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Federal Judge Blocks Implementation of Controversial California Arbitration Law Scheduled to Go Into effect January 1 st

A late Christmas gift for California employers arrived on December 30, 2019, when U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller granted a temporary restraining order against one of Governor Newsom’s most controversial new laws (AB 51) which forbids California employers from entering into arbitration agreements with most employees.

EEOC Retracts 1997 Policy Statement

On December 16, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rescinded its 1997 Policy Statement on Mandatory Binding Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Disputes as a Condition of Employment. The Policy Statement took the position that forced arbitration clashed with workers’ civil rights and the public interest in eradicating discrimination.

Legislative Update

Governor Newson signed a slew of employment related bills over the last few weeks. In this issue of Compliance Matters we provide a brief summary on many of them. In the coming weeks we will be dedicating several issues of Compliance Matters to provide more detail and clarity on some of the more complex and relevant laws.

Is Your Organization Subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act?

Last of a Three Part Series for Federal Government Contractors – Just in time for Veteran’s Day, in this final installment of the series on AFFIRMATIVE ACTION COMPLIANCE David Harvey provides an overview of the affirmative action requirements as they relate to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRAA”), as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002.

Is Your Organization Subject to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act?

Second of a Three Part Series for Federal Government Contractors – David Harvey provides an overview of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Individuals with Disabilities) affirmative action compliance requirements generally and when an employer must take the additional step to develop a written Section 503 Affirmative Action Plan.

Court Clarifies Contours of Dynamex

As we reported in 2018, the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations W., Inc. v. Superior Ct., 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018), adopted a three-part “ABC” test to determine if a worker is to be classified as an employee or independent contractor. Under the ABC test, a worker is presumptively an employee, and the hiring entity bears the burden to show otherwise.

California Delays and Clarifies Rules Regarding Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Sexual harassment training plays a huge role in the workplace. Since 2005, employers with at least 50 employees have been required to provide interactive training to their supervisory employees. One year ago, the State of California enacted another law that presented stricter training requirements for employers but also created some confusion as to when compliance must occur.

California Enacts Landmark Law Changing the Face of the Gig Economy and an Employer’s Use of Independent Contractors

On September 18, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (“AB 5”). The new law codifies into law last years blockbuster California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision which made it extremely difficult for employers to classify a worker as an independent contractor.

Affirmative Action Compliance – A Three Part Series for Federal Government Contractors

Affirmative Action Compliance can be a difficult subject for business owners and human resource executives. In this first article of the series, David provides an overview of Executive Order 11246 affirmative action compliance requirements generally and when an employer must take the additional step to develop a written Affirmative Action Plan.

Petaluma and Sonoma Accelerate California’s Minimum Wage Rate Schedule

The local minimum wage ordinance trend continues to heat up as two Bay Area cities approved to accelerate the minimum wage rates currently set forth in California’s minimum wage schedule by adopting their own local minimum wage ordinances last month…

Court Provides Clarification to California Employers Regarding “On Duty” Meal Periods

In California, employers must provide employees with a thirty-minute, uninterrupted off-duty meal period whenever an employee works more than five (5) hours. However, there are certain jobs that can qualify for an “on duty” meal period. An “on duty” meal period is permitted…

Dynamex’s “ABC Test” for Independent Contractors May Not Apply Retroactively

In an unexpected turn of events, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently vacated its decision in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International. As previously reported, the Ninth Circuit held in Vasquez that the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision created a new independent contractor test applies retroactively.

Hair Discrimination – California Is the First State to Ban

Earlier this month, a California measure known as the CROWN Act — an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” — was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. This new law aims to protect against discrimination of employees and students based upon their natural hairstyle.

Important New NLRB Ruling Has Limited Benefit for CA Employers

On June 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark decision that gives employers more leeway to exclude nonemployee union representatives from areas of the company’s private property that are generally open to the public. However, employers in states like California may not be able to enjoy all the benefits of the Board’s decision…

Minimum Wage Rates Increase in Los Angeles and Several California Cities on July 1, 2019

This summer, the temperature will not be the only number rising in Los Angeles and several other California cities. Effective July 1, 2019, several California counties and municipalities are hiking the minimum wage.

Proposed Federal “Be HEARD” Act Seeks to Expand Federal Workplace Harassment Law

While much of the media’s discussion of the #MeToo movement has focused on high profile industries like entertainment, media, and politics, a bill recently introduced in Congress is designed to ensure that most ordinary workers will benefit from imposing stricter anti-harassment protections.

Employers Must Turn Over “Component 2” Pay Data to EEOC by September 30, 2019

Recently, we wrote about the new “Component 2” section of a revised EEO-1 form that was reinstated on March 4, 2019 as a result of a recent court ruling. Component 2 now requires employers to provide a report to the EEOC on the annual wages earned and hours worked by employees of each gender, race and ethnic background. .

Ninth Circuit Rules that “ABC Test” for Independent Contractor Status Applies Retroactively and Should Be Liberally Applied

One year ago this month, the California Supreme Court issued its landmark Dynamex ruling, which makes it far more difficult to prove that a worker may be legally treated as an independent contractor under California’s Wage Orders \[ link \]. One major remaining question has been whether Dynamex will be applied “retroactively” to lawsuits that were brought before Dynamex was decided.

U.S. Supreme Court Makes it Easier for Employers to Avoid Class Arbitration

The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld arbitration agreements which include waivers of the right to pursue class action remedies in court. Just one year ago, in the landmark Epic Systems case, a 5-4 conservative majority of the Court ruled that arbitration agreements waiving an employee’s right to pursue or participate in a class action lawsuit are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, and do not violate federal labor law.

The United States Supreme Court Will Decide Whether To Extend Title VII Protections to LGBT Employees and Job Applicants

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Although the law explicitly bans “sex” discrimination, as written and later amended, it does not specifically include “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” as protected categories.

Are You On The List? OFCCP’s 2019 CSAL

On March 25, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued its Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (“CSAL”) which includes 3,500 establishments for FY 2019. The CSAL list comes in lieu of individual letters which had traditionally been sent directly to federal contractors to notify them of potential audits.

E-Verify Releases Updated “Right to Work” Poster

On February 26, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and its E-Verify division have updated the mandatory Right to Work poster. Employers participating in E-Verify must replace previous versions of the posters with the updated version.

EEOC’s New Pay Data Reporting Requirements. Clear As Mud

Tax season may be coming to an end, but if you are a private employer with 100 or more employees, you may not be emerging from your mountain of paperwork just yet. Private employers with 100 or more employees are now required to report to the U.S.

California Court Extends Reporting Pay Obligation To On-call Employees

As we previously reported, a number of state and local governments have passed legislation aimed at requiring employers to provide their employees with advance notice of their work schedules. So-called “predictable scheduling” laws have been passed by the State of Oregon, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco

Federal Government Announces New Salary Guidelines For Overtime Exemptions

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited proposed revisions of the regulations under the federal law known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in regard to which employees qualify for an overtime pay exemption.

NLRB Rejects In-N-Out Burger’s Button Ban

Last week, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an important appeal by In-N-Out Burger. The burger chain was seeking to overturn a National Labor Relations Board ruling concerning the chain’s uniform policy.

Recent NLRB Decisions Are Welcome News For Employers

Two recent decisions of the Trump-era NLRB are welcome news for employers. In both cases, the Trump Labor Board reversed a pair of Obama-era decisions that employers found very troubling.

U.S. Supreme Court Gives Mixed Results For Businesses Seeking To Enforce Arbitration Agreements

The United States Supreme Court got off to a fast start in 2019, issuing two important decisions on the enforcement of mandatory arbitration agreements. One ruling was a narrow victory for businesses; the other was a defeat for companies in the transportation industry.