Posts

California: Emergency Wildfire Smoke Regulation Now in Effect for Outdoor Workers

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July 29, 2019

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California wildfire season is in full swing. Wildfires strongly impact local air quality, especially during the dry season.  Employers must follow Cal/OSHA’s emergency wildfire smoke regulations, which require employers to pay attention to the air quality index (AQI) and react appropriately.

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California: Court of Appeal Confirms On-Duty Meals Must be 30 Minutes Minimum

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July 31, 2019

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In L’Chaim House, Inc. v. Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement, the California Court of Appeal confirmed that meal periods must always be at least 30 minutes in length, regardless of whether or not the meal period is on or off-duty.

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California: “Domestic Partnership” Status Extended to All Ages and Genders

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California

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January 1, 2020

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“Domestic Partnership” is currently defined as two adults who have chosen to share lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring; however, it requires that the domestic partners be either of the same sex, or of the opposite sex and one or both over 62 years of age. In 2020, SB 30 will allow all couples, including opposite-sex couples both under 62 years of age, to enter into a domestic partnership.

Procedurally, the bill ensures that the Secretary of State (SOS) will make the necessary forms available on its website instead of available through the county clerk. Instructions explaining the rights and responsibilities of domestic partnership, as well as the process for termination, will also be made available on the SOS website. The law continues the existing fee structure, with an exemption for those partnerships where one or both partners are over the age of 62.

Action Items

  1. Review the text of the bill here.
  2. Review and update applicable policies for compliance, as needed.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

October Updates

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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. OFCCP Releases new FAQs on Independent Contractors, Compliance Evaluations, and AAP
  2. Ninth Circuit: ERISA Claims May be Arbitrated
  3. California: PAGA-only Claims May Not Seek Unpaid Wages
  4. Petaluma, CA: Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2020
  5. Colorado: Courts Are Not Required to Blue Pencil Noncompetition and Nonsolicitation Agreements
  6. Massachusetts: Counting 1099-MISC Workers for Paid Family Medical Leave
  7. New Jersey: Hairstyles are Protected under the Law Against Discrimination
  8. Bernalillo County, NM: Enacts Wellness Act
  9. New York: Hairstyles are Protected under the State Human Rights Law
  10. Toledo, Ohio: Salary History Inquiries Banned
  11. South Carolina: State Supreme Court Abolishes Common Law Marriage
  12. Dallas and San Antonio, TX: Paid Sick Leave Update

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9th Circuit: De Minimis Rule Does Not Apply to Regular Work Activity Regardless of How Little Time is Spent

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June 28, 2019

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In Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Servs., Inc., the Ninth Circuit refused to apply the de minimis rule to time employees spent participating in security checks after clocking out, even though the time spent could have been less than a minute. The de minimis rule allows employers to forego paying employees for short, uncertain and indefinite periods of time that are irregularly worked off the clock.

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California: State Supreme Court Takes a Heavy-Handed Look at Unconscionability in Arbitration Agreements

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August 29, 2019

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In Oto, LLC v. Kho, the California Supreme Court again pushed back on arbitration agreements in employment. The U.S. Supreme Court historically has said that states cannot discriminate against arbitration as a forum for resolving disputes or in favor of some disputes over others. Here, the California Supreme Court attacked the unconscionability of the agreement, meaning that the agreement was unfair in how it was presented to the employee.

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California: AB 5 Cements the Dynamex Independent Contractor Test

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January 1, 2020

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In 2018, in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (Lee), the California Supreme Court set forth an ABC test for determining when an individual is an independent contractor rather than an employee for wage and hour-related claims. Specifically, the Court stated that a workers is presumed to be an employee unless the business proves: (A) the worker is free from control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, based in contract and in fact; (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity. The previous Borello standard was left in place for determining independent contractor status for non-wage and hour claims.

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September Updates

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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. REMINDER! EEO-1 Component 2 Reporting is Due September 30th
  2. DOL Says DOT Drivers Sleeping in Berths While Off-Duty is Unpaid Time
  3. 2nd Circuit: Collectively Bargained Arbitration is Governed by the Scope of the Agreement
  4. 9th Circuit: The Dynamex Independent Contractor Test Does Not Apply Retroactively – For Now
  5. New Noncompete Restrictions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island
  6. Arizona: Mini-COBRA and Bona Fide Associations Updates
  7. California: Hairstyles Soon to Be Protected From Discrimination
  8. Emeryville, CA: Small Independent Restaurant Minimum Wage Hold Repealed
  9. Florida: Unemployment Compensation Protections for Domestic Violence Victims
  10. Indiana: Direct Sellers are Exempt from Minimum Wage Rules
  11. Iowa: Enacts Negligent Hiring Protections for Employers
  12. Louisiana: Electronic Notice to Employees Permitted for Group Health Insurance Plans
  13. Kansas City, MO: Enacts Salary History Inquiry Ban
  14. New Hampshire: Child Labor Hours Restricted
  15. New York: Paid Family Leave Benefit Schedule Update
  16. New York: Whistleblower’s Immigration Status is Protected
  17. Ohio: Motor Carrier Drivers Excluded from Definition of “Employee”
  18. Pittsburgh, PA: Paid Sick Leave is Revived by State Supreme Court
  19. Vermont: Expunged Records Make Criminal Convictions Vanish
  20. Virginia: Updates to Minimum Wage Exemptions and Nondisclosure Agreements
  21. West Virginia: Effect of Expunged Criminal Convictions

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California: Paid Family Leave Extended in 2020

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June 27, 2019, July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021

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SB 83 was recently enacted to extend Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from a maximum of six to eight weeks beginning on July 1, 2020. PFL benefits are used by employees to care for an ill family member or bond with a child. Beginning January 1, 2021, the bill adds benefit coverage for employees participating in a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty of a qualified family member in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The bill also requires the governor to propose other PFL benefit increases by November 2019. This would include extending coverage up to three months for each parent to take consecutively for baby bonding, increasing the benefit rate up to 90% for low-wage workers, and implementing job protections. Employers should continue to look for ongoing updates on these changes.

Action Items

  1. Review SB 83 here.
  2. Prepare to update employee handbooks and policies where applicable.
  3. Update PFL pamphlets when released by the state.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase