Federal law requires employers to physically inspect identity/eligibility documents substantiating a new employee’s authorization to work in the U.S. within three days of hire as part of completing the Form I-9 Eligibility Verification. Effective March 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) relaxed the physical inspection requirements due to concerns about COVID-19 spread from physical proximity and contact.
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, supervisors/managers are held to a high standard of conduct in interacting with subordinates, and employers are strictly liable for their harassing conduct. Despite this high level of accountability, the Court of Appeal refused to find an employer strictly liable for a supervisor’s off-duty conduct unrelated to work.
On July 6, 2023, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) rolled out its soft-launch of a new on-line complaint system which is currently active on the CPPA’s website. The new electronic complaint form allows consumers afforded the protections of the California Consumer Privacy Act in 2018 (CCPA) with the ability to lodge both sworn and unsworn complaints alleging possible violations of California privacy laws.
The issue of whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” has vexed employers and workers for decades. The impact for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can have severe (and costly) consequences for employers. Employers and their lawyers look to the courts, legislatures and government agencies for guidance, and for standards employers should follow when making the determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. But, depending on the political environment, the standards set by the courts and government agencies are in constant flux, changing from administration to administration. The most recent example of this flipflop in standards comes from the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) which issued a new decision on June 13, 2023 that once again set the new standard or, more accurately, reverted to the standard implemented by the prior Board appointed by President Obama.
In its highly-anticipated opinion in the case of Adolph v. Uber Technologies, the California Supreme Court held on July 17, 2023 that a plaintiff-employee who files a PAGA action against his/her employee for violations of the Labor Code retains standing to pursue the “non-individual PAGA” claims in civil court even if the employee’s “individual PAGA” claim is subject to arbitration.
On July 11, 2023, in unanimous court opinion, a three judge San Francisco appellate court panel overturned a trial court ruling in favor of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), holding that employers are required under California law to reimburse employees for work from home expenses regardless of whether such work from home was the result of government actions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
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You know it's coming. That significant factual decision by the trial court that counsel has warned you won’t go your way. While you’ve geared up mentally for the losing ruling, and know the appeal is coming, the first step counsel will take is to prepare to secure a Statement of Decision.