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Seyfarth Synopsis: Everything was smooth sailing with your latest greatest arbitration agreement, but then an employee refused to get on board. What do you do now? Keep reading for a primer on navigating some murky waters. Even in a post-Epic Systems world, where more and more employers are rolling out mandatory arbitration agreements with class-action waivers, California has discouraged such agreements. This tension raises the question: how close to the wind can an employer…
Seyfarth Synopsis. Pending California legislation would make a mandatory arbitration agreement an unlawful practice under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and a crime. How could that be consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act? Under current law, California businesses can insist that employees and contractors enter valid agreements to resolve disputes in front of a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge and jury. These agreements also may waive employee participation in class actions. California is…
On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited opinion in which it considered which test should be used to decide whether a worker asserting claims under a California Wage Order is an employee or an independent contractor.  The following Seyfarth One Minute Memo summarizes the case and what it means for employers. Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Supreme Court, in Dynamex Operations v. Superior Court, held that “engage, suffer or permit to work” determines…
California employers can still enforce their drug-free workplace policies and discharge employees who test positive for marijuana, despite the recreational marijuana laws that go into effect in January 2018. On November 8, 2016, California voters enacted the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Effective January 1, 2018, adults over the age of 21 can smoke marijuana recreationally. Health & Safety Code § 11362.1(a)(4). Marijuana, meanwhile, will remain legal for medical use by patients who have a…
Seyfarth Synopsis: Our mission here at Cal-Pecs is to illuminate how California employment law differs from the law that employers generally experience throughout America. In this back-to-basics piece, we provide some background and a brief catalog of stark contrasts. In 1846, American settlers in Mexican Alta California staged the Bear Flag Revolt. They declared an independent republic, seeking freedom from Mexico. The rebels got lucky: the Mexican-American War soon intervened to dislodge the California territory…
The California Legislature seems intent on ending piece-rate pay as we have known it. A law effective January 1, 2016, goes beyond the previously discussed Bluford and Gonzalez decisions to mandate that employees who earn piece-rate wages be paid a special, separate rate for rest and recovery periods, as well as for all “other non-productive time.” Further, that rate will require special calculation and the itemized wage statement must report additional information (number of hours…
Representing what media observers call the nation’s most aggressive attempt yet to close the salary gap between men and women, SB 358 would substantially broaden California gender pay differential law. Since the bill landed on his desk September 1, all eyes have been on Governor Jerry Brown. Though aide Nancy McFadden tweeted on Women’s Equality Day (August 26) that “@JerryBrownGov will sign CA “Fair Pay Act” when it reaches his desk,” he has not yet…
It’s here!  On April 30, we released the 2013 edition of Cal-Peculiarities: How California Employment Law is Different, the industry’s only annual guide that focuses exclusively on the most vexing aspects of employment law in the country’s most populous state.   Authored by Seyfarth’s California Workplace Solutions group, this 262-page guide captures the latest legislative, judicial and regulatory developments which continue to make California the most uniquely challenging environment for private employers in the United States.…
As you may know, Seyfarth Shaw is the only firm to publish a book annually that highlights the inevitable changes in California law.  We want our blog readers to be the first to hear of the release of the 2013 edition!  California continues to be “where the future happens” for employment law.  If your company does business in California, you are aware that it is more important than ever that California employers understand their peculiar…
Both federal and California law have long forbidden religious discrimination in employment, while also requiring employers to grant reasonable accommodations for religious observances.  A common accommodation is to modify a policy to enable an employee to engage in a particular religious observance (such as not working on the Sabbath).  California has now set itself apart with the recent amendments to the FEHA.  Federal Law:  Since 1977 the federal law has recognized that employers need…