Independent Contractor or Employee? With Recent Amendments to California’s AB 5 Law, The Battle Continues

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Adé Jackson  Earlier this month Governor Newsom signed AB 2257, which was the culmination of a furious lobbying effort by specific industries (only some of which were successful) to amend California’s new independent contractor law (also known as “AB 5”). It was also considered a “cleanup” bill to tinker around the edges of the law’s requirements.  Much of the controversy … Continue reading Independent Contractor or Employee? With Recent Amendments to California’s AB 5 Law, The Battle Continues

COVID-19 Workplace Outbreaks in California: Now Covered by Workers’ Compensation and Subject to Detailed Employee and Health Department Notification Obligations

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Tiana Bey On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two laws designed to protect California workers exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19 at the workplace: Senate Bill (“SB”) 1159 and Assembly Bill (“AB”) 685. Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 Under SB 1159, California established a new rebuttable presumption that requires employers to treat a COVID-19 related illness or death of an employee as a workplace injury … Continue reading COVID-19 Workplace Outbreaks in California: Now Covered by Workers’ Compensation and Subject to Detailed Employee and Health Department Notification Obligations

MSK Minute: Stephen Franz Discusses Back-to-School Questions Related to the FFCRA

As kids begin returning to school in person, virtually or on a hybrid schedule, new questions regarding an employee’s eligibility for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are emerging. In this video, MSK attorney Stephen Franz addresses these questions and more. Continue reading MSK Minute: Stephen Franz Discusses Back-to-School Questions Related to the FFCRA

TAKE THAT JOB AND SHOVE IT! NLRB ADOPTS NEW STANDARD FOR ADDRESSING OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS IN THE WORKPLACE

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Hilary Feybush Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) issued a decision making it easier for employers to lawfully discipline or terminate employees who make abusive or offensive statements – including profane, racists, and sexually unacceptable remarks – in the course of activity that would otherwise fall under the protection of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).   In … Continue reading TAKE THAT JOB AND SHOVE IT! NLRB ADOPTS NEW STANDARD FOR ADDRESSING OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS IN THE WORKPLACE

Come Fly The Friendly Skies? California Supreme Court Rules California Wage Laws Do Not Always Apply to Working In The Golden State

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz The California Supreme Court recently issued two companion decisions – Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc. – clarifying the application of certain California wage and hour laws to employees who may work both in and out of California during a single pay period. New Rule for Applying California’s Wage Statement and Timing-of-Payment … Continue reading Come Fly The Friendly Skies? California Supreme Court Rules California Wage Laws Do Not Always Apply to Working In The Golden State

President Trump Signs Executive Order Prioritizing Skills over a College Degree for Federal Hiring

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Corey Singer On June 26, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order that will overhaul the government’s hiring practices so that a job applicant’s skills will be given a priority over a college degree.  The executive order directs federal agencies to shift from vetting applicants based on their educational credentials and move toward using skill assessments and interviews with subject … Continue reading President Trump Signs Executive Order Prioritizing Skills over a College Degree for Federal Hiring

Lights, Cameras, Action! Los Angeles Greenlights Resumption of Filming for Productions

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein Over the last week, California and Los Angeles have announced the protocols that must be in place for music, TV, and film productions to re-open. On Friday, June 5, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (the “Department”) stated that music, TV, and film production may resume “no sooner than June 12, 2020” subject to several conditions.  The … Continue reading Lights, Cameras, Action! Los Angeles Greenlights Resumption of Filming for Productions

Be Prepared: What Should Employers Do About the Coronavirus?

Woman Applying Soap On The Hand Near Basin
Photo Credit: istock.com/AndreyPopov

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Thea Rogers

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, will likely continue its spread around the world and to the U.S.  While we don’t know the extent to which the Coronavirus will take hold in the U.S., employers should start planning now so they can protect the safety of their workforces and maintain normal business operations, to the extent possible, should the Coronavirus have a significant impact.

In doing so, employers face potentially conflicting laws that should be taken into account in determining how to move forward.  For example, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and similar state laws, employers have a general duty and obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment and must not place their employees in situations that are likely to cause serious physical harm or death.  On the other hand, overreacting or implementing overbroad bans or quarantines that aren’t based on reasonable or reliable facts or information could violate laws that prohibit discrimination (based upon disability, national origin, or other protected characteristics).

Employers should contact counsel with any questions as they navigate putting together their Coronavirus (or general infectious disease prevention) plans and policies, or dealing with employee-specific issues that may arise.

Continue reading “Be Prepared: What Should Employers Do About the Coronavirus?”

NLRB Issues Final Rule on Joint-Employer Standard

lawyer and client
Photo Credit: istock.com/utah778

Written by Jeremy Mittman

Why This Matters

On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) announced that, on February 26, 2020, it will issue its final rule governing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Under the NLRB’s final rule, an entity may be considered a joint employer of a separate employer’s employees only if the two share or co-determine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment.  “Essential terms and conditions of employment” are specifically defined as wages, benefits, hours of work, hiring, discharge, discipline, supervision, and direction.  The Board’s intent in issuing the final rule is to restore the joint-employer standard that was applied for many years prior to the Board’s 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris.

The final rule will be effective April 27, 2020.  The NLRB’s Fact Sheet regarding the final rule is available here.

Continue reading “NLRB Issues Final Rule on Joint-Employer Standard”

More Bad News For California Employers as Governor Signs Bills Into Law

Judge with gavel on table
Photo Credit: istock.com/seb_ra

Written by Jeremy Mittman

Recently, we informed our readers about a new law making it more difficult to classify independent contractors as such.  Unfortunately, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  A number of additional new employment-related bills recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom will have a negative impact on California employers. Unless specifically noted, these laws go into effect on January 1, 2020.  MSK recommends that any employer with California employees should consult with their employment counsel to address questions regarding changes to current policies/procedures in light of these new laws.  Continue reading “More Bad News For California Employers as Governor Signs Bills Into Law”