On May 10, 2023, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) announced that, effective May 11, it is suspending the statewide rule requiring that health care workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious exception. The news coincides with the end of the federal public health emergency on May 11, along
California Assembly Bill 51 Is Back!
Way back on October 10, 2019, California Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”), which essentially made it unlawful for California employers to require workers or job applicants to execute arbitration agreements requiring them to waive their rights to sue in court for violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act or the…
Governor Newsom Signs New COVID-19 Relief Measure
On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Senate Bill 95 (“SB 95”) which entitles most California employees to a new bank of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. The law will go into effect on March 29, 2021.
California’s prior law entitling workers to COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave expired on December 31, 2020…
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Union “Wish List” Bill
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (“PRO”) Act, which would make sweeping union-friendly changes to the three primary federal laws that govern private-sector labor relations: the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the Labor Management Relations Act, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. …
California Legislature Moves to Codify Dynamex
With its decision last year in Dynamex, the California Supreme Court fundamentally changed the test for determining whether workers are properly classified as either employees or independent contractors. Specifically, and as for claims brought under the California wage orders, the Supreme Court adopted the “ABC test,” which involves an analysis of the following three factors: (1) whether the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of work, (2) whether the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and (3) whether the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed. Since that time, California employers and various industry groups have been lobbying the California legislature left and right to take steps to either limit the ruling’s application or expand it.
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California Legislature Proposes Legislation Broadening Racial Discrimination Laws
On April 22, 2019, the California Senate voted unanimously to update California’s anti-discrimination laws to include within the definition of the term “race” “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” If the bill ultimately becomes law, California would become one of the first states in the nation…
Idaho Supreme Court Adopts New Standard for Defining “Cause” in Employment Cases
On June 28, 2018, the Idaho Supreme Court issued an opinion in a case entitled Lunneborg v. My Fun Life that outlines how cause will be defined in employment cases. Simply put, this case could be a real game changer for employers and particularly those that have employment agreements with senior management or other executives.…
California Implements Significant Changes in the Employment Application Process, Employee Training, and Protected Leaves
On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several bills regulating a wide range of employer actions, everything from the labeling of cleaning fluids to the employment application process. While compliance with all of these new laws is important, four are of particular importance as they directly impact the information employers can seek from potential applicants, the training that must be provided to current employees, and protected leaves.
AB 168 and AB 1008 restrict the information employers can obtain from potential job applicants. AB 168 makes it unlawful for California employers to either obtain or rely upon an applicant’s salary history to determine whether to offer an applicant a job or what salary to offer an applicant. The law, however, does not prohibit a job applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing to a prospective employer his or her salary history. If a job applicant voluntarily discloses information in this way, then the employer is permitted to rely upon that history in determining the salary for that applicant.
AB 1008 imposes a statewide “ban-the-box” law. Specifically, this law prohibits California employers with five or more employees from (1) including on any application for employment any question that seeks the disclosure of an applicant’s conviction history or (2) inquiring into or considering an applicant’s conviction history prior to providing that applicant with a conditional offer of employment. The law also provides that employers who intend to deny an applicant a position of employment based upon that applicant’s conviction history must make an individualized assessment as to whether the applicant’s prior criminal history has a detrimental impact on the prospective employment. Employers must also provide applicants with notice of a preliminary decision to deny employment based on the individualized assessment and allow applicants the opportunity to challenge the accuracy of their conviction history. Prior to the signing of AB 1008, many local jurisdictions had enacted similar ordinances prohibiting the use of an applicant’s prior conviction history in the initial application process. With passage of AB 1008, this prohibition is now statewide.
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California Responds to Increased Federal Immigration Enforcement Actions
On October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 450. With the passage of this bill, California becomes the first state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting employers from providing voluntary assistance to immigration enforcement agents during workplace investigations.
Earlier this year, U.S. immigration authorities conducted a series of high-profile raids of…
AB 1897: California’s New Labor Contracting and Client Liability Law
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1897 thereby creating new liability for businesses that engage in labor contracting. Current California law prohibits employers from entering into labor or services contracts with a construction, farm labor, garment, janitorial, security guard, or warehouse contractor, if the employer knows or should know that the agreement does not…