California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

February is the month where romance blossoms – which means it is a great time for employers to review their policies regarding employee fraternization and intracompany relationships. How does an employer go about regulating romantic relationships between employees? It can be tricky. When creating workplace policies, employers should keep Labor Code section 96(k) in mind. Labor Code section 96(k) provides that the California Labor Commissioner may assert claims on behalf of employees for loss of…
Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”), feared by some to be the death of independent contractor relationships in California, faces a growing number of lawsuits.  Organizations representing three industries have filed lawsuits challenging the bill on constitutional grounds.  In each lawsuit, the plaintiffs have sought a preliminary injunction to stay enforcement of the bill until the trial court makes a final decision.  These efforts have met with mixed success. Legal Challenges AB 5 is already facing…
On January 31, 2020, the district court in Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al. v. Becerra, et al., E.D. Cal. Case No. 2:19-cv-2456, granted the request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the State of California (the State) from enforcing Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) against arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). A week later, on February 7, 2020, the court issued its written order detailing the court’s reasoning for…
As California employers continue to grapple with recent legislation effective January 1, California Governor Gavin Newsom is releasing his plans for even more employment legislation. Along with the Governor’s proposed budget, the Governor has announced various “trailer bills.”  Trailer bills are measures that accompany the annual state budget that theoretically are necessary to implement the budget. Yet they can also be an easy way for the Governor to get difficult legislation passed, as the trailer…
The district court in Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al. v. Becerra, et al., E.D. Cal. Case No. 2:19-cv-2456, granted the request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the State of California from enforcing Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) with respect to arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). AB 51 generally prohibits conditioning employment or employment-related benefits on the signing of an arbitration agreement covering claims under the California Fair…
The California Court of Appeal, in its recent decision in Schmidt, et al. v. Superior Court, County of Ventura 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 54 (January 22, 2020), affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the employer, the Ventura County Superior Court. Two court employees alleged that a security guard employed by a private company sexually harassed them during the courthouse entry screening process. The Court of Appeal acknowledged in its opinion that the “slow…
As previously addressed by the OSHA Law Blog, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Standards Board”) considered a proposed standard that would allow employee access to their employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (“IIPP”). During its January 16th, 2020 meeting the Standards Board approved the proposed rule, which is now expected to take affect on January 1, 2021. Please find the rest of this article on our OSHA Law Blog here.…
Recently, the California Court of Appeal reviewed an appeal regarding citations issued against a sheet metal company, Nolte Sheet Metal in Nolte Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board. One of the issues presented was whether Nolte freely and voluntarily consented to a Cal/OSHA inspection. Under the California Labor Code, Cal/OSHA is permitted to investigate and inspect any workplace after presenting appropriate credentials to the employer. If an employer refuses inspection, Cal/OSHA…
Earlier this week, the Southern District heard arguments regarding the grant of a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”) against motor carriers operating within California. Judge Benitez granted the preliminary injunction and concluded in his order that “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 of…
Northrop Grumman has agreed to pay $12,375,000 to settle a class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by participants in its 401(k) plan. The parties reached the initial terms of this settlement last year minutes before the start of the trial. The plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that the company’s administration of the 401(k) plan harmed the plan’s participants by using a costly management strategy for a risky investment fund and…