SEPTEMBER 2020 – On behalf of a Fortune 500 company, Summer Young-Agriesti and Ana Thomas obtained a complete victory in a PAGA case involving almost 2,000 class members. The case revolved around wage statements and the applicable hourly rate to be displayed on the wage statement for hourly employees who also received bonuses. Although the trial court disagreed with our theory, the Court of Appeals reversed, and the California Supreme Court also sided with the employer. This is an unusually favorable outcome in today’s employment law climate.
OCTOBER 2019 – Summer Young-Agriesti published in GPSolo Magazine for members of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.
Today, the California Legislature passed AB 5, a landmark bill that will require companies to treat workers as employees and not independent contractors if the companies exert control over how the workers perform their tasks or if their work is part of the companies’ regular business. Governor Newsom is expected to sign the bill. The new law, which goes into effect January 1, 2020, codifies the California Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, and will have major ramifications for employers operating in the gig economy.
Update: Governor Newsom signed the bill on September 18.
On July 3rd, 2019, California Governor Newsom signed SB-188, The “CROWN Act” (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), intended to protect students and employees who wear their hair in natural styles. Continue reading
APRIL 2019 – Ana Thomas represented a large hospital corporation in a case involving an alleged denial of access by a plaintiff with a service dog. After the start of trial, plaintiff’s claims were dismissed with prejudice by the court, resulting in a complete defense victory.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act already requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years. Continue reading
Two new state laws take effect on January 1, 2018 that will significantly affect employer hiring practices in California.
Under the Fair Chance Act (AB 1008), California’s new “Ban the Box” law, employers with at least five employees will no longer be permitted to consider the criminal history of a job applicant until a conditional job offer is made. There are limited exceptions to this prohibition: the law does not apply to certain positions at health care facilities, farm labor contractors, or positions with state criminal justice agencies; it also does not apply to any position where an employer is required by another law to conduct background checks or restrict employment based on criminal history. Once a conditional offer is made, the employer may conduct a background check for criminal history but must perform an individualized assessment of any conviction history found. If the employer decides to rescind the job offer based on an applicant’s criminal history, it must satisfy certain procedural and notice requirements, including requirements that it inform the applicant in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report relied upon, and give the applicant at least five business days to respond.
As previously mentioned on this blog, AB 168 amends the Equal Pay Act (Labor Code section 432.3) so that it now prohibits employers, with one exception, from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history, while also requiring employers to disclose the relevant pay scale for an open position upon the applicant’s reasonable request.
Employers should carefully review their hiring practices and make the necessary changes to their recruitment and hiring process in order to comply with the new laws.
NOVEMBER 2017 – KBY Law is honored to be ranked among California’s “Best Law Firms” in the category of Labor & Employment. This list, assembled each year by U.S. News & World Report, is based on client feedback and peer evaluations from leading attorneys in the field. Qualities considered include expertise, responsiveness, integrity, and cost-effectiveness.
California employers with less than 50 employees have been free from the obligation to comply with California and federal laws guaranteeing employee rights to family and medical leaves of absence. On January 1, 2018, that will change.Continue reading
On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 168 into law. This new law, which applies to all employers regardless of size, prohibits inquiries into an applicant’s salary history. In addition, employers will now also be required to disclose the relevant pay scale for an open position upon reasonable request. There are a few exceptions to the new law. Employers may consider salary history information that is “disclosable to the public pursuant to federal and state law,” as well as salary history information that is disclosed by an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting.”
The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. In the interim, employers should review their hiring practices for compliance and should consider revisions to all aspects of their recruitment process, including but not limited to job postings, applications, and interview questions.