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You’ve Been Warned: California’s WARN Act Is Broader Than the Federal Warn Act

As with so many other situations involving California’s employment laws, its protection for California-based employees experiencing a job loss is broader than the protections under federal law.  In The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, Local 998, et al. v. Nassco Holdings Inc., et al., the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate Division held, among other things, that California’s version of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act is broader than its federal counterpart.

The specific issue the court addressed was whether a furlough of several weeks constituted a “layoff” for purposes of a “mass layoff,” triggering the 60-day notice period when 50 or more employees at a covered establishment experience a “layoff” during any 30-day period.  The defendant argued unsuccessfully that no notice was required because its work stoppage was only for a brief period and therefore its action was not a “layoff” or

2018 Exemption Limits for the Computer Professional and Physician Exemptions

Effective January 1, 2018, California’s Department of Industrial Relations will begin imposing new rates for the computer software employee exemption and the licensed physician and surgeon exemption to reflect a 2.9% increase in the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

To be exempt from overtime requirements, a computer software employee’s rates have increased as follows:

  • Minimum hourly rate:  From $42.35 to $43.58
  • Minimum monthly salary:  From $7,352.62 to $7,565.85
  • Minimum annual salary:  From $88,231.36 to $90,790.07

The minimum hourly pay for licensed physician and surgeon exemption has increased from $77.15 to $79.39.

Relatedly, the professional, executive and administrative exemptions will also be subject to change after the minimum wage increase takes effect on January 1, 2018.  To qualify as exempt under these classifications, employees must be paid at least two times the state minimum wage in addition to meeting the other exemption

California Bans the Box: Employers Must Review and Update Background Screening Processes

Recently, on October 14, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1008 (“AB 1008”), which adds Government Code Section 12952 into state law.  Among other things, this new provision makes it an unlawful employment practice under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for a private employer with five (5) or more employees to inquire about or consider a job applicant’s conviction history prior to a conditional offer of employment.  This “ban-the-box” legislation is the latest in a series of initiatives nationwide to ban private employers from inquiring about convictions on an application for employment.   California joins five other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont, in banning private employers’ inquiries regarding convictions prior to a conditional offer of employment.  AB 1008 becomes effective January 1, 2018.

Only Post-Offer Consideration of a Conviction or Specified Arrests is Permissible.  Most dramatically, employers may not ask an applicant about any

California Enacts New Law Expanding Parental Leave to Small Employers

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that extends twelve weeks of unpaid parental leave to California employees who work for small businesses.  The New Parent Leave Act applies generally to California employers with at least 20 and no more than 49 employees.  The practical effect of the Act is to expand the parental leave required under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to smaller employers.  The new law takes effect on January 1, 2018.

Under the New Parent Leave Act, an employee may take up to twelve weeks of unpaid parental leave within one year of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement, so long as the employee (1) works at a location where the employer has at least 20 employees within a 75 mile radius, (2) has at least twelve months of service with

“Male, Female, A Combination of Male and Female, Neither Male Nor Female”… New California Regulations Regarding Transgender Identity and Expression

Effective July 1, 2017, there are new regulations adopted by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Authority which significantly expand protections against discrimination for the transgendered.

Broader Definitions

The regulations expand the meaning of “gender identity” to include an individual’s “internal understanding” of their gender, or the perception of a person’s gender identity, which may include male, female, a combination of male and female, neither male nor female, a gender different from the person’s sex assigned at birth, or transgender.  Similarly, the definition of “sex” is expanded to include “perception by third-party of any of the aforementioned” and the term “sex stereotype” is expanded to include “gender roles, gender expression or gender identity.”  Additionally, a new definition of “transitioning” is included to mean the “process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth.  This process

New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law

New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law

June 27, 2017

Authored by: Bryan Cave At Work

Bryan Cave’s Retail practice recently published a Client Alert: New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law.  The Alert highlights New York City’s new scheduling law for retail employers and discusses the impact of similar laws in other major cities. Follow the link below to read more.

https://www.bryancave.com/en/thought-leadership/new-york-city-follows-trend-in-predictable-scheduling-law.html

 

Minimum Wage Increases on the Horizon in California

Effective July 1, 2017, employers in San Francisco must raise the minimum wage from $13.00/hour to $14.00/hour.  By July 1, 2018, San Francisco’s minimum wage rate will be $15.00/hour.  Similarly, in the city of Los Angeles and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, for employers with more than 25 employees, the minimum wage will be increased from $10.50/hour to $12.00/hour.  These minimum wage rates are currently higher than the State of California’s minimum wage rate of $10.50/hour for employers with more than 25 employees.  California will gradually increase minimum wage rates for employers with more than 25 employees, adding $1 to the base rate every January 1st culminating in $15.00/hour by January 1, 2022.

Bryan Cave LLP has a team of knowledgeable lawyers and other professionals prepared to help employers assess their minimum wage obligations. If you or your organization would like more information on wages or any other employment

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