DOL Rule Increasing Minimum Salary Requirements for Exempt Employees Now on Hold Per Court Order

gavelLast month, we discussed how the Department of Labor (DOL) was scheduled to implement a new rule that would increase the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees.  The new rule published by the DOL would have doubled the minimum salary requirements for employees from $455/week to $913/week. This rule was supposed to take effect on December 1, 2016; however, employers can breathe easy for a bit longer.

On November 22, 2016 a federal judge from the United States District Court in Texas temporarily blocked implementation of the rule, in response to a request by 21 states and business groups.  This delay is temporary, while litigation continues and the court makes a determination as to whether the DOL has the authority to implement such a rule. Continue reading

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When and How Must an Employee Be Compensated for Travel Time?

businessman at the airport

There are various factors that influence whether an employee must be compensated for his or her travel time to a new work site, or for off-site employment activity. One of the main factors to consider is whether the employee is actually engaging in travel as part of the employer’s principal activity or, whether the employee is engaging in travel for the convenience of the employer.

At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the primary law governing travel pay. The standard asks whether the employee’s time is spent primarily for the benefit of the employer. It also includes time spent, even if not doing work, but under the control of the employer, such as on-site, on-call time.

Pursuant to California’s Labor Code, the standard comes down to whether the employee is

subject to the control of the employer; the concept of “control” is narrower than federal standard. While the federal and state laws overlap, California’s Labor Code is of course generally more liberal and more protective of employees.

California Law

The definition of hours worked is found in the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, and refers to the time during which the employee is subject to the control travel-timeof an employer, and includes all the time the employee is “suffered or permitted to work,” whether or not required to do so. State law does not distinguish between hours worked during the “normal” working hours, or hours worked outside “normal” working hours, nor does it distinguish between hours worked in connection with an overnight out-of-town assignment. Continue reading

Much Anticipated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Report for Southern California Released at SelectLA

Select LA Recap2016-06-17 13.08.04

Jennifer Grady, Esq. recently participated in the Select LA 2016 Investment Summit. SelectLA is the precursor to SelectUSA, a federal division of the Department of Commerce that seeks to attract international businesses to the United States. An international and domestic audience of more than 350 investors and business people attended the SelectLA summit on June 17, 2016 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.  Panelists included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, President of World Trade Center Los Angeles Stephen Cheung, as well as many other top officials from various Los Angeles organizations such as LA Metro, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Los Angeles Ports.

Summary of FDI Report

SelectLA

From left: Rodrigo Mladinic Dragicevic, Chilean Trade Commissioner; Jennifer Grady, The Grady Firm; Stephen Cheung, President of World Trade Center Los Angeles

At the summit, the World Trade Center Los Angeles released its much anticipated and expansive Foreign Direct Investment report for Southern California.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a common way for private entities and individuals, both in developed and less developed nations, to increase their wealth and capital by investing beyond their national borders. In 2015, global FDI flows amounted to nearly $1.7 trillion, making it the highest level of international capital flows in the last eight years. The United States is the recipient of more FDI than any other country, and in 2015 received $384 billion in FDI flows, the highest level since 2000. Continue reading

Minimum Wage & Paid Sick Leave Law Updates for California Cities and Counties

On April 4, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Fair Wage Act of 2016,” a bill that aims to increase California’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by the year 2022. Under California law, employers must also offer employees at least 3 days, or 24 hours, of sick leave per year. This statewide law applies to all cities and counties within the state of California. However, some cities within California have chosen to add to the statewide laws with their own more expansive minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances. As it can be difficult for employers to keep track of all these constant changes, we have taken the time to highlight some of those changes in several major California cities.

CALIFORNIA STATE LAW- ALL COUNTIES

As of January 1, 2016 the required minimum wage for the state of California is $10.00 per hour. On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for business with 26 employees or more will increase to $10.50 an hour. On January 1, 2018 it will increase to $11.00 an hour and by $1 each subsequent year until it reaches $15.00 in 2022. Employers with 25 employees or less will have an extra year to comply with the new law, and the wage increase will not go into effect until January 1, 2018.

In addition, any employee who works in California for 30 or more days is entitled to receive paid sick leave. An employer is required to provide a minimum of 3 days of sick leave per year, and after 90 days of employment an employee may begin to accrue sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Accrued sick leave may be carried over to the next year, however an employer may choose to cap the amount of paid six leave an employee may use per year to 6 days or 48 hours.

Notice to Employees

Employers must provide notice of these laws to employees by: (1) Displaying the state’s official poster; (2) Including paid sick leave information in the wage notices of nonexempt employees; and (3) Including the amount of paid sick leave available in the employees’ wage statements. Employers must also keep records documenting hours worked and paid sick leave accrued for the last 3 years.

These minimum statewide laws apply to all cities and counties in California, and includes the regions below.

Continue reading

The Grady Firm Selected as California Employers Association Partner Firm

CEA

The Grady Firm is pleased to announce that it has been selected to serve the the  California Employers Association, which serves 9,000 businesses throughout the state of California, as a  “Partner Law Firm” and on-demand outside legal counsel.  As a Partner Firm, The Grady Firm will offer legal counseling, training, litigation defense, and discounts to CEA members on its legal services.

As a one-stop shop for business owners, the Grady Firm is one of two member firms supporting CEA’s Southern California members, and the only firm specializing in the following areas: employment advising; employment/wage and hour litigation;  sexual harassment training; immigration, an business law.  All services are offered in English and Spanish.  As a Partner Firm, The Grady Firm will offer discounts to CEA members on its legal services. Continue reading

Santa Monica, CA Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect on July 1, 2016

california.unsplash

On April 28, 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a mandatory minimum wage increase to $10.50 per hour, which will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Santa Monica’s new ordinance mirrors the minimum wage laws adopted by Los Angeles earlier this year. Continue reading

California Employers: Prepare for New Overtime Rules Effective December 1, 2016

numbers-time-watch-white.pexelsOn May 18, 2016, President Obama  and Secretary  Perez announced the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, to the disappointment of many employers.  The new rule, which will automatically provide overtime pay protections to over four million  workers within its first year of implementation, goes into effect on December 1, 2016.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015 (80 FR 38515) and invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov by September 4, 2015. The Department received over 270,000 comments in response to the NPRM from a variety of interested stakeholders. The feedback the Department received helped shape the Final Rule. Continue reading

Los Angeles Employers May Soon Be Required to Provide 6 Days of Paid Sick Leave Per Year

sick leaveOn April 19, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure that would require employers in the City of Los Angeles to provide their employees with six days, or 48 hours, of paid sick leave.  Pending an approved ordinance drafted by the City Attorney, the requirement will become effective on July 1, 2016.  This would be three days more per year than the State of California’s paid sick leave requirements which took effect on July 1, 2015.

The ordinance would apply to employees who who work for the same employer in the City of Los Angeles for thirty days or more per year , and would begin on the first day of employment, or July 1, 2016, whichever is later. Employers who contract with the city of Los Angeles will still be required to give their employees twelve days, or 96 hours, of paid sick leave. Workers in Los Angeles would not be paid for unused sick days, but accrued time could be carried over to the next year. Businesses could cap that accrued time at 72 hours, or set a higher cap or none at all.

Continue reading

Show Them the Money! California Employer Responsibility for Payday, Overtime, and Wage Statements

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

California employers are required to follow the following state and federal laws regarding paydays, final paychecks, overtime, and wage statements. As failure to do so can result in significant penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees, employers must ensure that they are in compliance with the applicable laws below.

I. PAYDAY

payday word circle marked on a calendar

Employees must be paid wages at least twice per calendar month on specific days, as established by company policy. Pursuant to California Labor Code § 207, the regular pay day schedule must be posted in a conspicuous/obvious place on a notice showing the time, day, and location of payment.

Wages earned between the 1st and 15th days of the month must be paid by the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed. Wages earned between the 16th and the last day of the month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. Labor Code § 204(a). Continue reading

Is Your Business in Compliance with California’s Sexual Harassment Training and Posting Requirements?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

sexualharassment-425x277.jpgSexual Harassment claims are on the rise and can cost employers significantly in terms of time, money, and lost productivity. According to the EEOC, over 1,700 complaints of discrimination based on sex (pregnancy or sexual harassment) were filed in California in 2014. When there is a sexual harassment claim, both sides can lose–in addition to the social, economic, and psychological effects suffered by victims of harassment, these complaints cost employers millions of dollars in legal fees and lost opportunities. Continue reading

Changes to CA Minimum Wage Will Impact Employers’ Budgets for 2016- Are You Prepared?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

timeclock

California’s minimum wage will increase again on Jan. 1, 2016

With just a few weeks until the end of 2015, employers are rapidly approaching the statutory California minimum wage increase set to take place on January 1, 2016.  This increase means that employers must review their monthly and annual expenses to determine how the salary increase will affect their overall budget, and how it may impact the wages of workers that are already earning more than the minimum wage.  Continue reading

California Cities and Counties “Ban the Box” That Asks About Criminal History on Job Applications

jobapplicationIt’s a familiar box on any job application. “Check here if you have ever been convicted of a crime in a court of law.” But is it legal?

Recent US Census results illustrate that as many as 70 million American adults have a criminal record of some kind. In California, as many as 1 in 4 adults has an arrest or conviction in their history. Employers are reluctant to hire individuals with such a background, even though they may otherwise be well-qualified. Supporters of the so-called “Ban the Box” movement, which would remove application screening questions pertaining to an individual’s criminal history, aim to level the playing field between job-seekers. Continue reading

New Laws Limit the Scope and Privacy of Arbitration in California Starting January 1, 2015

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo ANCA Western Region

Photo ANCA Western Region

California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aiming to restrict the reach of arbitration agreements, starting January 2015. The bills have the effect of chilling arbitration by making it a less attractive option for employers and making it less private.

1. Private Arbitration Providers Must Publish Quarterly Matter Details Online re Consumer Arbitrations

After January 1, 2015, AB 802 will have the effect of reducing the privacy of arbitration by requiring major arbitration providers such as JAMS and AAA to publish at least quarterly on their websites detailed information concerning consumer matters they have abritrated.  Continue reading

New Laws for California Employers in 2015

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

The California legislature has passed numerous laws that will take effect January 1, or July 1, 2015.  Employers must revise their policies to reflect the new laws.  We have provided a summary of these new laws below.   Continue reading

Increases in IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2015

© Jennifer Grady

© Jennifer Grady

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck will be:

57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business expense reimbursement rates have increased 1.5 cents from 56 cents per mile in 2014.  The medical and moving expense rates will decrease one-half cent from the 2014 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

For more information, visit the IRS website.