National Cannabis Awareness Month: What SB 700 Means for California Employers

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Apr 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. This month, we are exploring how cannabis laws are changing and what it means for the workplace. Senate Bill 700 ("SB 700") is a big part of this change, offering important protections for job applicants and employees regarding past cannabis use, with some exceptions. SB 700, which went into effect on January 1, 2024, brings new rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees.

Parenthood and the Workplace: A Guide to Employee Rights and Employer Responsibilities

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Mar 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

Empowering working mothers has become a crucial focus in contemporary employment law. This article explores two significant pieces of California legislation—the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") and Senate Bill 848 (SB 848)—to highlight ways employers can enhance their support for working mothers navigating family leave and reproductive health decisions.

Family and Medical Leave: What Employers Need to Know

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Mar 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Managing employee leaves of absence, including pregnancy, baby bonding, and medical leave, poses ongoing challenges for HR professionals. To effectively address these complexities, a deeper understanding of federal and state leave laws is essential, with a focus on the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") and California Family Rights Act ("CFRA").

California's New Employee Registry

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Feb 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

California employers play a crucial role in the New Employee Registry (NER), a program streamlining the reporting of newly hired or rehired employees to facilitate child support enforcement. Employers must report within 20 days of the start-of-work date, sharing information with the National Directory of New Hires. Non-compliance may lead to penalties, emphasizing the importance of timely reporting to support child support efforts and ensure legal compliance.

Ensuring Lawful Layoffs: A Comprehensive Guide to Navigate Layoffs in California

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Feb 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, the at-will employment model allows flexibility in employee termination, but it comes with legal responsibilities. Employers navigating layoffs should prioritize timely and accurate final paychecks, consider legal consultation before severance agreements, guide employees on filing for unemployment benefits, and address health insurance considerations. Compliance with the WARN Act and seeking legal guidance are crucial in avoiding wrongful termination claims and ensuring a fair transition aligned with California labor laws.

California's Electronic Submission Requirements for Workplace Injury Records

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Jan 30, 2024 | 0 Comments

California employers, based on criteria such as workforce size and industry, are mandated to annually submit Form 300A injury and illness data electronically, with deadlines on March 2nd. This requirement, influenced by federal OSHA standards, reflects California's commitment to robust workplace safety reporting, with specific rules applicable to establishments with 250 or more employees and those with 20 to 249 employees in specified industries.

SB 365: Redefining Arbitration Appeals - The End of Automatic Stays?

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Jan 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

On October 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 365 ("SB 365") into law, amending Section 1294 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The bill, effective from January 1, 2024, addresses the automatic stays during the appeal of orders dismissing or denying petitions to compel arbitration. Unlike the existing law, where an appeal triggers an automatic stay, SB 365 modifies this provision. Section 1 of the bill revises Section 1294, explicitly stating that trial court proceedings will not automatically stay during the appeal of orders related to arbitration. This change adds a dynamic element to the legal landscape for arbitration disputes, allowing trial courts to proceed with relevant proceedings while an appeal is ongoing. It's crucial to note that this modification doesn't extend to other types of appeals listed in Section 1294. The implementation of SB 365 reflects a nuanced consideration of the balance between the rights of parties involved in arbitration disputes and the efficient progression of legal proceedings.

2024 Updates: California's Latest Employment Legislation

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Jan 09, 2024 | 0 Comments

As of January 1, 2024, California has implemented significant changes in employment laws. Key highlights include a statewide minimum wage increase to $16 per hour, with exempt employees requiring a minimum annual salary of $66,560. SB 365 eliminates the automatic stay of trial court proceedings during arbitration appeals, potentially leading to litigation of underlying claims. SB 497 simplifies retaliation claims, introducing a rebuttable presumption of retaliation and prohibiting employers from impeding employee disclosures. SB 616 enhances paid sick leave benefits, providing flexibility in accrual methods. AB 636 updates the Wage Theft Prevention Notice, and SB 699 reinforces the ban on noncompete agreements. SB 700 extends protections against cannabis-related discrimination, while SB 848 grants leave entitlement for reproductive loss. SB 553 mandates a workplace violence prevention plan effective from July 1, 2024, and AB 594 authorizes public prosecutors to address wage hour violations until January 1, 2029.

SB 848: A Compassionate Approach to Reproductive Loss in the Workplace

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Jan 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

On October 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 848 (“SB 848”), which introduces new provisions to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Effective January 1, 2024, SB 848 makes it unlawful for employers to deny eligible employees up to five days of reproductive loss leave following events like failed adoptions, surrogacies, miscarriages, stillbirths, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction. This leave must be taken within three months of the event, in line with existing leave policies, and may be unpaid in the absence of such policies. SB 848 also prohibits employer retaliation against individuals exercising this right, emphasizing the need for confidentiality regarding reproductive loss situations.

AB 636: Updated Wage Theft Prevention Notice

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Jan 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

Assembly Bill 636 ("AB 636") extends the Wage Theft Prevention Act's notice requirements to H-2A farmworkers. Effective from January 1, 2024, employers must update notices for nonexempt employees, and by March 15, 2024, H-2A agricultural employers must comply with new notice provisions for their workers, providing comprehensive information about their legal rights.

Protecting Freelance Workers: Los Angeles Implements Ordinance to Ensure Fair Treatment and Compensation

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Nov 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

The City of Los Angeles has taken a significant step to safeguard the rights of freelance workers with the implementation of a new ordinance. The ordinance, known as Ordinance No. 187782, aims to address the unique challenges faced by freelance workers and provide them with essential protections. Recognizing the vital role played by freelancers in today's economy, the City of Los Angeles seeks to ensure fair treatment and proper compensation for these independent contractors.

Payday Protocols: Understanding Final Paychecks in California

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Nov 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

When terminating an employee, it's crucial to follow the provisions set forth in the California Labor Code. When an employee is discharged, their final paycheck, inclusive of earned vacation pay, must be issued immediately. For those resigning without prior notice, payment must be made within 72 hours, while a minimum 72-hour notice from the employee warrants immediate payment at the time of quitting. Failure to meet these timelines may result in penalties under Labor Code § 203.

Managing Employee Vacations During the Holiday Season

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Nov 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

In California, employers have the ability to establish policies regarding the accrual and eligibility of vacation time. Per California Labor Code § 227.3, earned vacation time is considered wages and is accrued as labor is performed. For instance, if an employee is entitled to two weeks (10 workdays) of vacation per year, they would have earned five days of vacation after six months of work.

Clearing the Haze: Understanding SB 700 and What Employers Need to Know About Cannabis and Workplace Discrimination

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Oct 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

On October 7, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom approved SB 700, a pivotal amendment to the existing Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"). SB 700 introduces protections for job applicants and employees against discrimination based on their past cannabis use, with some exceptions. SB 700 will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

California's SB 497 Simplifies Retaliation Claims for Employees

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Oct 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

On October 8, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom approved SB 497, also known as the Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Protection Act. SB 497 introduces pivotal changes to California Labor Code Sections 98.6, 1102.5, and 1197.5, with the intent of strengthening safeguards for employees involved in specific protected activities. SB 497 goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

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