BPE LAW GROUP: 2019 Employment Law Update

By Press release submission | Feb 4, 2019

BPE Law Group issued the following announcement on Jan. 29.

As is the case every year, there are several changes that came into effect in the new year regarding employment. As an employer it is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with these changes. Below is a highlight of a few of the major changes to the employment law scheme in California.

There has long be the de minimis rule in California where an employer is excused from paying small amounts of wages if the employer can show that the small bits (increments of time) are administratively difficult to record. However, in the 2018 case Troester v. Starbuck Corp the court developed this standard further. It stated that work regularly performed had to be compensated. In this particular case an employee was responsible for closing the store at night, the employee would clock out and shut down the store. The tasks were small and didn’t take more than about 4 – 10 minutes to complete. The Court stated that tasks performed on a regular basis no matter how de minimis had to be compensated. This is a problem for both opening and closing procedures. As business owners you should be auditing your opening and closing procedures to make sure you have time records for all the work being performed by employees.

Another new change is the update to Labor Code § 1031 through AB 1976 which requires employers to provide a lactation accommodation to employees. Under the law employers are required to provide a room that is private and free from intrusion and that is used only for lactation purposes while the employee is using the room.

There are new restrictions related to use of salary history in hiring decisions. Under AB 2282 codified at Labor Code §432.3 an employer is prohibited from asking an applicant about salary history. The thing to be aware of in hiring decisions is compliance with the federal Equal Pay Act. The Equal Pay Act was adopted in 1963 as a response to close the gender pay gap. Under the recent decision in Rizo v. Yovino prior salary cannot justify a wage differential as wage disparities may only be based upon legitimate job-related factors.

Last year we wrote extensively about the Dynamex decision, that will continue to unfold one way or the other. Currently there are two bills AB 5 and AB 71 seeking to address this decision. AB 5 seeks to codify into law the Dynamex decision while AB 71 seeks to reverse Dynamex and codify the Borello decision. Time will tell the outcome.

A significant change comes related to the requirement for sexual harassment training. Previously, employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory staff every 2 years. Now, under SB 1343 codified at Government Code §12950 et seq, expands the requirement and now all employers with 5 or more employees must provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory employees every 2 years and 1 hour of training for non-supervisory employees every 2 years. Additionally, all employees must complete sexual harassment training by Dec. 31, 2019 regardless of when the last training was provided.

There are a host of changes to the employment landscape. For employers it is prudent to take the time to review your policies for compliance with new laws and discuss with your employment attorney about the impacts on your business. The employment attorneys at BPE Law Group are here to help guide the business owners through this complicated web of laws.

Original source can be found here.

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