Employers Take Note – New EEOC Poster Available for Immediate Posting

Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new poster that employers are required to display in their workplaces. The “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster updates and replaces the previous “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster. According to the press release, the new poster includes the following changes:  

Rounding Policies Called Further Into Question

In California, it has long been the rule that an employer is entitled to use a rounding policy “if the rounding policy is fair and neutral on its face and ‘it is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly for all the time they have actually worked.’” (See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 889, 907 (See’s Candy I), quoting 29 C.F.R. § 785.48(b) and citing Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual (2002 rev.) §§ 47.1, 47.2 (DLSE Manual). However, since that ruling in 2012, California courts have slowly chipped away at that rule. Most recently, the California Supreme Court held that rounding is not permitted for purposes of meal breaks. (See Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC, 11 Cal. 5th 58.) Now, a California Court of Appeal has determined a rounding policy that was otherwise neutral on both its face, and in application, to be unlawful. This ruling calls into question whether California employers may continue rounding employees time under any circumstance.

Meal and Rest Periods for Public Healthcare Workers Now Guaranteed

Healthcare workers are experiencing a significant amount of occupational fatigue, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expecting nurses to work lengthy shifts without the chance to eat a meal or rest leads to exhaustion and can increase the likelihood of medical errors. State senator Steven Bradford authored SB 1334, which sought to guarantee meal and rest periods for public healthcare workers. The bill was sponsored by the California Nurses Association (“CNA”), which has 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California. On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed SB 1334 into law, which adds section 512.1 to the California Labor Code.

CFRA Family Leave and California Paid Sick Leave Expanded to Employees’ “Designated Persons”

Existing California law provides employees with the right to take paid and unpaid leaves to care for certain family members when they need the employee’s assistance to obtain medical treatment, diagnosis, or preventative care.  On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1041, which adds a “designated person” to the list of individuals for whom an employee may take California Family Rights Act or use paid sick leave. 

New Cannabis Discrimination Protections Coming to a California Workplace in 2024

On September 18, 2022, the Governor approved AB 2188, which amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California’s employment antidiscrimination law. Beginning on January 1, 2024, it will be unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person for: