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.
Starting January 1, 2018, all California employers will be required to display a new workplace poster related to transgender rights. Governor Jerry Brown's recently signed Senate Bill 396, requires that the poster be posted in a prominent and accessible location in the work place.
In May of 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) approved new regulations pertaining to gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. These regulations became effective July 1, 2017.
On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a woman challenging her termination for testing positive for medical marijuana use. The six judge panel found in her favor after determining her doctor's prescription for medical marijuana should have been treated as a reasonable accommodation for her disability. While not binding on California courts, it is anticipated that other cases will follow in other states, like California, where medical marijuana is legal under state law, although it remains illegal at the federal level.
On January 7, 2017, we posted a blog on our website titled "AB 1066 - On the Seventh Day Thou Shall Rest?" (/blog/2017/01/ab-1066---on-the-seventh-day-thou-shall-rest.shtml). We explained that the California Supreme Court would provide guidance - pertaining to the California Labor Code's prohibition of employers causing employees to work more than six days in seven - when it issued its ruling in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc.