The California legislature’s ongoing efforts to counter the effects of policies and practices that adversely affect employees based on race has led to another law of which employers should be aware. Senate Bill 188 (otherwise known as the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair “CROWN” Act), which was passed in July 2019 and will take effect January 1, 2020, expands the definition of “race” under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include hairstyles and hair textures closely associated with race.
California employers and dealerships are regularly getting hit with class action wage and hour claims, or lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), which presently allows a single employee to bring claims for all others who suffered any violation of numerous labor statutes. One common issue in these cases is meal breaks.
California’s Equal Pay Act is codified at Labor Code Sections 1197.5, 1199, and 1199.5 and extends to wage discrimination based on sex, race, and ethnicity. Labor Code Section 1197.5(a) prohibits employers from paying employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions, except where an employer demonstrates three things…
It’s Friday morning, and an employee comes to you. One of the supervisors in another department has been annoying her with his “racist speech.” You ask what she means, and she tells you that he constantly criticizes people who don’t speak English, insults the migrants who are applying for asylum at the border, and sometimes rages and throws things when he’s unhappy. She also reports that he has threatened to “shove [his] foot up [her] ass.” Mindful of your obligation to provide a workplace free of harassment and a safe workplace, you thank the employee for her report and start your investigation. Other employees report that the supervisor is a Trump supporter and has made statements in support of Second Amendment rights, shared radical websites with employees, criticized gay people, and advocated returning all Mexicans to Mexico. They report that they have asked him not to share his political views, but nevertheless, he has persisted. Others confirm that he has thrown objects and verbally attacked employees. What do you do?
What employers need to know about paid time off benefits for employees who are receiving state disability or paid family leave benefits
Published on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 9:57pm
When an employee goes out on medical or parental leave that is covered by either State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits through the State, how are these benefits affected by employer- paid sick leave, vacation or other PTO benefits? This can be a tricky area because employees are only eligible for SDI or PFL benefits to the extent that they lose income due to the covered leave. Therefore, the employee’s receipt of paid time off benefits from the employer during the leave could reduce the employee’s eligibility for SDI/PFL benefits. Moreover, concurrent payment of SDI/PFL benefits plus paid time off through the employer could result in overpayment where the employee receives more than 100% of their normal wages. The Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers SDI and PFL benefits, places the responsibility on the employer and employee to ensure that during the leave the employee is not receiving total wages/benefits that exceed the employee’s normal wages. However, EDD can assist with compliance by offering the option of integration/coordination of SDI and PFL benefits.
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On July 1, 2019, several cities in California will see minimum wage increases for hourly employees. Companies with employees who perform at least two hours of work in a city are required to pay those employees the minimum wage of that city.