New Los Angeles County Quarantine and Isolation Orders (Updated 09/03/21)

COVID regulations surrounding quarantine and isolation requirements continue to evolve for Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued two orders, effective August 26, 2021, governing quarantine for those in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 (Quarantine Order) and for those who develop COVID-19 themselves (Isolation Order). The Orders are available here: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer Emergency Quarantine Order  and County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer Emergency Isolation Order. These updates supersede the last quarantine and isolation orders issued in December 2020. Of note, is that employees may leave quarantine and isolation periods sooner than 10 days if they meet the criteria as set out below.*Read more

Elderly woman with caregiver

Is Grandma the CEO of a business when she hires a caregiver? California says yes.
by Renee N. Noy

I was brought into my first caregiver case at the very beginning of my practice.  A loving middle-aged daughter came to our office with a labor board complaint in her hand that had been filed against her 80 year old father’s estate. Her very elderly parents had been in need of caregivers for several years.  They did not want to move out of their house in which they raised their five children, but they were no longer able to care for themselves. It started with one caregiver they found through a friend’s housekeeper.  Then, through the years, as they needed additional hours of help, the caregiver presented a sister, an uncle, a niece, that were all ready to jump into action.Read more

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Major Changes to COVID-19 Rules

In the past two days, there have been significant changes to two sets of COVID-19 rules: (1) Cal/OSHA regulations governing employers, and (2) the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order.

1.  Changes to Cal-OSHA rules

Since November 2020,  employers have been subject to Cal/OSHA regulations governing COVID-19, the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The ETS imposed requirements for, among other matters, face coverings, exclusion after exposure, physical distancing, testing, notice, and exclusion pay.Read more

Employee at desk smiling

Recalling Staff To The Office Requires Careful Consideration
by Alexis D. James with contribution from Dr. Jeremy Lurey

I am an employment attorney who has been advising California companies throughout the pandemic on their legal obligations related to COVID-19. At times, I have felt like the school nurse, telling managers how to screen employees for COVID symptoms and when to send them home. At other times, I have advised about leave requirements for parents whose childcare was closed, or notification procedures for outbreaks. As the rules came out with dizzying speed, our firm gave the advisements and heard the groans from exasperated business owners.Read more
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New Employment Laws for 2021

Can you believe that we are only two months away from wrapping up this year? It is time to look ahead and prepare for new laws (and a few challenges) that might affect your business in 2021. September 30, 2020 was Governor Newsom’s deadline to sign into law all bills passed by the legislature this year. The Governor signed a great quantity of bills and vetoed a few as well.  Below is a brief summary of some of the most notable employment- related laws that may affect your business.Read more

2019 Employment Law Updates for California

In response to the #MeToo movement, the need for greater gender equality, and clarification to existing contractual laws, there were new laws passed by Governor Brown in November of 2018 that affect California businesses. Below is a list of some of the most prominent laws that employers should review to ensure compliance.

2019 MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE:  January 1, 2019 the minimum wage in California goes up to $12.00 for employers with 26 or more employees and $11.00 for employers with 25 or less employees.  This wage increase will continue yearly until 2023.  The change in minimum wage also affects the salary requirement for exempt employees, who must be paid at least $45,760 (25 or less); or $49,920 (26 or more) in addition to meeting the other requirements for exempt status.  Local ordinances have also called for different minimum wage increases (some that are higher than the state as a whole), so be sure to check your locale to ensure compliance.  

SB 1343: EMPLOYERS WITH 5 OR MORE EMPLOYEES: this bill requires employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and training every 2 years thereafter. 

 SB 1412: APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT; CRIMINAL HISTORY: this bill clarifies what information employers may use when screening job applicants.  There are certain employers, who by law, are required to inquire the criminal backgrounds of applicants and can deny those applicants a job based upon certain categories of criminal offense and criminal conduct.  This law clarifies what those limited exceptions are that employers may ask. 

SB 224: INCREASES THE TYPES OF JOB TITLES THAT CAN BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FR SEXUAL HARASSMENT: the bill adds “investor, elected official, lobbyist, director, and producer” among those listed persons who may be liable for sexual harassment (on an individual basis) under Civil Code Section 51.9. 

SB 1252: PAYROLL RECORDS: The existing law grants current and former employees the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to their employment, upon reasonable request.  The law also requires that employers respond to these requests within 21 days. The amended law requires that employers must provide a copy upon request, rather than requiring the employee to make a copy. The amendment leaves in place the employer’s right to charge the employee “the actual cost of reproduction.” 

SB 1300: UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES: DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT:  this law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to execute a release of a claim or right under FEHA or from requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or otherwise deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, as a condition of receiving a raise or bonus, or as a condition of continued employment

SB 826: CORPORATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MUST HAVE A SET NUMBER OF WOMEN: in furtherance of creating gender equality, the Governor mandated that public companies with principle executive offices in the state of California must have a set number of women on the board of directors. 

SB 820: SEXUAL HARASSMENT, ASSAULT AND DISCRIMINATION CONFIDENTIALITY CLAUSES: this bill prohibits settlement agreements to include a provision that prevents the disclosure of factual information relating to certain claims of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination. 

AB 1309: WAIVER OF RIGHT OF PETITION OR FREE SPEECH:  this bill makes any provision in a contract or settlement agreement, entered after January 1, 2019, unenforceable that waives a party’s right to testify in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding relating to alleged criminal conduct or alleged sexual harassment on the part of the other party when subpoenaed, or requested by writing to by an administrative body.