On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 5, solidifying a tighter standard of rules for classifying a worker as an independent contractor. The new standard, known as the Dynamex standard, codifies and expands the earlier California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. It replaces the former Borello test, and puts in place a more simple three-pronged ABC test. The significant effect is that many workers in California will now be classified as employees instead of independent contractors (also informally known as “1099” workers). This change is one of the most significant disruptions to California employment law in decades. The law will take effect on January 1, 2020.Continue reading
On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 5, codifying a tighter standard of rules for classifying a worker as an independent contractor. The new standard, known as the Dynamex standard, codifies and expands the earlier California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. It replaces the former Borello test, and puts in place a more simple three-pronged ABC test. The significant effect is that many workers in California will now be classified as employees instead of independent contractors (also informally known as “1099” workers). This change is one of the most significant disruptions to California employment law in decades. The law will take effect on January 1, 2020.
The new law is convoluted, and has numerous exceptions for various professions, as discussed in further detail below. To further complicate matters, the law codifies Dynamex for purposes of claims made under the California Labor Code, Unemployment Insurance Code, and wage orders, but curiously does not mention the California Government Code, under which workers may seek redress for harassment and discrimination, among other things.
In addition, the newly created exemptions to the ABC test will apply “retroactively to existing claims and actions to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
In order to ensure that your company’s workers are properly classified (in order to avoid substantial fines and expensive misclassification lawsuits), contact a qualified employment law attorney as soon as possible to ensure you are complying with the law and following the new rules.
What Is the Potential Impact of This Change?
According to the LA Times, “State Capitol Democrats and organized labor say their new ‘gig’ law will correct the misclassification of 1 million California workers who are falsely deemed independent contractors.”Continue reading
On September 4, 2019, Jennifer Grady, Esq. was featured on episode 31 “Legally Speaking: Handling Tough Legal Situations” of The AutoVitals Digital ShopTalk Radio, with host Tom Dorsey, to discuss a myriad of legal situations that can arise in a workplace from Sexual Harassment to record-keeping and what new business owners and employers need to know to be successful.Continue reading
On August 9, 2019, Jennifer Grady, Esq. was featured on episode 456 of The Remarkable Results Radio, with host Carm Capriotto, to discuss Sexual Harassment in the workplace and what employers can do to prevent it.
Key Talking Points
During the radio show, Jennifer and Carm discussed important points on sexual harassment in the workplace including:Continue reading
Since January 1, 2016, California employers must reimburse employees for use of their personal cell phones for mandatory business purposes. (Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc). This ruling affects millions of employers who must update their company policies in order to stay compliant with the new law. While this law has been on the books for over two years now, it appears as though many companies have not addressed this law or made it part of their employee reimbursement practices. Is your company reimbursing its employees for their cell phone call and data usage? Read below for policy suggestions.
What does this mean for employers?
According to Cochran, California employers must indemnify employees for all “necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.” Unfortunately, even four years after this case was decided, the exact measure of reimbursement is still somewhat unclear. While the court in Cochran determined that employers must consistently reimburse employees a “reasonable percentage,” it did not define what is reasonable. Furthermore, the employer must reimburse the employee even if the employee does not incur any additional expense on his or her cell phone/data plan as the result of using the device for work-related purposes (i.e. if the client has unlimited talk, text, and data plans).
The California Legislature has passed the following labor and employment bills, which will become law effective January 2018.
PRIOR SALARY AND PRIOR CONVICTIONS
Salary History Information
AB 168 prohibits employers from asking job applicants for “salary history information,” which includes both compensation and benefits. But where an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses salary history information, the employer may rely upon the information in setting the applicant’s starting salary. As a result, questions about prior salary may not be asked in job applications or interviews by an employer or an agent of the employer.
Additionally, AB 168 requires employers to provide the pay scale for a position if the applicant requests it. This bill makes California the first jurisdiction in the country to require that employers provide applicants with the pay scale for a position, upon “reasonable request.”
This bill applies to employers, both private and public, and will become effective January 1, 2018. Continue reading
Given the recent tidal wave of allegations of sexual harassment in politics, the entertainment industry, and social media, employers may want consider the following guidelines in preparation for their company holiday events where alcohol and off-site events may create a combustible mix of unwanted behavior by one employee to another.
Holiday parties may be an excellent opportunity for employees to socialize outside of the confines of the office, and to reward employees for their service, but they can also give rise to employer liability in the absence of appropriate precautions. Before planning your next holiday soiree, review the potential pitfalls and solutions below so that your event can be full of cheer, rather than unpleasant lawsuits.
- Serving Alcohol at Company Functions
While having alcohol available may make typical water cooler conversations less awkward, and can be a way for people to let off steam and celebrate, it can lead to liability for employers in the form of vicarious liability, sexual harassment, social host liability, and other potential issues. Continue reading
The Grady Firm, P.C. is pleased to announce the opening of its new office in Irvine, California, to better serve the needs of its clientele in Orange County. The Grady Firm, P.C. offers services in Business, Immigration, Employment, and Intellectual Property law. The Irvine location supports the growing economy in technology, life sciences, professional services, and healthcare in Orange County, and is conveniently located with easy access to John Wayne Airport and the 405, 55, and 73 freeways.
The firm’s managing partner, Jennifer Grady, Esq. is a former Irvine resident and graduate of University High School.
The Irvine Office is located at:
19800 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92612
+1 (949) 354-3201 Continue reading
Last 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
California Elections Code section 14000 mandates that if employees do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote in a statewide election, then they may take up to 2 hours of paid time off to vote in-person. An employee may choose to take more than two hours off, if his or her employer allows it, but only 2 hours will be paid.
California polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on election day. However, be sure to check with your local polling place for their hours of operation, as some locations may have extended hours. Continue reading
Although holiday parties may be an excellent opportunity for employees to socialize outside of the confines of the office, and to reward employees for their service, they can also give rise to employer liability in the absence of appropriate precautions. Before planning your next holiday soiree, review the potential pitfalls and solutions below so that your event can be full of cheer, rather than unpleasant lawsuits.
- Serving Alcohol at Company Functions
While having alcohol available may make typical water cooler conversations less awkward, it can lead to liability for employers in the form of vicarious liability, sexual harassment, social host liability, and other potential issues.
Even though refraining from serving alcohol altogether is the safest option, in the event that your company plans to serve alcohol at you next function, keep the following tips in mind: Continue reading
ATTENTION all Employers:
The Department of Labor recently revised the federal mandatory minimum wage and polygraph posters that employers must post in the workplace.
Although the federal minimum wage did not change, the new minimum wage poster now contains information regarding the consequences of incorrectly classifying workers as independent contractors, in addition to a new section on the rights of nursing mothers.
The new federal polygraph poster now contains updated contact information for the Department of Labor, and no longer contains a reference to the penalty amount of up to $10,000 for violation of the law.
Employers are required to post the updated posters in a conspicuous area of the workplace by no later than August 1, 2016. Continue reading
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.
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