On August 30, 2019 Governor Gavin Newson signed SB 778, which clarifies and extends the initial compliance deadline for California's harassment training requirements enacted in 2018. SB 778 extends the harassment training compliance deadline from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021 for most employers to train their supervisors who were not already subject to AB 1825 harassment training, and for employers with five or more employers to provide harassment training to non-supervisory employees.
The independent contractor / employee distinction is a vital one for businesses across California and the United States. "Employee" status confers many legal benefits that "independent contractor" status does not so confer. For example, only employees are subject to the California Labor Code and IWC Wage Orders, which govern matters such as minimum wage, overtime, and meal/rest breaks. Additionally, benefits such as paid sick days, family leave rights, workers' compensation, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance all depend on an individual qualifying as an "employee."
The esteemed Pacific Legal Foundation ("PLF"), with the support of Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC, is currently representing two of Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC's valued clients - Fowler Packing Co., of Fresno, CA, and Cedar Point Nursery, of Dorris, CA - in litigation regarding the legality of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board's ("ALRB") "access rule" regulation. The PLF is a national, nonprofit legal organization designed to defend the individual liberty and constitutional rights of Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse.
Sagaser Watkins and Wieland PC is pleased to announce that four of its attorneys have been selected to multiple Super Lawyers lists! Two of our attorneys were selected as 2019 Super Lawyers while two others were chosen for the 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star List. Super Lawyers selects attorneys using their patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research in order to select the best attorneys available. In particular, only 2.5% of attorneys appear as Rising Stars, it is truly an honor to be selected to this list.
Employers across California, and the nation for that matter, are taking steps to modernize time-clocks utilized in the workplace. Employers are replacing pen and paper time-sheets or standard "punch" time-clocks with modern, biometric timekeeping systems as a means of combatting the age-old problem of time-clock fraud. These new and improved time-keeping systems help to improve the accuracy of an employer's time-keeping system, alleviate security concerns, and improve the efficiency of an employer's payroll system as a whole.
It has been long-standing law in California that employment-related agreements cannot contain provisions that would prevent former employees from engaging in new employment of their choice, even if that new employment involves competition with their former employer. Employers can prohibit former employees from using confidential information but cannot otherwise prohibit former employees from competing. This means that in most cases former employees can contact customers or businesses served by their former employer during their new employment so long as they are not using confidential information to do so.
The State of California and the Trump administration continue to butt heads over the issue of immigration. In 2017, in response to the immigration policies of the Trump administration, the California legislature passed AB 450 (which became law as of January 1, 2018) which impacted how California employers deal with federal immigration authorities. On July 4, 2018, the Trump administration scored its first win in the battle with California when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction which significantly limited key provisions of AB 450. While the injunction limited enforcement of components of AB 450, it did not do away with it entirely.
Finally, a victory for employers!
Employers, it's that time of year again. February 1st marks the official deadline for you to tabulate and post your OSHA Log Summary. The OSHA Log Summary, also known as the OSHA Form 300A must be completed and posted in the area where employee notices usually reside.
The below article appeared in the November 28, 2017 Los Angeles Daily Journal regarding the outcome of a California Supreme Court ruling. The case involved the ongoing Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) certification of a collective bargaining election following a multi-year absence of the ALRB certified labor union. Sagaser, Watkins and Wieland PC served as counsel for the defendant, Tri-Fanucchi Farms.