Employers Beware – Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions Face Further Restrictions

by James Kachmar
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

In 2018, in response to the #MeToo movement, California enacted Senate Bill 820 which added section 1001 to the California Code of Civil Procedure and prohibited employers from including provisions into settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of factual information relating to claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, failure to prevent harassment, harassment in a professional relationship, discrimination based on sex, or retaliation that had been made in connection with a civil lawsuit or administrative action. 

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Legislative Update: Cal/OSHA’s Citation Authority Expanded

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 606, which creates two new categories of Cal/OSHA violations: “enterprise-wide” violations and “egregious” violations. The new law expands Cal/OSHA’s citation authority and could have the effect of greatly increasing the fines employers (especially those large employers with multiple worksites) might be subject to. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

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Legislative Update: Parents-in-Law Now Covered under the CFRA

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

As many will recall, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) was significantly expanded last year. The CFRA requires most employers grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off. On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1033, which provides that leave must now be granted to eligible employees for the purposes of providing care to a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition.

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Legislative Update: Intentional Wage Theft Could Result in Criminal Liability

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1003 into law. AB 1003 adds a new type of grand theft to Penal Code section 487m for an employer’s intentional theft of wages in an amount greater than $950 (from any one employee), or $2,350 (from two or more employees) in a 12-month period. Violations of this new law also carry a potential prison sentence of up to three years. AB 1003 further allows for the recovery of wages through a civil action.

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Legislative Update: Don’t Toss those Personnel Records Just Yet

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

It’s October, and that means the 2020-2021 California legislative session has officially ended, and Governor Newsom has signed many new bills into law. As always, several of these new laws affect employers across the state. Over the next several days/weeks, our employment group will ensure that employers are informed and ready to implement the new laws as 2022 approaches.

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An Employee Has Requested a Religious Exemption to the Company Vaccine Mandate—What Now?

by Zack Thompson

For those in the Sacramento area, you may have seen large “Destiny” signs overhanging State Route 65 north of Interstate 80. A news story last month suggested that this church is the place to go for COVID-19 vaccine exemption letters. Now that President Biden is planning to use the emergency powers of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate vaccination for an estimated 100 million employees, the issue is even more prominent.

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Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic: New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Large Employers, Federal Contractors and Health Care Workers

by Shauna N. Correia
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

Earlier, President Joe Biden announced vaccination requirements for the federal government workers but allowed them to “opt out” if they agreed to more stringent mitigation measures. He also implored private sector employers to encourage vaccination, and many employers began implementing mandatory vaccination plans or incentivizing employees to get vaccinated.

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Cal/OSHA Update: THE VOTES ARE IN AND IT’S OFFICIAL!

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The Standards Board Approved the Updated Cal/OSHA Covid-19 Requirements and Governor Newsom Issued an Executive Order Making Them Effective

Note: This post was updated on June 18, 2021.

On June 17, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted 5-1 to approve the revised Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) and, as promised, Governor Newsom promptly issued Executive Order No. N-09-21 holding that the new ETS shall not be subject to the regular 10-day approval process by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for emergency regulations. 

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