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California Bill to Ban Most Employment Arbitration Agreements Moves One Step Closer to Becoming Law

In its continuing, apparent quest to undermine federal law, the California legislature is moving to make it unlawful for employers to require applicants or employees to agree to resolve employment-related disputes by way of arbitration. AB 3080 would add provisions to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and to the California Labor Code making it unlawful for an employer to require an applicant, employee, or independent contractor to agree to waive any forum (i.e. court) for the resolution of a dispute arising under FEHA (discrimination, harassment, and retaliation) or the Labor Code (wages/wage statements/meal and rest breaks/working conditions). The bill further specifies that an arbitration agreement is unlawful even if applicants or employees are permitted to opt out of the agreement. In other words, even where an employee is permitted to opt out of the arbitration agreement, the agreement still will be deemed to have been forced on the employee as a condition of employment, and therefore, will be considered unlawful.

Fisher Phillips California Partner Breaks Down ABC Test for Employers

In his bylined piece for Corporate Compliance Insights, Irvine Partner John Skousen breaks down the new ABC test for California employers, which determines whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

California Provides Guidance Regarding Its Salary History Ban

On January 1, 2018, California’s salary history ban (A.B. 168) took effect. Under A.B. 168, California employers are prohibited from “seek[ing] salary history information” from an applicant.1 The statute also prohibits employers from relying on an applicant’s prior salary history “as a factor in determining whether to offer employment . . . or what salary to offer an applicant.”2 In short, employers cannot ask applicants what they made at their last job, and, if the information is involuntarily disclosed, cannot rely on this information—in any way—in determining the terms of an employment offer. On July 18, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2282, the Fair Pay Act Bill, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, and clarifies the application of California’s Equal Pay Act.

New Cal/OSHA Housekeeper Injury Prevention Rules Now in Effect

On July 1, 2018, the newly implemented Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) regulation took effect.1 This program requires all California hotel/motel employers to institute and maintain written policies and training practices regarding housekeeping-related workplace hazards. The new Cal-OSHA regulation, which is intended to prevent and reduce work-related injuries to housekeepers in the hospitality industry, specifically requires that the MIPP be part of the employers Injury Illness and Prevention Program (IIPP) and that it be in writing, readily accessible to employees during their shift, and include the following components

California Court of Appeal Upholds Company’s Rounding Practices

Many California employers round employees’ clock-in and clock-out times to the closest quarter hour, tenth of an hour, or five-minute interval. This practice is commonly referred to as “rounding.” On June 25, 2018, California’s Second District Court of Appeal upheld an employer’s rounding system in AHMC Healthcare, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B285655 (June 25, 2018). The decision reaffirms the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2016 ruling on the subject and expands on the criteria used to evaluate whether a rounding policy is neutral in practice, and thus lawful.

Taco Bell Employee Discount Policy Did Not Violate California Meal Breaks Law, 9th Cir. Rules

California law requires that employees be relieved of all duty during meal breaks. As a result, an employer typically may not require employees to remain on the premises.

Every Minute Counts, California Supreme Court Rules in Notable Wage and Hour Case

California employers must track small amounts of regularly occurring work time - even as short as four to 10 additional minutes each day - and pay employees for that time, according to the California Supreme Court.

California Clarifies Ambiguous Language of Salary History Ban

California has enacted new legislation aimed at clarifying its law banning an employer from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history information

De Minimis No More? California Supreme Court Finds Modern Technology Requires Employers to Better Track and Compensate Employees for Minimal Amounts of Off-The-Clock Work

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its ruling in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation, and departed from federal law’s more employer-friendly version of the de minimis rule, which it characterized as stuck in the “industrial world.” In holding that Starbucks Corporation must compensate hourly employees for off-the-clock work that occurs on a daily basis and generally takes four to ten minutes after the employee clocks out at the end of their shift, the California Justices announced they were ensuring California law was in line with the modern technologies that have altered our daily lives. De minimis means something is too minor or trivial to take into account, and the Court clarified what is trivial and what is not.

California Supreme Court Rejects the FLSA’s De Minimis Rule

On July 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of California ruled that the state’s wage and hour rules and regulations have not adopted the Fair Labor Standards Act’s de minimis doctrine and that the de minimis rule does not apply to a wage and hour claim brought under a state wage order. The de minimis rule permits employers to disregard “insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours” when recording an employee’s hours worked for purposes of compensation.