2017

Our attorneys endeavor to stay on top of the latest legal industry trends.  See below for our Compliance Matters newsletters for news, analysis and insight as to recent legal developments that may affect you and your business.

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July 12, 2017

CALIFORNIA’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW NOTICE REQUIREMENTS GO INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY

California’s Domestic Violence Law provides protections for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

June 30, 2017

New California Regulations Severely Restrict How Employers May Use Criminal History Information

New regulations slated to go into effect on July 1, 2017 will severely limit the rights of a California employer to use or solicit information about the criminal history of a job applicant or employee.

June 28, 2017

Ninth Circuit Rules That the Employers May Be Able to Use Prior Salary History When Setting Pay

California employers are covered under both federal and state so-called “equal pay” legislation.

June 21, 2017

NLRB Reaffirms That Employees Have Wide Latitude To Publicly Criticize Management

In this issue of Compliance Matters, we discuss two recent National Labor Relations Board cases addressing employees who were fired for having publicly criticized their employers.

June 1, 2017

ARE YOUR MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES DUE FOR AN INCREASE THIS JULY 1? 

Thanks to what’s now become a confusing patchwork of federal, state and local minimum wage requirements, that’s not an easy question to answer.

May 11, 2017

California Supreme Court Clarifies California’s Seventh Day Rest Rules

Many employers may be surprised to learn that employees must generally be given at least one day off out of seven.

May 9, 2017

Court Finds That Franchisor Not Liable For Wage & Hour Violations of Franchisee

Some good news for Franchisors. In the case of Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., a federal District Court recently ruled that McDonald’s Corp.

April 28, 2017

Correction of AB1565 Would Raise the Minimum Salary for Exempt Employees

During the Obama Administration, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) began a rule making process to update and increase the minimum salary needed for a person to qualify for an overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

April 24, 2017

Ban the Box Ordinance Update: Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration Publishes Guidance, Forms and Notices for Employers

In December 2016, we issued a Compliance Matters newsletter outlining Los Angeles’ new Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance, also known as the “Ban the Box” ordinance.

April 7, 2017

EXPANDED WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES OF FEDERAL CONTRACTORS

Late last year, Congress made permanent the provisions of a four-year pilot program to provide protection for “whistleblowers” working for federal contractors and their subcontractors.

March 31, 2017

COMMISSIONED EMPLOYEES MUST BE PAID HOURLY FOR REST BREAKS AND NON-SALES TIME

In a case of first impression involving commissioned sales employees, the California Court of Appeal recently held that commissioned employees must be paid hourly at the minimum wage for time spent on paid rest breaks or other non-sales duties.

March 1, 2017
ARE YOUR BATHROOMS READY FOR ALL GENDER USE?

Effective March 1, 2017 all “single-user toilet facilities” in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state/local government agency must be identified as available for use by all genders.

January 20, 2017
EMPLOYERS MUST USE NEW I-9 FORM BEGINNING JANUARY 22, 2017

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S) has developed a new Form I-9 that all employers must begin using on January 22, 2017.

January 13, 2017
EEOC REAFFIRMS RIGHTS OF WORKERS WITH MENTAL CONDITIONS

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a resource document explaining the “important protections” the Americans with Disabilities Act affords to individuals with mental health conditions in the workplace.

January 4, 2017
NEW EEOC GUIDELINES ON NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued new guidelines on national origin discrimination.

2016

December 30, 2016

New Expansion to Existing Pay Equity Protections

Last year, we reported upon the significant changes which the California legislature made to the job bias law known as the Fair Pay Act ( CLICK HERE).

December 29, 2016

SUPREME COURT MANDATES DUTY FREE REST BREAKS

Late last week, the California Supreme Court issued another huge blow to employers in an important case involving state mandated rest breaks.

December 22, 2016

LA CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS “BAN THE BOX” ORDINANCE LIMITING EMPLOYERS FROM ASKING ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY

The Los Angeles City Council recently voted 12-1 in favor of adopting the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring, also known as “Ban the Box.”

December 9, 2016

STATE ISSUES 2017 MINIMUM HOURLY RATES FOR THE COMPUTER PROFESSIONAL AND PHYSICIAN OVERTIME EXEMPTIONS

Background .  Most of the federal and state overtime exemptions only apply to employees who are paid on a salary basis.

December 5, 2016

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Pay Equity Law’s Protections 

Last year, we detailed the significant changes California made to the Fair Pay Act (CLICK HERE).

December 1, 2016

NEW STATE LAW PROHIBITS MOST EMPLOYERS FROM ASKING JOB APPLICANTS ABOUT JUVENILE CRIMINAL HISTORY OR USING THAT INFORMATION WHEN MAKING EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS

One of the many new laws signed by Governor Brown was AB 1843 which limits what employers can ask job applicants concerning their criminal history.

November 22, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS FLSA OVERTIME RULE SET TO GO INTO EFFECT ON DECEMBER 1, 2016

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the new FLSA overtime rule slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016, which would require employers to pay salaried exempt employees a minimum salary of $47,476 per year.

October 28, 2016

Important Rules for Employing Household Employees

In recent years, California courts have seen a tremendous increase in employment litigation filed by individuals performing work in a person’s home.

October 25, 2016
I-9 Alert: New California Law Prohibits Common I-9 Practices

One of the new labor laws going into effect on January 1, 2017 gives immigrant job applicants a potent new weapon to sue their employer for stiff penalties for committing specified Unfair Immigration Related Practices when securing or updating I-9 Forms.

October 19, 2016
Governor Signs Law Increasing The Overtime Pay of Agricultural Workers  

The Governor recently signed new legislation that will provide greater protection for agricultural employees who work any overtime hours.

September 2, 2016
EEOC Guidance Addresses ADA Requirement That Employers Must Offer A Leave of Absence To Disabled Employees  

Employee leave of absence issues are among the most common and trickiest situations that employers face.

August 26, 2016
NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS SIDES WITH NLRB IN RULING THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR AN EMPLOYER TO ASK EMPLOYEES TO SIGN AN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT CONTAINING A CLASS ACTION WAIVER

It is commonplace in 2016 for employers to require their employees to sign an agreement promising to arbitrate employment claims in lieu of taking the employer to court.

August 24, 2016
San Diego Approves Amendments to Paid Sick Leave Law 

As we previously reported ( LINK1, LINK2 )the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“SD Ordinance”) was approved by voters on June 7, 2016 and was effective July 11, 2016.

August 22, 2016
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Releases New Guidance for Employers Regarding National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace 

The  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is the federal agency tasked with enforcing the workplace bias rules found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 20, 2016
PAGA Lawsuits To Receive Increased Oversight

Back in 2004, California adopted a novel approach to enforcing Labor Code violations when it enacted the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).

July 12, 2016
San Diego Approves Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave 

As we previously reported Click Here San Diego voters approved the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“SD Ordinance”) on June 7, 2016.

July 1, 2016
REMINDER TO L.A. EMPLOYERS: NOTICE POSTING, MINIMUM WAGE, AND PAID SICK LEAVE REQUIREMENTS START ON JULY 1, 2016

Starting July 1, 2016, employers located within the City of Los Angeles, as well as those located outside the City who have employees working at least 2 hours in any week within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles MUST comply with the City’s new minimum wage ordinance (“Ordinance”).

June 28, 2016

THE SAN DIEGO CITY EARNED SICK TIME AND MINIMUM WAGE ORDINANCE

San Diego jumped on the paid sick leave bandwagon, joining the ranks of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, and Santa Monica when voters approved the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“SD Ordinance”) on June 7, 2016.

June 15, 2016

CITY OF LOS ANGELES AMENDS LIVING WAGE ORDINANCE TO ADD NEW PAID SICK LEAVE BENEFITS

The City of Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance (“Ordinance”) was recently amended to include mandatory paid sick leave benefits.

May 23, 2016

DOL ANNOUNCES HIGHER SALARY REQUIREMENTS FOR OVERTIME EXEMPTIONS

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long awaited regulations which more than double the minimum salary requirement for employees to be deemed “exempt” from federal overtime requirements under the law known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

April 21, 2016

CALIFORNIA HIGH COURT ISSUES LONG AWAITED OPINION ON WORKPLACE “SUITABLE SEATING” REQUIREMENTS

The California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders contain a number of requirements governing employee wages and working conditions which must be followed.

April 5, 2016

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS HISTORIC LEGISLATION INCREASING CALIFORNIA’S MINIMUM WAGE TO $15.00 BY 2022

Yesterday morning, Governor Brown signed into law significant increases to the minimum wage rate for California employers.

March 18, 2016

NEW CALIFORNIA JOB BIAS REGULATIONS WILL REQUIRE MOST EMPLOYERS TO UPDATE THEIR  DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT PREVENTION POLICIES BY APRIL 1ST

The state’s job bias agency (the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or “DFEH”) recently announced revised regulations that will require most employers in the state to issue new workplace anti-discrimination and harassment policies by April 1, 2016.

March 15, 2016

TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEE & JOB APPLICANT RIGHTS

A couple of weeks ago, the state’s job bias agency (the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or “DFEH”) published a guidance titled “Transgender Rights In the Workplace” to educate the public about the rights of transgender employees and job applicants to be protected against illegal job discrimination.

March 1, 2016

FIRM NOTES

We always like to share good news. First of all, the Firm has a new partner. Additionally, several of the Firm’s lawyers have been singled out for special recognition as being tops in their field on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers by their peers.

February 25, 2016

ARE YOU A “JOINT EMPLOYER”?

Labor law watchdog agencies have been grappling with a difficult question: how best to protect workers employed through labor sharing arrangements such as employee leasing, subcontracting and third party staffing agencies.

February 18, 2016

NLRB Outlaws Policy Restricting Employees from Making Any Secret Recordings at the Workplace   

Most employers and their counsel give little thought to the 81 year old National Labor Relations Act. And why would they, they ask, since that law only pertains to businesses which are unionized or under the threat of becoming union, correct? Actually, that’s 100% wrong.

February 2, 2016

Reminder to Employers: February 1 Deadline to Post OSHA Form 300A

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain covered employers to prepare and maintain records of workplace injuries and illnesses.

January 27, 2016

New State Law Imposes Obligations On Employers When Terrorists Threaten Schools

The second half of 2015 included several incidents in California involving school closures due to terrorist threats. Most notably, on December 15, 2015, the Los Angeles Unified School District had a city-wide school closure after the District received a suspicious email regarding a potential terrorist threat.

January 22, 2016

New Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements for Hospitals Provide a Road Map for all Employers

In 2014, the California State Legislature passed a law that aims to prevent workplace violence in the health care industry. They picked this industry to regulate because statistics show that a worker in health care is nearly five times more likely to be the victim of a violent act at work than the average worker in all other major industries combined.

January 11, 2016

New (Higher) Minimum Wage and New (Lower) Mileage Reimbursement Rate 

Effective January 1, 2016, the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate is 54 cents per mile. This number decreased from 57.50 cents per mile set in 2015 due to the lower cost of gasoline.

2015

December 22, 2015

On-Call Shifts Under Attack

In the past several months, close to a dozen new class action lawsuits have been filed against California companies over their use of so-called “on-call” shifts. On-call shifts are very common in the retail and hospitality industries, where staffing levels may vary greatly based on the expected number of customers

December 17, 2015

30 Years Young

It’s hard to believe, but In just a few weeks, Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. To help us usher in our 4th decade of client service, the firm is pleased to announce the launch of our new user-friendly website at www.brgslaw.com.

December 1, 2015

Two Recent Proposal Will Affect Los Angeles Employers

Ban-the-Box Makes Its Way to L.A.

If the Los Angeles City Council gets its way, Los Angeles employers will be prohibited from asking applicants about prior criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

November 5, 2015

New California Law Limits How Employers May Use Federal E-Verify System

Effective January 1, 2016, a new California law signed by Gov. Brown will prohibit most California employers from using the federal E-Verify system to check the employment authorization status of any existing employee or any applicant who has not yet received an offer of employment.

November 3, 2015

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving Employers a Limited Grace Period to Correct Two Common Pay Stub Violations

One of the many new bills signed by the Governor last month affords employers a short window of time to correct two common pay stub violations without incurring liability.

October 27, 2015

California Expands “Parental” Time Off Rights

As part of Governor Brown’s marathon legislative session on October 11, 2015, he signed into law a revision to the Family-School Partnership Act which greatly expand your employees’ rights to job-protected leave. The new rights take effect on January 1st.

October 27, 2015

EMPLOYERS WITH PIECE RATE COMPENSATION PLANS HAVE NEW PAY OBLIGATIONS AND A VERY SHORT AMNESTY WINDOW TO CORRECT PAST VIOLATIONS

One of the many new bills signed by the Governor adds new obligations for employers that utilize a piece rate compensation plan and affords a very brief amnesty period for past violations.

October 23, 2015

New State Law Clarifies That Healthcare Employees May Waive Second Meal Period On Shifts Lasting Longer Than Twelve Hours

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 327 to clarify that healthcare employees may waive one of their two meal periods on shifts that exceed twelve hours.

October 13, 2015

Governor Expands California’s Equal Pay Act Protections

Governor Brown has just signed a spate of new employment laws that are sure to pave the way for many new employee lawsuits. We will devote this and the next several issues of Compliance Matters to tell you what you need to know about these new laws.

August 17, 2015

Firm News

We always like to share good news. The firm and several of our lawyers have been singled out for special recognition as being tops in their field by the prestigious Best Lawyers in America  publications.

July 24,  2015

Obama Administration Officially Declares War on Independent Contractors

We have been reporting for some time that the Obama Administration has declared war on the independent contractor relationship.

July 20, 2015

Employer Alert: Emergency Amendments To California’s Paid Sick Leave Law Go Into Effect Immediately

California’s Health Workplace Health Families Act (paid sick leave law) went into effect on July 1, 2015.

June 9, 2015

Supreme Court Reinstates Case of the Rejected Job Applicant Who Was Denied a Position at Abercrombie & Fitch Because She Wore A Religious Head Scarf To Her Job Interview

Hiring decisions (or at least the failure to hire) just got a lot more risky.

May 5, 2015

San Francisco Employers: Get Ready for More Wage Increases  

In November 2014, San Francisco voters passed a “Minimum Wage Ordinance” that  “not-so-gradually” increases the minimum wage for all employees working in the City and County of San Francisco over the next several years.

April 22, 2015

If the Senate Gets its Way, Holidays in California will Really be Something to Celebrate

A California state Assembly Committee recently approved “The Double Pay on the Holiday Act of 2015” (Assembly Bill 67).

March 16, 2015

EEOC Statistics Show Workplace Retaliation Claims On The Rise

This time each year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) releases a comprehensive breakdown concerning the number and types of employment-related charges that have been filed in the prior year.

March 4, 2015

New Laws for 2015

The California State Legislature was very busy in 2014, enacting numerous labor and employment laws that will affect the day-to-day operations, practices, and policies of California employers in 2015. We have been getting a lot of questions lately about these new laws and provide a summary of the relevant provisions

February 23, 2015

Religion and the Workplace: EEOC Guidance

With so much recent media attention devoted to the subject of religious conflict, it’s only natural that such matters spill over into the workplace. We thought it would be a good time for a brief refresher on an employer’s basic duty to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs and expressions of job applicants/employees.

February 18, 2015

What Ban the Box Means For You

We have been getting a number of questions lately about so-called “Ban-the Box” legislation. Here is an overview.

January 13, 2015

CA Appellate Court Nixes Security Guards’ $94 Million Award for Rest Break Violations

On December 31, 2014, a California Court of Appeal unanimously reversed a $94 million judgment against a security firm

April 7, 2015

Update to New Rule Expanding Coverage under the FMLA to Same-Sex Married Couples – Court Blocks Implementation of New Rule

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently amended its long-standing rule and expanded coverage under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)

March 27, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Reminds Employers to Review Accommodation Policies for Pregnant Employees

The Supreme Court revived a lawsuit brought by a United Parcel Service (UPS) employee who was denied light duty work while pregnant.

March 24, 2015

Federal Government Extends FMLA Rights to More Same-Sex Married Couples

The Obama administration has taken a huge step to protect the employment rights of same-sex married couples. Effective March 27, 2015, legally married same-sex couples will be able to enjoy the same rights as legally married opposite-sex couples

2014

January 24, 2014

New Laws Effective in 2014

When it comes to employment legislation, 2013 was yet another big year of changes. The California Legislature continued its long-established trend of increasing employee protections and entitlements, while strengthening the enforcement powers of State regulators.

February 12, 2014

NLRB Again Proposes “Quickie Election” Rules

The NLRB has proposed to reissue its 2011 “quickie election” rules, which were invalidated in a court ruling based on a procedural error in their adoption.

April 10, 2014

Employee May Be Able To Waive FMLA Entitlement

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has allowed an employee who qualifies for FMLA leave the option to reserve that leave for future use.

April 30, 2014

Enforcement Agency Coordination Increases Employer Liability Risks

In a move certain to increase prosecution of employers for employment-related regulatory violations, Region 13 of the NLRB, has entered into Memoranda of Understanding (“MOUs”) with the Illinois Department of Labor (“IDL”) and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (“CCHR”).

June 3, 2014

Class Action Lawsuit held to be “Concerted Activity” Subject to NLRB Protection

An ALJ for the NLRB has held that the termination of a New York City waiter after he filed a wage-related class action lawsuit violated the National Labor Relations Act

June 9, 2014

Is the National Labor Relations Board Licensing Vulgar Employee Misconduct?

Last week the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee’s angry, vulgar rant toward his manager was “protected activity” and thus not a legal basis to terminate.

June 24, 2014

Important California Supreme Court Ruling On Class Action Waivers

On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC.

July 21, 2014

As Summer Temperatures Soar, Employers Face Stiff Penalties For Not Providing New Heat Recovery Periods

With the temperatures soaring this summer, here’s a reminder about a new law which went into effect this January regarding so-called “heat recovery periods.”

August 14, 2014

EMPLOYERS MUST PAY EMPLOYEE CELL PHONE EXPENSES

Employers get out your checkbooks. The California Court of Appeal has ruled that employers must reimburse employees for the reasonable cost of using their personal cell phones to make or receive business calls.

September 4, 2014

California Supreme Court Permits Illegal Workers To Sue and Collect Damages For Workplace Discrimination

The California Supreme Court has upped the ante considerably for employers that employ undocumented workers.

October 17, 2014

U.S. SUPREME COURT TO CONSIDER WHETHER AN EMPLOYER MUST PROVIDE RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION TO EMPLOYEES WHO WEAR A RELIGIOUS HEAD SCARF

Employers be on notice.

November 24, 2014

FAQ: New California Law Mandating Paid Sick Leave for California Employees

California’s new Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 will require most California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees beginning July 1, 2015.

December 18, 2014

Paid Sick Leave FAQ Update

California’s new Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 will require most California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees beginning July 1, 2015. However, certain obligation take effect on January 1, 2015.

December 22, 2014

A BLUE CHRISTMAS? Two NLRB Actions Alter the Labor Relations Landscape

Christmas came early for big labor. On December 11, a sharply-divided NLRB reversed prior precedent and held that employees now have a presumptive legal right to use their employer’s email system to engage in union organizing and other protected activity

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