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Last year Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 450 – the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” – to prohibit employers from voluntarily consenting to federal immigration agency access to worksites without a judicial warrant, or to specified employee records without a subpoena. As we discussed recently, an uptick in federal immigration enforcement activity may force California employers to deal with the new law’s requirements sooner than anticipated.

If you’re a California employer, perhaps no single law strikes fear into your heart quite as much as the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA). PAGA allows individual “aggrieved employees” to bring representative actions on behalf of themselves and other aggrieved employees to recover civil penalties for Labor Code violations, sometimes extracting staggering amounts from employers. However, a pair of recent appellate court cases in California granted significant procedural “wins” to employers in PAGA cases. While these are limited victories, California employers should celebrate any good news on the PAGA front. 

Tags: PAGA

Immigration has been a major flashpoint between California and the Trump Administration during the past year.  In 2017, the California Legislature passed significant legislation impacting how California employers deal with federal immigration authorities.  These actions appeared to put California on a collision course with the federal government, with California employers stuck squarely in the middle.  A recent escalation in rhetoric between state and federal officials may portend that such a collision may be imminent.

After nearly six years of discussion and debate, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (Board) yesterday approved a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.”

One of the more controversial bills introduced in the California Legislature in 2017, which was eligible to be brought up this month, has been held and will not move forward.

The California Legislature reconvened on January 3 to begin the second year of the 2017-18 legislative session.  As anticipated, sexual harassment appears to be the “hot topic” for the Legislature this year, with nearly a half-dozen bills introduced to address this issue in the first two days of the legislative session alone.

A California appellate court has ruled that California’s WARN Act, which requires 60 days advance notice of “mass layoffs,” applies to temporary layoffs and furloughs.  The case (Boilermakers Local 1998 v. Nassco Holdings, Inc.) involved a shipbuilding company that laid off about 90 employees for three to five weeks during a workload lull.  The employees were notified on the day the layoff began.  Their union sued for violation of California’s WARN Act.  The trial court ruled in favor of the union and the appellate court affirmed. 

Tags: WARN Act

Under legislation recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, beginning January 1, 2018, all California employers are required to display a workplace poster related to transgender rights. The legislation, Senate Bill 396, requires the poster to be posted “in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.”

Popular legislative proposals sometimes generate competition among legislators for who will be the first to introduce a bill on a given subject, or who will get credit for a bill’s final passage and enactment into law.

In California, it appears the next topic to fall into this category could be “fair” or “predictable” scheduling proposals.

On October 14, Governor Brown signed AB 1008 to prohibit most public and private employers with five or more employees from asking applicants about criminal conviction histories until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The new law will become effective January 1, 2018.

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