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A former Wal-Mart employee had his $102 million dollar verdict overturned in a recent win for California employers.  Roderick Magadia, the former employee, brought a class action and Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) complaint against Wal-Mart alleging, in part, that Wal-Mart issued deficient wage statements in violation of Labor Code Section 226.  The alleged defect was prompted by a “Myshare” bonus, a quarterly bonus based on non-discretionary metrics.  Because the bonus was non-discretionary, the law required Wal-Mart to factor the bonus into the “regular rate” of pay used to calculate the overtime premium.  But, since the bonus was…
As we previously reported, on May 5, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (“HERO Act” or the “Act”) into law.  On July 6, 2021 the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) published its Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard (the “Standard”), a General Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and several Industry Specific Model Exposure Prevention Plans (“Model Plan” or Model Plans”) as required by the HERO Act.…
This article originally appeared on Law360 on June 25, 2021. On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.  The ruling invalidated a California labor regulation that requires growers to grant union organizers seeking to represent their workers property access, and declared it an unconstitutional taking of the grower’s property in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments.  Several other California laws and decisions sanction similar union trespass onto private property.  For example, numerous state court decisions have granted unions access to private property of employers with whom they have a…
On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to adopt revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), and Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the revised ETS to go into effect immediately.  The revised ETS now applies to nearly all workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.…
Following a nationwide trend, Illinois has proposed significant legislation affecting employee restrictive covenants, such as non-compete agreements.  While the proposed law does not dramatically change most aspects of the patchwork of Illinois common law, it adds certainty to long-questioned areas and imposes several threshold hurdles and eligibility factors to the test for assessing enforceable restrictive covenants.…
UPDATE:  At its June 9, 2021, special meeting, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to withdraw the revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that had been approved at its June 3rd meeting, and were set to go into effect on June 15th.  Instead, Cal/OSHA indicated that it will further consider the recent guidance from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health with respect to face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals.  For now, the original ETS that has been effective since November of 2020 will remain in place.  The Standards Board will convene to consider potential further revisions at…
On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued an update to its December 2020 guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and incentive programs.  The long-awaited guidance provides clarification regarding mandatory vaccinations, employer and third-party provided vaccine incentives, and confidentiality of vaccination information.  The EEOC guidance left open some questions surrounding vaccine incentives, including what incentives will be deemed so substantial as to be coercive, and whether employers must offer incentives to workers who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine for religious or medical reasons.…
UPDATE:  At its May 20, 2021, meeting, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board agreed to table its vote on the proposed revised Emergency Temporary Standards to allow Division staff time to draft potential revisions that would more closely align Cal/OSHA’s requirements with the CDC’s latest guidance concerning face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals.  Proposed draft revisions will be posted by May 28, 2021, and that draft will come up for a vote on June 3, 2021.  If approved, the revised ETS would become effective on June 15, 2021.  We will provide further details as they arise. Prompted by increased availability of vaccine…
Illinois’s Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed Senate Bill 1480 into law, establishing new employer certification and reporting requirements, making sweeping changes to Illinois’s anti-retaliation law, and curtailing employers’ uses of criminal convictions in employment decisions.  Effective immediately upon signing on March 23, 2021, the law impacts all employers doing business in Illinois.  A summary of the amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act, Illinois Business Corporation Act, and Illinois Human Rights Act are detailed below:…
On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced it is officially withdrawing, effective May 6, 2021, the rule promulgated under the Trump administration addressing the standard to determine whether an individual is properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The rule, which was rolled out two weeks before the end of President Trump’s term, was initially scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2021 but was delayed by President Biden until May 7, 2021.…
On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the “MRTA”) into law, making New York the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana.  The MRTA allows adults aged 21 and older to possess, purchase, display, obtain, and transport marijuana in limited quantities.  The MRTA takes effect immediately, although the sale of recreational-use marijuana is not expected to become legal for at least another year.  The legalization of marijuana will have significant effects on many aspects of society in New York, including in the workplace.…
As travel begins to resume in California, the Legislature has imposed additional stringent requirements on employers in the travel and hospitality industries.  Beginning April 16, 2021, Senate Bill 93 will require employers in these industries to offer job positions back to their laid-off employees as they become available (within five business days).  The bill creates California Labor Code Section 2810.8 which will not expire until December 31, 2024.  The new section requires covered employers to recall laid-off employees, in order of seniority, for all positions for which they are qualified.  Employers must make job offers in writing, either by hand…
On April 23, 2021, the New York state legislature delivered a copy of the Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act” or the “Act”) to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature.  The legislation was created as a response to COVID-19 safety concerns as New Yorkers return to in-person work, and designed to fill gaps created by expiring COVID-19-related executive orders.  If enacted, the HERO Act would require the New York Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) to issue enforceable minimum workplace health and safety standards, and would also impose significant new health and safety obligations on employers in the state.  Because Governor…