California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

On May 13th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.  The new guidance identified circumstances in which fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear face coverings, including indoors. However, fully vaccinated individuals must still comply with federal, state, local, or workplace guidance for face coverings. Earlier in the month, the CDC also issued guidance easing outdoor mask requirements in non-crowded gatherings or when gathering with other vaccinated…
On May 20th, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board will consider changes to COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). The proposed changes would still require employers to have an established written COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”) that covers everything from training and communication with employees to the investigation of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. However, there are notable proposed changes in the requirements for the CPP, definitions, and COVID-19 case management procedures, which will have significant impacts on California…
An effective settlement agreement memorializes the resolution of a dispute between a claimant-employee and a business, provides the parties with a clear path forward, and creates peace of mind. A poorly-drafted settlement agreement, on the other hand, can create further conflict and problems. This is what litigators would like employers to understand about effective settlement agreements. What Can Be Included Waiver of Unknown Claims. A settlement agreement always includes monetary and/or non-monetary consideration provided to…
As the federal government and state of California adjusted their COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated individuals, Cal OSHA remained silent on how vaccination affected the requirements under its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). While there had been discussions of revisions to the ETS, it was unclear if Cal OSHA would be able to release such revisions prior to the targeted reopening of California by June 15, 2021. Last week Cal OSHA updated its guidance on…
Recently, the Biden administration announced plans for a federal paid family leave program – something that has been available to California employees for over a decade. California’s Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) program, which is administered by the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”), provides eligible employees with up to 8 weeks of wage replacement benefits when an employee is off work for certain qualifying reasons. PFL Benefits The PFL program provides wage replacement benefits to eligible…
The California Privacy Protection Act (CPRA) amended the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and has an operative date of January 1, 2023. The CPRA introduces new compliance obligations including a requirement that businesses conduct risk assessments. While many U.S. companies currently conduct risk assessments for compliance with state “reasonable safeguards” statutes (e.g., FloridaTexasIllinoisMassachusettsNew York) or the HIPAA Security Rule, the CPRA risk assessment has a different…
Despite the Governor’s recent announcement for a tentative reopening of the state by June, California’s legislature has been busy passing COVID-19-related laws. At the end of March, the Governor signed Senate Bill 95, which resurrected and expanded supplemental paid sick leave. And more recently, the Governor signed Senate Bill 93, which implemented a statewide right of reemployment for certain industries. Over the last four months, numerous localities (including the City of Los Angeles,…
In 2020, a California district court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”) against motor carriers operating within California. AB 5 codified the judge-made “ABC test” for classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors. The district court concluded, “there is little question that the State of California has encroached on Congress’ territory by eliminating motor carriers’ choice to use independent contractor drivers, a choice at the very heart…
In November 2020, Cal OSHA passed the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Currently, the Standards are set to expire on October 2, 2021. As outlined in prior articles, the ETS require that employers: Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program. Implement COVID-19 preventative measures. Report information to their local health department. Retain records related to COVID-19 cases in the workplace in a confidential manner. Exclude workers known to have…
The COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statute was signed into law a month ago and, despite a FAQ issued by the California Labor Commissioner, employers were faced with uncertainty as to whether their employee’s leave request qualified under the statute.  Fortunately, the Labor Commissioner has updated its FAQs to provide further clarity to employers. Reasons for Leave The first clarification pertains to leave for childcare purposes. The statute states that eligible employees may take supplemental…