California raise minimum wage

California is Raising the State’s Minimum Wage January 1, 2023

At present, state minimum wage in California is $15 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees and $14 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees.

On May 12, 2022, Governor Newsom announced that because inflation is projected to increase by 7.6% for the 2022 fiscal year, California’s minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour for all employees, regardless of employer size effective January 1, 2023.

With the minimum wage increasing to $15.50 in 2023, employers should be aware that it will affect the following employees:Read more

Covid regulations for businesses

COVID-19 Regulations For California Businesses Have Not All Gone Away – There is a 3rd Revision to Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards

Summary

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) recently approved the third readoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (the “new ETS”). The new ETS took effect on May 7, 2022, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022, when Cal/OSHA is expected to replace it with a permanent standard. The majority of the new ETS has not changed. However, the new ETS includes changes in line with the state’s recent direction of relaxing restrictions, and is more aligned with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.Read more

arbitration agreements

Federal Law Now Limits Arbitration Agreements for Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Claims

A few months ago (10/13/21 Post), we discussed the status of arbitration agreements in California. We explained how, under California’s AB 51, employers are prohibited from requiring employees to sign, as a condition of employment, agreements requiring arbitration of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (such as sexual harassment) or the California Labor Code (such as claims for wages). We explained that this legislation had been challenged as potentially preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).Read more

isolation and quarantine

New State and Local Rules on Isolation and Quarantine

When an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the employee must follow the rules for “isolation,” while persons exposed to that employee must follow the rules for “quarantine.” The rules are imposed by state-level entities, namely, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), governing residents of California, and Cal/OSHA (governing California employers), and by county-level entities such as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (governing residents of LA County). Employers must comply with the most stringent of these rules.Read more

cal osha vaccine mandate

New Developments With OSHA’s Vaccine-Or-Test Mandate for Large Employers

On November 9, 2021, we discussed developments with the new federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for employers with 100+ employees. In that post, we explained how the ETS required such employers to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, and noted that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had granted a temporary nationwide stay of the ETS, meaning that the ETS could not be enforced.

Since November 9, new developments have come thick and fast:

  • All challenges to the ETS in federal courts were consolidated and assigned to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • On December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit lifted the Fifth Circuit’s stay, meaning that the ETS is now once again in effect.  On December 18, 2021, OSHA announced that compliance with the ETS must begin on January 10, 2022. OSHA “will not issue citations for non-compliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”
  • On December 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the Sixth Circuit’s decision, setting oral argument for January 7, 2022.

Given the legal uncertainty, employers should be prepared to comply with the ETS by January 10, 2022. The ETS requirements are set out in our post of November 9, 2021. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

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