Wendy E. Lane

Chair, Employment Department
Fax 310-201-2365

The Laboring Oar Blog

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The Laboring Oar® is Greenberg Glusker's employment blog that provides the latest employment and labor law trends and updates to help clients remain informed in an ever-changing, dynamic world.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

John Hancock, Meet the Digital Age

Best Practices When Obtaining Employee E-Signatures on Arbitration Agreements
Traditionally, a signature affixed to a document indicates that the person who “squiggled” on the document understands and agrees to the terms of the document. However, an electronic signature may not be as easy to authenticate. A California Court of Appeal recently held that an electronic signature did not establish...

Do You Know WHO is Changing Their Mask Guidance?

The World Health Organization (“WHO”) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (“DPH”) have issued new mask guidance in light of the spreading COVID-19 Delta variant, which is more contagious than other strains of the virus.  On June 25, 2021, Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for...

Ready, Set, Re-open!

Cal/OSHA Finally Unmasks Revised COVID-19 Prevention Standards for California Employers
With the re-opening of California businesses on June 15, 2021, Los Angeles County “retired” its safety protocols for most industries.  Unfortunately, while businesses opened their doors to the public, California employers remained confounded regarding their obligations to employees when Cal/OSHA announced it would maintain mask mandates despite contrary guidance...

LA County Issues New Return-to-Work Orders

A Simple 25-Page Order (Plus 32 Different Appendices) Guiding the Reopening of Businesses
This alert is for employers with office worksites in Los Angeles County. Effective May 6, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” entitled the “Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID-19” order. And if you think...

New COVID-Related Sick Leave Obligations for California Employers

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (SB95), which adds sections 248.2 and 248.3 to the California Labor Code, extending and expanding COVID-related sick leave obligations for all California employers of 26 or more employees. The law, known as the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law...

DFEH Issues Pointed Guidance About Making Vaccines Mandatory for Employees

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has updated its  COVID-19 guidance (effective 3/4/21, replacing its previous version from 7/24/20). Use Caution If You Are Considering Making Vaccines Mandatory The DFEH now says employers may require employees to receive a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccination. We suspect...

Make Sure You’re in Good Form!

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has issued some new state forms for employers to provide to employees in 2021.  Please be sure to update any new-hire or other personnel checklists that you might have.* New DFEH Toolkit for California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) Leave and Pregnancy...