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California Relaxes COVID-19 Isolation and Testing Guidelines

Acknowledging that we are now at “a different point in time with reduced impacts from COVID-19 compared to previous years,” the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its COVID-19 isolation guidelines in an effort to minimize workplace disruption when a person tests positive for the virus. Under...
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Valentine’s Day Reminder – California Employer Edition

Yes, this is a reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming up.  In addition to making dinner reservations and buying loved ones flowers, California employers have the added responsibility of complying with the newly enacted Business & Professions Code Section 16600.1 which says, among other things: For current employees, and for...
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New Year, New Form for Non-Exempt Employees

We hope that your new year is off to a wonderful start! If one of your resolutions is to make sure your employment forms are up to date, our first Laboring Oar newsletter of 2024 will help you achieve that goal. (If only all our resolutions were so easy.) As we...
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Protected Paid Sick Leave Increases to Five Days Per Year Under California State Law

With the stated purpose of encouraging sick employees to stay home to stop the spread of COVID and other contagious diseases in the workplace, California Governor Newsom signed SB 616, expanding the state’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2016 to increase the guaranteed number of paid sick days...
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California Employers Prohibited from Discriminating Against Applicants and Employees for Off-Duty Cannabis Use

Governor Newsom signed AB 2188, which amends the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to prohibit discrimination based on off-the-job cannabis use. AB 2188 prohibits most employers from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or setting conditions of employment if the discrimination is based on either: Cannabis...
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Employee bonuses in California: An essential guide for HR professionals

Offering bonuses to California employees is more complex than one might think. I presented on the topic of employee bonuses during my August HR Bites series of employment law-related discussions, during which I touched on the role and implementation of signing bonuses, relocation bonuses, retention bonuses, and incentive pay...
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Local Minimum Wage Increases Along With Summer Temperatures

Local Minimum Wage Increases Go Into Effect on July 1, 2023 On July 1, 2023, a number of local governments throughout California will raise their minimum wage. In the City of Los Angeles, the new rate is $16.78/hour ($19.73/hour for hotel employees at hotels with 60 or more guest...
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Employer Resources for Workplace Mental Health Issues

Both during the height of the Covid pandemic and now in the aftermath, employers are increasingly reaching out to our Employment Group about employees who are demonstrating or reporting mental health problems. While some of these reports come with medically certified diagnoses, many do not, but all require a...
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The DHS Presses “Pause” on I-9 Remote Controls: How Employers Should Navigate the End of the Road for Remote Verification of Employee Eligibility

Historically, employers were legally required to conduct an in-person inspection of I-9 Section 2 documents (e.g., an employee’s passport, driver’s license, and/or social security card) to verify an employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its shelter-in-place mandate, on March...
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Changes to COVID Isolation Requirements

For several years, California’s COVID isolation guidelines have played a key role in “stopping the spread” in the workplace by requiring contagious employees to isolate at home. As of March 13, 2023, the California Department of Public Health has revised those guidelines . In alignment with  CDC Recommendations for Isolation and...
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One Step Forward For Arbitration Agreements, Two Steps Back For Non-Disparagement Provisions

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements for Employees Are “On” Again...for Now. Once upon a time, before a certain virus captured all of our attention, the California legislature enacted Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51), which prohibits employers from requiring employees to consent to mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. Many employers...
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Processing employees' Data Access Requests ("DARs") under the CCPA

Brief Background On January 1, 2023 , the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA") became applicable to the personal information of employees, job applicants, subcontractors, contractors, and others in work roles who are California residents ("Employee Personal Information").  Since it went into effect on January 1, 2020, the...
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Should Interns be Paid or Unpaid?

I recently shared commentary with  SHRM  regarding unpaid internships, including the legal considerations that employers should keep in mind. When are internships allowed to be unpaid and when they must be paid? The short answer is that so long as an intern is properly classified under the law as...
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Out With the Old, In With the New: Employment Law Updates in 2023

With 2023 here, it’s time for employers to comply with new California labor laws. Below is a highlight reel of these changes. What’s in a Name? Turns Out, Not Much: The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is Renamed the Civil Rights Department Effective July 1, 2022, the California...
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Employers Feel the Heat from Summer Legal Updates — Minimum Wage Increases, Arbitration Enforcement, and New COVID Safety Definitions

Local Minimum Wage Increases Go Into Effect on July 1, 2022 On July 1, 2022, a number of local governments throughout California will raise their minimum wage. In the City of Los Angeles, the new rate is $16.04/hour ($18.17/hour for hotel employees at hotels with 150 or more guest...
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DIR Issues FAQ’s to Give Employers the ABC’s Re: the ETS

If you are trying to fight off the effects of COVID-19 variants in the workplace, the Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) has offered up a bit of alphabet soup in the form of updated ETS FAQ’s, more formally known as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency...
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Reminder: CalSavers Compliance Deadline on June 30, 2022 for Employers with 5-50 Employees

The deadline for California employers with between 5-50 employees to either register for, or opt out of, the  CalSavers Retirement Savings Program  is quickly approaching. As we explained in a previous  blog post , CalSavers is a new, automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA program, designed to expand access to...
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The Feds Say Me Too! In Limiting the Use of Employment Arbitration Agreements

California courts and legislature have been pummeling employers’ ability to require comprehensive arbitration agreements. Well, the federal government has now joined in. In an astounding rare example of legislative bipartisanship, both Congress and the Senate approved the passing of the federal Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment...
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Vaxxed and Unmasked in Los Angeles County

In light of the decreasing rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Los Angeles County is relaxing its current mask mandate. Pursuant to the revised Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Order (the “Revised Order”), effective at 12:01 am on Friday, February 25, 2022, businesses may elect to allow workers...
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A New Variant of California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law Emerges — What Employers Need to Know

On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 114, California’s 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law. Under the new law, employers with 26 or more employees are obligated to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons (“2022 SPSL&rdquo...
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Employers’ Struggles with Religious & Disability Accommodations from COVID-related Policies

The science, guidance, and regulations related to workplace safety policies for the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing (goodbye federal vaccine mandate!). As employers struggle to keep up, they are confronted with the decision of what safety policies to adopt, including, for many, whether to require their employees be vaccinated against...
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SCOTUS Blocks OSHA ETS

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from taking effect for the foreseeable future. The ETS required employers with 100 or more employees to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing policy...
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Happy New… COVID-19 Guidance to Employers Regarding Isolation and Quarantine Periods

If you are looking for a silver lining in the giant Omicron clouds hovering (and surging) over us, we are happy to confirm that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), the California Department of Public Health ("CDPH"), and California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health ("Cal/OSHA") are finally...
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AB 654: Clarification of employers' notification, reporting requirements after COVID-19 exposure in the workplace

Assembly Bill 654, which became effective October 5, 2021, makes notable revisions to an employer's COVID-19 exposure notification and reporting requirements. Last year's AB 685, which was effective January 1, 2021, provided that employers must notify certain employees (including employees of certain subcontractors) when (1) the employees are exposed...
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OSHA ETS Vaccine Mandate Back In Effect (For Now)

Mere moments after we published our most recent client alert, E.L.F. on a Digital Shelf: Employment Law Facts, a Summary of California’s New 2022 Employment Laws , on December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the nationwide stay on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA...
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E.L.F. on a Digital Shelf: Employment Law Facts, A Summary of California’s New 2022 Employment Laws

In preparation for 2022, California employers have an abundance of new laws with which to comply. Below are the highlights curated by our Employment Law Group.  SB 331: The “ Silenced No More ” Bill, Prohibits Confidentiality of Alleged Unlawful Acts in NDAs and Settlement Agreements SB 331, which takes...
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