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Independent Contractor Classification Greatly Restricted

www.quotecatalog.comToday, 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.

“Ban the Box” and Salary History Ban to Take Effect

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.

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Statewide Ban on Salary History Questions To Take Effect

Photo by energepic.com from PexelsOn 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.

New California Regulations on Transgender Identity and Expression Take Effect

Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers may not discriminate on the basis of the gender identity or gender expression of an employee or applicant. On July 1, 2017, newly amended California FEHA regulations on transgender identity and expression (which can be found here) took effect, specifically interpreting and expanding upon protections for transgender employees in a number of ways, including the following:Continue reading

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The California Supreme Court Clarifies Suitable Seating

In a highly anticipated ruling, the California Supreme Court recently answered three questions certified to it by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. The questions related to Section 14 of California Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders 4-2001 and 7-2001, which provide that “employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.”

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