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California Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) has introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 3042) that would recognize “International Workers’ Day” as a public holiday for students and school employees in the state.  The bill would authorize school districts and charter schools to designate May 1 as “International Workers’ Day” with schools to be closed – and employees to be paid – for the “holiday.”  Additionally, the bill would require schools that elect to observe…
The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved new amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), strengthening the protections afforded to applicants and employees, including individuals who are undocumented, on the basis of their national origin.  Although the FEHA already prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of national origin, these new regulations broaden the definition of “national origin.”  Originally defined to encompass “the individual’s or ancestors’ actual or perceived place of…
On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in class or collective actions against their employer. Ruling 5-4 in favor of an employer’s right to include class action waivers in its arbitration agreements, the Court rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s position in D.R. Horton…
On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in class or collective actions against their employer. Ruling 5-4 in favor of an employer’s right to include class action waivers in its arbitration agreements, the Court rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s position in D.R. Horton…
Two recent verdicts from California Superior Court juries have awarded former employees $6 million and $7.9 million, respectively, in compensatory damages after a finding of wrongful termination. Martinez v. Rite Aid Corp. On March 27, 2018, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found Rite Aid Corporation liable for just over $6 million after deciding that it had wrongfully terminated a 23-year employee. Plaintiff Maria Martinez had worked for Rite Aid as a licensed pharmacy…
On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, making it even harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors (rather than employees). The previous standard used for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors had been in place since 1989 and was based upon a multifactor test that considered, among other factors, the worker’s skill, the method of payment by the…
On Saturday, October 14, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1008 into law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2018.  Known as the “Ban the Box” legislation, in reference to the box applicants are asked to check if they have any prior criminal convictions, the new law prohibits employers with five or more employees from inquiring about or considering a job applicant’s conviction history prior to an offer of employment.…
On Oct. 15, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 396 into law, expanding the scope of mandatory sexual harassment training employers must provide to their supervisory employees.  Currently, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of prescribed training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, and then once…
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 63 into law, expanding parental leave protections to those individuals who work for employers with at least 20 employees.  Under the new law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2018, employers with at least 20 employees must allow an employee who has more than 12 months of service with the employer to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a…