join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

California's Fair Employment and Housing Council Broadens the Definition of National Origin, Including Specific Provisions Relating to Language Restrictions and Employees' Immigration Status

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council published new regulations on May 17th relating to national origin discrimination. The regulations will take effect in just a few weeks, on July 1, 2018, and will be codified in the California Code of Regulations sections 11027 and 11028.

The Implications of Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court: California's Adoption of the ABC Test for Purposes of the Wage Orders

The California Supreme Court’s adoption of a strict ABC test for purposes of the wage orders is likely to cause significant problems for California businesses that use independent contractors. Of particular concern is the “B” prong of the test and the contours of the putative employer’s business. While at present the ABC test applies only to the wage orders, which means that only non-exempt employees are subject, businesses may find it difficult to implement the ABC test without implicating other aspects of the relationship, such as taxes or workers’ compensation, such that conversion for all purposes may be necessary. Nonetheless, there are many unresolved issues, and it remains to be seen how adoption of the ABC test will play out in California.

Fair Employment Housing Commissions Publishes New National Origin Discrimination Regulations; Limits “English-Only” Rules and Expands Protections for Immigration Status

On May 17, 2018, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission (“FEHC”) published the final text of its “Regulations Regarding National Origin Discrimination” (to be codified at 2 Cal. Code Regs. §§ 11027 & 11028). The regulations, which become effective July 1, 2018, expand the definition of “national origin” for purposes of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).

California’s FEHC Adopts New National Origin Discrimination Regulations

On July 1, 2018, new regulations from California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) that clarify protections from national origin discrimination will go into effect. The new regulations are extensive and include clarifications on the definitions of “national origin” and “national origin groups,” the permissible and prohibited types of employer policies governing language restrictions in the workplace, the permissible and prohibited inquiries regarding immigration status, and the permissible and prohibited types of height and weight requirements for work.

California Employers Must Submit Form 300A Data on Federal Online Portal by July 1

According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), even though California has not adopted its own state rule on the matter, California employers should submit their Form 300A data for 2017 using the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) online portal by July 1, 2018. Entities that must submit information under the federal rules include “[e]stablishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.”

And Now The Bad News: Avalanche of California Bills Continues to Advance

As we discussed in our last blog post, California employers received some rare good news in recent days. Bills to expand California’s paid sick leave requirement and to require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use both failed to advance and are dead for the year.

“Job Killer” Data Breach Litigation Bill Barely Passes California Senate

Since my last blog post about SB 1121, the California Senate voted to send SB 1121 to the state Assembly. The May 30 vote was very close, 22-13, only one above the 21-vote threshold for passing the bill and strictly along party lines. Twenty-two Democratic senators voted Yay, 13 Republican senators voted Nay, and four Democratic senators did not cast a vote.

Court of Appeal Affirms "Waiting Time" Penalties Where Employer Unaware of Wage Law Amendment

In its May 24, 2018 opinion in the matter of Diaz v. Grill Concepts Services, Inc. (Case no. B280846, 2nd Dist.), the California Court of Appeal shed further light on the standard to impose so-called “waiting time penalties” on employers who neglect to pay wages due upon discharge or resignation. Diaz affirmed the maxim that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” holding that an employer’s failure to investigate a change in the local wage scale constituted a “willful” failure to pay, exposing it to waiting time penalties under the Labor Code. Diaz also held that courts do not have discretion to relieve the employer from such penalties on equitable grounds.

Class Action Waivers Remain Inapplicable to PAGA Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not extend to claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., No. 16-300; National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307 (May 21, 2018); Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348.

First, The Good News: California Bills to Expand Paid Sick Days and Require Employers to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Fail to Advance

It’s not often that we get to report good news on this blog. But last week, two significant bills that would have imposed new requirements on California employers failed to advance past the Assembly Appropriations Committee.