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What’s Left of the De Minimis Doctrine in California? Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals May Soon Decide

Last year, the California Supreme Court held the federal “de minimis” doctrine does not apply to California state law claims for unpaid wages for off-the-clock work allegedly performed on a regularly occurring basis in store closing and related activities. Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 5 Cal. 5th 829.

Offshore Drilling Companies Can Rest Easy: Supreme Court Holds California Wage and Hour Law Inapplicable to Certain Rig Workers

On June 10, 2019, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state wage and hour laws do not apply to certain drilling rig employees working off the California coast. The rig workers argued that California law required employers to pay them for off-work time spent on the platform, including time spent sleeping. The Supreme Court disagreed. In Parker Drilling Management Services, Ltd. v. Newton, the Court held that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and not state law, applies to drilling platforms located in open waters governed by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Because the FLSA addresses both standby and minimum wage claims raised by the workers, California law cannot be adopted as a surrogate federal law on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Bill to Exclude Employees From CCPA Moves Through California Legislature

On May 29, 2019, the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 25. The bill now moves to the state senate for a vote. If the state senate passes the bill, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) would be amended to specifically exclude job applicants, employees, agents, and contractors from the definition of “consumer,” thereby alleviating substantial obligations for employers whose only relationship to the new law were its employees.

California Independent Contractor Bill Continues Slow March to Governor’s Desk

On May 29, 2019, Assembly Bill No. 5 (AB 5) passed a California State Assembly floor vote and headed to the senate. The bill would codify the “ABC” test announced this past year by the Supreme Court of California.

A Dozen Major Employment Law Bills Wind Through the California Legislature

The California State Senate and Assembly have been busy this year, moving a number of employment law bills through the legislative process. May 31, 2019, was the deadline for either the assembly or the senate to pass a bill and send it to the other house. A few employment-related bills failed to advance, but there are still a dozen major bills marching forward.

Senate Committee Blocks CCPA Bill to Expand Private Right of Action

The California Senate Appropriations Committee recently blocked a bill that would expand a private right of action under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). As we reported, in late February, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced Senate Bill 561, legislation intended to strengthen and clarify the CCPA. Then in April, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6-2.

Will They or Won’t They: A Look at Some Significant Proposed California Legislation Relating to Leaves, Disability, and Other Protected Time Off

With May 31st 2019, marking the deadline for bills to be passed by their California house of origin, the following are some key pieces of employment legislation that may find their way to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk in October. Here is a round-up of potential 2020 legislation worth watching:

California Bill To Codify ABC Test Passes First Hurdle

Earlier this week, the California Assembly overwhelmingly passed AB5 – a measure that would codify the ABC test introduced to the state in last year’s Dynamex decision, and make life even more challenging for the average gig economy business. The best hope now is that the legislature wi1`1ll take business considerations into account during necessary compromise negotiations with the state Senate, and the bill will be modified from its present form to address some key issues…and perhaps exempt typical gig economy companies.

Cal/OSHA Relaxes Proposed Wildfire Smoke Emergency Regulation

After receiving over 40 public comments and holding a public meeting on its proposed wildfire smoke emergency regulation, California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“DOSH”), has eased some requirements of the proposed rule. (If you would like more information on the proposed regulation, you can check out this previous OSHA Law Blog post). Yet, much of the rule has remained the same.

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Retroactivity and Expansion of the California Independent Contractor Test

In April 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal. 5th 903, 916-17 and set forth the standards for determining independent contractor status for purposes of the California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders. The Court presumed that a worker is an employee unless he or she meets the requirements of the “ABC Test.”