• Mar 27
    Special Alert: California Supreme Court Issues New Decision on Compensability of Time Involving Employer Mandated Security Checks, Travel Time, and Unpaid Meal Periods

    As employers in California know quite well, wage and hour law is complex and ever-evolving. One recent area of focus is whether the time employees spend undergoing employer mandated security checks is compensable. On March 25, 2024, the California Supreme Court weighed in on this topic in Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors. Additionally, the Court addressed compensability of time spent traveling on company property between a security gate and the work site and compensability of meal periods when employees are prevented from leaving the premises.

  • Mar 7
    Special Alert: CalOSHA Issues Violence Prevention Model Plan

    Last year, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 553, which requires almost all California employers to establish, implement, and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan. Employers are also required to keep a violent incident log, train employees on the workplace violence prevention plan, and keep records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation and correction. Employers must comply with these requirements by July 1, 2024.

  • Jan 31
    Special Alert: Trial Courts Cannot Dismiss PAGA Claims on Manageability Grounds

    On January 18, 2024, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., to resolve a split in authority as to whether trial courts have inherent authority to strike California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims on manageability grounds.

  • Jan 17
    Special Alert: New Federal Standard for Independent Contractors and 2024 Compliance Reminders

    New Federal Standard for Independent Contractors

    The federal Department of Labor (DOL) published a new rule last week with a test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets standards for the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping under federal law. The FLSA only applies to “employees” – it does not apply to “independent contractors.” Independent contractors are not subject to the minimum wage, overtime, or other employment benefits, but misclassification of workers as independent contractors can expose employers to significant penalties. Therefore, it is important for employers across the country to understand the new DOL test for independent contractor status.

  • Apr 12
    The California Legislative Report - April 2024

    Spring has arrived, the 2024 Legislative session is in full bloom, and two new laws have already taken effect. First, AB 1228 (enacted in 2023) took effect on April 1, 2024, creating a $20.00 statewide minimum wage for certain fast food restaurant restaurants covered by that law (i.e., those with 60 locations nationwide, etc.). (See our 2023 Legislative Summary for a more detailed overview of that law.) Second, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 610, which took effect immediately, creating multiple new exemptions from the new fast food minimum wage.

    The California Legislature is also still considering a record number of pending bills, including approximately 60 employment-related bills, and key committee votes have recently occurred or will soon occur. As tends to happen, some major bills have stalled as key votes approach (including AB 2741, which would have imposed new obligations on client employers and labor contractors), while other major bills suddenly emerge as amendments occur, including the just-introduced “right to disconnect” bill (AB 2751), which would allow employees to ignore most employer communications outside of work hours. Suffice to say, employers should anticipate a flurry of activity as the deadlines for bills to pass the key policy committee votes (April 26, 2024) and to pass the first legislative chamber (May 24, 2024) approach.

    For tracking purposes, we have identified the “Top Ten” bills that – if passed – would have the most significant impact on California employers. These bills that would:

  • Mar 4
    The California Legislative Report - March 2024

    The 2024 Legislative session is officially already underway and has resulted in a significant number of new bills being introduced in the California Assembly and Senate. In Sacramento, the deadline to introduce new bills has now passed. We are tracking more than 57 employment-related bills and an additional 31 employment-related “spot” bills (essentially placeholders that allow legislators to come back later and propose more substantive legislation). We have identified the “Top Ten” bills that – if passed – would have the most significant impact on California employers.