On November 21st, the California Court of Appeals ruled in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLCregarding meal breaks and how they get tracked. Overall, Donohue is a positive wage and hour development for California employers. The case is also helpful in providing a roadmap for a design of an exceptionally good (and now, court approved) electronic meal break recording system (further described in the explanation of the decision), which enables an employer to track the reason for a noncompliant meal period and obtain notification with minimal administrative burden. California employers would be well-served to consider adopting a similar meal break monitoring system, which—considering the cost of defending against meal break claims, a perennial favorite of plaintiffs’ attorneys—would be money well spent. The Court’s decision and the intricacies of the case are further described below. (more…)
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450), which restricts public and private employers in California from admitting immigration inspectors to the workplace without a judicial warrant. It also requires employers to notify their employees before and after certain immigration inspections take place. The new law, which adds Sections 7285.1, 7285.2, and 7285.3 to the California Government Code, and Sections 90.2 and 1019.2 to the California Labor Code, will take effect on January 1, 2018.
In conflict with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) plans to increase enforcement actions under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which includes criminal and civil penalties for employers who knowingly employ unauthorized workers; the new California law seeks to protect foreign workers from unfair immigration-related practices, potentially causing problems for employers who must comply with federal and state laws. (more…)
It has been a rough few weeks for the Department of Labor (“DOL”) in Texas federal court. Yesterday in Sherman, Texas, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted a nationwide preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the DOL’s new overtime regulations, which were scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. As wealerted you last month, those regulations would, among other things, nearly double the salary basis required to qualify for any of the “white collar” exemptions from federal overtime laws. Opponents of the rule have argued that it oversteps the authority granted to the DOL by Congress. (more…)
EEOC Guidance on Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Concerned about the number of complaints filed against employers for failing to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued a reminder to employers about their obligations. While clarifying that the additional guidance does not create any new obligations, the EEOC reminded employers about the following:
* It is not sufficient to grant employees the maximum amount of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and/or state equivalent (such as California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”)) to meet obligations under the ADA. Instead, under the ADA, employers must also consider granting additional leave as a form of reasonable accommodation (beyond that required by the FMLA or CFRA), unless doing so will create an undue hardship for the employer. As the EEOC indicated, “the Commission takes the position that compliance with the FMLA does not necessarily meet an employer’s obligation under the ADA, and the fact that any additional leave exceeds what is permitted under the FMLA, by itself, is not sufficient to show an undue hardship.” As you already may know, the “undue hardship” standard is not easy for employers to meet. (more…)
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) which brought with it a new era of accountability and expediency in protecting employers’ intellectual property. Whether proprietary lines of code in a software program, the secret recipe for fried chicken or highly-valued customer lists, “trade secrets” provide a competitive advantage for businesses. While the DTSA provides new avenues for employers to protect their trade secrets, it also imposes additional burdens, creating new whistleblower protections and imposing new notice requirements. (more…)