New California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law

by Lukas Clary
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed legislation ensuring new supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for eligible workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, SB 95, provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who are forced to miss work for qualifying reasons. The SPSL covers many more employers than previous legislation and allows workers to use the leave for more reasons. The law is codified in new California Labor Code sections 248.2 and 248.3,

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FFCRA Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave Extended Through September 2021

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

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.  Part 5 of the ARPA provides for additional credits to employers whose choose to grant paid sick leave and emergency family leave to eligible employees under the FFCRA.

To be clear, the ARPA does not require employers provide FFCRA leave to employees. That mandate expired on December 31, 2020.  However, the continuation of certain tax credits for employers who voluntarily provide FFCRA leave has been extended from March 31,

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Bad News for Employers: The California Supreme Court Disallows Rounding Meal Periods and Creates a Presumption that the Meal Period Law is Violated When Time Records Show Late, Interrupted, Or Missed Meal Periods

by Rachel E. Davey
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

Background:

Under California law, employers must provide non-exempt employees with one 30-minute meal period that begins no later than the end of the fifth hour of work and another 30-minute meal period that begins no later than the end of the tenth hour of work.  Cal. Lab. Code § 512; IWC Wage Order No. 4-2001, § 11(A).  If an employer does not provide an employee with a compliant meal period, then “the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday that the meal .

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Are You Asking Applicants When They Can’t Work? If So, You May Be Violating FEHA

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

While employers were busy dealing with a multitude of issues during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) quietly issued some amended regulations that employers should be aware of as they relate to employer interviewing and hiring practices. The regulations went into effect on July 1, 2020 and below are some of the highlights.

  1. Employers cannot seek information about an applicant’s religion or disability through certain pre-employment questions about the applicant’s availability for work.

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Updated CDC Guidance: Fully Vaccinated Individuals Need Not Quarantine After COVID-19 Exposure

by Shauna N. Correia
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The CDC’s guidelines state that individuals should quarantine for 14 days after contact with someone with COVID-19, which can be reduced to 10 days if no symptoms developed after exposure.  Now that vaccines are becoming more widely available, employers are asking whether the quarantine period can be shortened or eliminated for their workers who have received the vaccine.

The CDC has stated that the quarantine period can be eliminated entirely for a fully vaccinated individual who meets all criteria – but the guidance is conditioned on the individual meeting all three criteria:

The criteria for allowing a vaccinated individual to skip quarantine – and continue working – after exposure to a COVID-19 case,

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New Year, New Minimum Wage

by Katie A. Collins
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

Effective January 1, 2021, California’s minimum wage rate increased to $14.00 per hour (from $13.00) for employers with 26 or more employees and $13.00 per hour (from $12.00) for employers with 25 or fewer employees. The minimum wage will continue to increase yearly until it reaches $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees and January 1, 2023 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

In California,

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Mandatory Vaccines in the Workplace? New EEOC Guidance Regarding What Employers Can Do

by Ryan E. Abernethy
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The FDA’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations has given hope to many employers that we may finally be witnessing the horizon of the pandemic. But this good news comes with a few side-effects, including the question of whether employers can require, or even encourage, their employees to get vaccinated.

To that end, on December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace and the interplay with other employment laws.

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Newsom Signs Executive Order Modifying CalOSHA's Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Regulations

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

On December 14, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-84-20 which, among other things, modified CalOSHA’s emergency COVID-19 regulations.

Background.

On November 30, 2020, CalOSHA’s emergency temporary regulations concerning COVID-19 prevention in places of employment (ETS) went into effect.  Among other requirements, the ETS directed employers to exclude from the workplace for 14 days those employees who have been exposed to COVID-19, reflecting the then-current guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.

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