Los Angeles Approves Minimum Wage Increases and Mandates Employers to Provide 48 Hours of Paid Sick Leave
Articles Discussing General Workplace Issues in California.
After enduring years of drought, California employers find themselves in a phenomenon of equal concern: a cruel summer. In the span of one month, two new local paid sick leave laws were signed and amendments to two existing local measures were approved. On May 10, 2016, Santa Monica amended its law, about two months shy of its scheduled operative date.
Like its neighbor Santa Monica and other major California cities including San Francisco and Oakland, the City of Los Angeles approved its own sick leave entitlement ordinance on June 2, 2016. The Los Angeles Ordinance (“Ordinance”) will provide employees working in the City of Los Angeles with the ability to accrue and use up to 48 hours of sick leave, twice the amount provided by state law. Enacted as an urgency matter, the new sick leave obligations become effective for employers on July 1, 2016, less than 30 days after being signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles City Council has passed a paid sick leave ordinance, which is slated to go into effect July 1, 2016 in conjunction with the previously passed minimum wage ordinance. The sick leave ordinance will require employers in the City of Los Angeles to provide paid sick leave benefits that exceed the benefits already mandated by California state law
In the California legislative process, June 3, 2016 was the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house. On March 22, 2016, we reported on notable employment-related bills that had been introduced. Here is an update on the bills that failed passage in their house of origination, and an update on the bills passed their house of origination and have moved forward to the other house for consideration:
On Tuesday, San Diego’s voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of a ballot measure to pass Proposition I, which increases the minimum wage for workers in the City of San Diego and mandates that these employees be provided with paid sick leave benefits that exceed the benefits already mandated by California state law. The San Diego City council had previously approved this minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance in 2014, but a voter referendum caused it to be placed on the 2016 ballot for voter approval.
The California legislature has reached the midpoint of its 2016 legislative session. The Governor has signed four bills of significance to California private sector employers. In addition, a few dozen workplace-related bills have moved beyond their initial policy committees, and many have passed their house of origin and proceeded to consideration in the other legislative chamber. Major bills still in process would change private arbitration of employment disputes, and would create predictive scheduling requirements for some employees working on a shift basis.
Executive Summary: On April 19, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposed ordinance that would permit Los Angeles workers to earn at least six paid sick leave days annually. That is double the mandatory minimum under California’s state-wide paid sick leave law.
California has many requirements for the content of an employee wage statement, including this year’s new requirements for employees paid by a piece rate. Employees paid by piece rates must be separately compensated for rest and recovery periods and, where the employee does not earn at least minimum wage in addition to the piece rate, must be separately paid for non-productive time. The amount of time for these periods, the applicable rates of pay, and gross wages for these periods is required to be on the wage statement.
Today, the California Supreme Court provided guidance that had been requested by the Ninth Circuit regarding California’s suitable seating requirements in two different cases — Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy and Henderson v. JPMorgan Chase Bank (both pending before the Ninth Circuit). The Ninth Circuit certified the following questions to the California Supreme Court relating to the California Wage Order provision (Section 14(A) of various Wage Orders) stating that “all working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats:"
Early this week we reported on a "deal" reached between labor unions, certain democratic lawmakers, and the California Governor to increase California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. Yesterday, California’s Assembly and Senate both voted to approve the bill, largely along partisan lines. All but two democrats (Assembly members Tom Daly and Adam Gray) voted in favor of the bill. No Republicans in either house voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed by a vote of 48-26 in the Assembly and by a vote of 26-12 in the Senate. The bill is now on Governor Brown’s desk for consideration. Governor Brown has already announced that he will sign the bill into law on Monday. [Unfortunately, this is not an April Fools joke.]
Curious what the California Legislature is up to this legislative session? As is the case every year, there are several employment-related bills that have been proposed and are pending. As is also the case virtually every year, most of the proposed bills are bad for employers.
Agricultural workers have long been exempted from California’s traditional overtime laws. Instead farm workers have been subject to industry-specific overtime rules that allow companies to employ them for longer periods of time before overtime rates kick in. Under current law, farmworkers in California operate on a ten hour day and sixty hour standard workweek. Currently employers need only pay overtime to agricultural workers for all hours over ten in any work day and for the first eight hours on the seventh day of the work week, and double time for hours worked over eight on the seventh day of the workweek, with the exception that the worker may be employed on seven workdays in one workweek with no overtime pay when the total hours worked during the week do not exceed 30 and the total hours in any one workday do not exceed six.
In January, Governor Edmund G. Brown submitted his 2016-17 budget to the California Legislature. The governor’s budget includes a proposal that, if approved, would have a resounding impact on civil actions filed by California employees under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA). Since the PAGA was enacted, it has been criticized as wasteful and excessively costly for employers. This post is intended to illuminate the scope of those issues and explain why the proposal is an appropriate and measured plan to resolve them.
The pace of employment legislative activity in Sacramento picked up as February drew to a close. The following highlights some of the more notable issues under consideration in the Golden State.