In the wake of AB1513, which requires piece-rate employees to be separately compensated for rest, recovery, and nonproductive time, many dealers and other employers moved to weekly pay periods to more easily account for overtime, rest breaks, and the like at the correct rates. While this change is the right move from a compliance standpoint, in the event any wage and hour violations nevertheless accrue, it results in much higher penalties under PAGA – the Private Attorney General Act – which counts penalties every pay period in which a violation occurs.
The California Attorney General adopted new regulations in March that may require changes to how businesses are communicating to consumers about their rights under the CCPA. These regulations are aimed at practices that the Attorney General’s office views as unfair to consumer and has pursued in enforcement letters to companies to date. Every company doing business in California that must comply with the CCPA should review its communication to customers about the CCPA.
On March 19, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law an extension of paid COVID-19 sick leave. This type of leave is in addition to other types of sick leave generally provided by employers. While the law passed in March, it is retroactive back to January 1, 2021 as of March 29, 2021. We have provided the following Frequently Asked Questions and answers.
With the Biden administration moving forward with naming its leaders of important enforcement agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), dealers should expect to see an increase in enforcement actions targeting F&I departments. Dealer lending participation and voluntary protection products are likely to receive scrutiny from the CFPB, while the FTC is likely to continue pushing forward sweeping proposed amendments to its Safeguards Rule that governs data security regulations.
Certain employers now have a new reporting requirement in California and the deadline is the end of this month. A new law passed in 2020, SB 973 (codified as Government Code section 12999), requires that certain private employers report pay and hours-worked data by establishment, job category, sex, race and ethnicity to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) by March 31, 2021. This is an annual requirement meant to encourage employers to review, consider, and correct their pay disparities. This law also authorizes the DFEH to enforce the Equal Pay Act (Labor Code section 1197.5) which prohibits unjustified differences in pay between races, genders, etc.
On February 27, 2021 and March 6, 2021 the House and Senate, respectively, passed versions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, both of which extend the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act’s (FFCRA) tax credit for paid leave related to COVID-19. While the FFCRA mandatory leave provision expired December 31, 2020, Congress previously extended the employer tax credits for voluntarily providing such leave to March 31, 2021. There are differences between the House and Senate versions of the American Rescue Plan Act that must be reconciled, but if the extension survives that process it will mean qualified employers may take a credit for paid leave under the same terms as in the FFCRA.
The passage by the voters in November 2020 of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) by initiative is a significant development for all businesses with activity in California. It expands upon the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), creating additional rights for consumers and obligations for businesses. It also creates the first state agency in the state dedicated to privacy, the California Privacy Protection Agency (Agency).
By now employers are familiar with what to do if an employee reports that they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive for the disease. However, do employers need to take action even if the employee has merely been “exposed” to COVID-19? The answer is yes, and this article covers what qualifies as an “exposure” and what you must do.
The courts, over the past few years, have substantially refined the concept of unconscionability as it relates to employer-employee arbitration agreements. That’s great for employers presenting new employees with arbitration agreements, because both parties can feel more confident of the agreements’ legality. But it has created problems for employers with longer-term employees, whose arbitration agreements include provisions that the courts have now determined to be unconscionable—in some cases invalidating the agreement altogether. What is an employer in this situation to do?
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, California courts have continued to issue important decisions affecting the rights and duties of all businesses in California. Below are summaries of some of the most important cases that are likely to affect how businesses should operate throughout the state.