limited exceptions. Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2188 into law on September 18, 2022. AB 2188 focuses on employee impairment from cannabis use, which it correlates only to the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and places new requirements on employer-required drug screening tests. AB 2188 is significant because it is the first time that California’s permissive cannabis-use laws have been incorporated into the employment realm. California employers should
Continue Reading California Expands Employees’ Right to Off-Duty Cannabis Use

On September 27, 2022, California Governor Newsom signed the state’s pay transparency bill, SB 1162, into law, requiring employers with 15 or more employees to disclose pay ranges in job postings, beginning on January 1, 2023. California now joins Colorado, Washington, and New York City with this requirement. SB 1162 also requires certain employers with 100 or more employees to report certain demographic information regarding their employees to the California Civil Rights Division, beginning in May 2023.
Continue Reading California Will Now Require Employers to Disclose Pay Ranges in Job Postings and Report Certain Data in an Effort to Combat Pay Disparity

On July 27, 2022, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022, scaling back certain aspects of D.C.’s original Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020. As we previously reported, the original ban included some of the most substantial non-compete restrictions in the country, including prohibiting the use of non-compete agreements for nearly all employees working in D.C. and banning anti-moonlighting policies. Here are some key takeaways from the Amendment:
Continue Reading The District of Columbia Revises Ban on Non-Competes

On September 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Board”) met to consider whether to adopt the proposed COVID-19 Permanent Standard (“Permanent Standard”)[1] to replace the current Emergency Temporary Standard, which is due to expire on December 31, 2022. The public hearing resulted in more questions being asked than answered, and no action on the proposed Permanent Standard was taken by the Board at the meeting. 
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Continues to Consider Adoption of a COVID-19 Permanent Standard

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel that originally decided Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta last fall recently issued an order withdrawing its prior opinion and granting a panel rehearing. The divided panel’s original decision upheld portions of Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”), a California law that prohibits employers from requiring that employees sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. The panel’s decision to rehear the appeal is notable because it suggests that the panel may rule that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts AB 51 in its entirety following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Viking
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Grants Rehearing on California Law Banning Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements

In a last minute whirlwind of activity by California’s Legislature, a significant number of employment-related bills have now made their way to Governor Newsom’s desk and await their fate. Below are highlights of some of the bills that may affect California employers, should Governor Newsom sign them into law.
Continue Reading What’s on Deck With Governor Newsom? Employment-Related Bills That May Soon Impact California Employers