Women-Owned Business


April 07th, 2016/By Admin/In Blog

The following article on New Regulations and Case Law affecting California employers is brought to you by Firm Partner Sherry B. Shavit.  If you have any questions or comments about the information presented, please contact Ms. Shavit direct at telephone number (818) 205-9955; or via email to sshavit@tharpe-howell.com.

Minimum Wage is on the Rise!

On April 4, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown enacted Senate Bill No. 3, to gradually increase the minimum wage for workers in California up through 2023.  The minimum wage rate an employer must pay will depend upon the number of employees as follows:

Minimum Wage Rates for California

Effective Date Employers with 26+ Ees Employers with 25 or Less Ees
Jan. 1, 2017 $10.50
Jan. 1, 2018 $11.00 $10.50
Jan. 1, 2019 $12.00 $11.00
Jan. 1, 2020 $13.00 $12.00
Jan. 1, 2021 $14.00 $13.00
Jan. 1, 2022 $15.00 $14.00
Jan. 1, 2023 $15.00

The Governor will have the authority to suspend these increases if there is a state budget deficit.  These increases will not only affect minimum wage workers, but also overtime pay, exemption status, and Labor Code §§512(e) and 514 exemptions for workers covered under collective bargaining agreements.

This bill also provides for paid sick leave for in-home supportive service providers beginning on July 1, 2018.

Don’t forget, however, that the minimum wage for employees working within Los Angeles City limits will be higher than the state’s minimum wage requirements until the $15.00 per hour mark is hit:

Minimum Wage Rates for Los Angeles City

Effective Date Employers with 26+ Ees Employers with 25 or Less Ees
July 1, 2016 $10.50
July 1, 2017 $12.00 $10.50
July 1, 2018 $13.25 $12.00
July 1, 2019 $14.25 $13.25
July 1, 2020 $15.00 $14.25
July 1, 2021 $15.00

FEHC Adopts New FEHA Regulations

New regulations went into effect on April 1, 2016 regarding the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  This includes a new requirement for employers to disseminate to their employees a written discrimination, harassment and retaliation prevention policy with specific information, in addition to the DFEH brochure and/or anti-harassment policy already provided to employees.  The regulations also require translating the policy into every language that is the spoken language of at least 10% of the employer’s workforce.  Employers should consult with their legal counsel to ensure their policies satisfy the new regulations.  The amendments to the regulations can be found here: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/res/docs/FEHC/FinalText.pdf.

New Transgender Rights FAQs Issued by the DFEH

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued new Frequently Asked Questions for employers regarding transgender rights in the workplace.  The FAQs can be found here: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/res/docs/Publications/DFEH162TGR.pdf.

Will the Proposed Revisions to the FLSA Go Through?  Stay Tuned . . .

As discussed in the March 3, 2016 “The Legal Brief,” the Department of Labor has proposed significant changes making it harder to qualify for overtime exemptions.  However, on March 17, 2016, Republican lawmakers introduced two bills to try to kill these regulations (S. 2707 and H.R. 4773).  To send an e-mail to your Congressional members requesting them to support these bills, visit SHRM’s call to action website at: http://www.advocacy.shrm.org.  How will this affect the proposed revisions, if at all?  Stay tuned to find out.

Significant Case Law

Suitable Seating Requirements Depend on the Totality of the Circumstances

On April 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion in Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. regarding the analysis to be used in determining when an employer is required to provide suitable seats to their employees.  Many wage orders require employers to provide “suitable seating” when the “nature of the work” reasonably permits the use of seats.  The Court had certified, and addressed, three questions asked by the Ninth Circuit.  First, the Court held that evaluating the “nature of the work” requires looking at the actual tasks the employee is performing at the particular time, rather than a “holistic” review of all duties performed during one’s entire shift.  Second, while an employer’s business judgment and the physical layout of the worksite are factors to be considered, determining whether the “nature of the work” permits the use of seats requires looking objectively at the totality of the circumstances.  Third, it is the employer’s burden to prove that a suitable seat was unavailable, rather than an employee’s burden to prove it was available.

Arbitration Agreements Providing for Seeking Injunctive Relief in Court are Enforceable

On March 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court upheld an arbitration agreement that provided for the ability to seek temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctive relief in court as enforceable in Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc.  The Court found that the agreement merely restated Code of Civil Procedure §1281.8(b), which permits parties to an arbitration to seek preliminary injunctive relief in court.

[This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act or rely upon any of the resources and information contained herein without seeking appropriate professional assistance.]

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