California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

As the state of California approaches one year of being under various shelter-in-place orders, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency and the Department of Industrial Relations have consolidated resources for employers into a new website. The site provides information on how to ensure a safer and healthier workplace. It also has information on handling employees who may be sick or exposed to COVID-19 in the form of an FAQ. The site has training resources…
On January 1, 2021, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) expanded in several ways, including that small employers (those with 5 or more employees) must now provide up to 12 workweeks of CFRA leave within a 12-month period to eligible employees. With the expanded applicability of CFRA, it’s important for California employers to be aware of the sometimes-confusing interplay of CFRA with other state and federal leave laws when it comes to an employee’s pregnancy.…
Is the California Supreme Court about to make it more difficult to dispose of whistleblower retaliation claims?  That may well be the case. The Supreme Court has agreed to answer the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ question about California law and unlawful retaliation against an employee in Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. In particular, the 9th Circuit asks the California Supreme Court to set the evidentiary standard for whistleblower retaliation claims brought under California…
Current and former employees have a right to inspect their personnel file at reasonable times. So, when a current or former employee intends to bring or has brought a claim against their employer, they will likely request a copy of their personnel file. However, if the employer has failed to properly maintain their employee’s personnel files, there isn’t a rewind button to recreate that file. This is what litigators would like employers to know about…
California currently has a patchwork of local COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave ordinances which remain in effect in 2021. But what about employers that are not located in those localities with a supplemental paid sick leave ordinance? Or employees who have exhausted supplement paid sick leave allotments? Before the pandemic, California had the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (the Act), which mandated most employers in the state provide paid sick leave to employees. …
Following in the footsteps of the City of Long Beach, the cities of Montebello and Oakland have passed premium pay ordinances mandating additional pay for certain grocery and drug store employees. Premium pay or “hazard pay” for grocery employees seems to be the new trend in COVID-19 regulations. This trend continues despite recent lawsuits filed in federal courts by the California Grocers Association, seeking to block the new ordinances in Long Beach, Oakland, and…
California SB 973 requires employers that (1) file EEO-1 reports and (2) employ more than 100 employees to submit data to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) annually that shows pay by race and gender for their California employees. It was signed into law on September 30, 2020, and DFEH has been busy providing guidance to employers and preparing the pay data reporting portal. Additional — perhaps final — guidance was released…
In 2020, employers with employees in California were inundated with new compliance requirements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It seemed that another local government or the state passed a COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirement nearly every month.  These supplemental sick leave benefits applied to employees who were not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Many of the ordinances were written to sunset with the FFCRA or on December 31,…
COVID-19 cases continue to surge around Southern California, causing the region to remain under the restrictions imposed by the statewide Regional Stay at Home Order longer than previously predicted. In response, local governments are looking for ways to reward the grocery workers who have been deemed essential since the start of the pandemic. The City of Long Beach is the first to pass a “Hero Pay” ordinance, which requires certain grocery stores to pay workers…
Joining other counties and cities in California, the City of Oakland voted to extend its Emergency Paid Sick Leave ordinance into 2021. The amended ordinance applies retroactively to December 31, 2020, and will remain in effect until the City’s Declaration of COVID-19 Emergency expires. The amended ordinance applies to all employers that have employees working in the City of Oakland, with the exception of certain smaller employers that are exempt from the ordinance’s requirements. No…