Employers Beware: SB 1044 Creates a Right to Refuse to Work in Emergency Conditions

Effective January 1, 2023, Senate Bill 1044 will prohibit employers from taking or threatening adverse action against any employee for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace or worksite during an “emergency condition” when the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace or worksite is unsafe.  An “emergency condition” means the existence of either: (1) conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act; or (2) an order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a ...

California Minimum Wage and Salary Exemption Threshold Increases for 2023

What goes up does not come down! The trend of increasing the minimum wage continues in 2023 as follows:

State:

On January 1, 2023, the California state minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour for employers of all sizes. The state minimum wage also governs the exempt employee threshold salary, which will increase accordingly.  On January 1, 2023, the new minimum salary for employees who otherwise qualify to be exempt from overtime will be $64,480 annually for employers of all sizes.

Local:

Additionally, several California municipalities will raise their minimum wage rates on July ...

Employer Alert: SB 951 Will Increase Paid Family Leave and State Disability Benefits

Beginning January 1, 2025, Senate Bill 951 will increase from 60% to a maximum of 90% the percentage of wage replacement based on the individual’s wages earned for persons receiving benefits under the Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs for claims filed on or after that date. To pay for this increase in benefits, on January 1, 2024, SB 951 will repeal the wage ceiling for contributions into the SDI fund, thereby making all wages subject to the SDI contribution rate.

Employees can apply for PFL or SDI benefits, as applicable, during an otherwise unpaid ...

New Employment Law Expands Required CalSavers Retirement Savings Program

Effective January 1, 2023, Senate Bill 1126 expands California’s CalSavers Retirement Savings Program by requiring employers with at least one employee to register for CalSavers by December 31, 2025, if the employer does not sponsor a retirement plan for its employees, or register as exempt if a retirement plan is provided.  Any employer may also choose to have a payroll deposit retirement savings arrangement (such as an IRA) to allow employee participation in the program.  However, SB 1126 excludes from the definition of “eligible employer” any sole proprietorships ...

California Employers Must Prepare for Pay Scale Disclosures in 2023

On September 27, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 1162, which requires employers with more than 15 employees to post salary scales with every job posting and to disclose the pay scale for a position held by an employee upon request, and expands pay data reporting requirements for employers with 100 or more employees.

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Pay Scale Disclosure in Job Postings and Upon Request

Under existing California law, which went into effect in January of 2018, employers were required to disclose the pay scale of any open position to any applicant ...

Does A Receiver Have To Comply With A Subpoena?

Q: I am a receiver in a partnership dispute case. I have been served with a subpoena issued from a case outside the receivership case, seeking partnership records and emails to and from a defendant in that case. Neither the partnership nor the partners are parties in that case. Do I have to comply with the subpoena? There are few liquid assets in the estate and it will be costly to locate and produce the documents.

A: Based on the reasoning in a recent bankruptcy case, from the Central District of California, if the subpoenaing party did not first obtain leave of the receivership court to ...

When Substantial Compliance Is Not Enough: A Cautionary Ruling For Employment Arbitration Actions

Since its enactment in 2020, employers have been forced to be mindful of the burdensome imposition of Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97 et seq., which requires an employer to pay the full amount of arbitration fees within 30 days of an arbitrator’s invoice being due, unless the arbitration agreement specifies a different deadline. In a recent opinion titled Espinoza v. Superior Court, the Court of Appeals clarified that this deadline must be strictly followed and there is no leeway for “substantial compliance.” 

In Espinoza, a defendant employer failed to pay the ...

New Law Requires Bereavement Leave in California

Effective January 1, 2023, under Assembly Bill 1949, which amends the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), California employers with at least five employees must provide up to five days of bereavement leave to an eligible employee upon the death of a family member.  To be eligible for the leave, the employee must have completed at least 30 days’ service prior to the leave.  “Family member” means a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law. 

The leave is unpaid, but the employee may elect to use available vacation, personal ...

Just When You Thought It Was Over: New Covid Laws For California Employers

With the relaxation of some governmental COVID-19 measures, it may appear that employers need no longer be concerned with any of the requirements imposed in the last two years.  On the contrary, the California Legislature has created a number of new COVID-19-related laws that may California Employers: 

  • Assembly Bill 152 extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL), which had been set to expire on September 30, 2022, to December 31, 2022. That means that California employers with at least 26 employees must continue to provide, under specified COVID-19-related ...
Posted in The Real Dirt
New Case Demonstrates How Tricky Dissolving a 50%-50% Owned California Limited Liability Company Can Be

Friend of Camden, Inc. v. Brandt, 81 Cal. App. 5th 1054 (August 2, 2022) illustrates the trickiness of the law governing dissolutions for limited liability companies and buyout election rights for those opposing dissolution. In Friends of Camden, the plaintiff manager and 1% owner of the LLC (Camden) filed an action for involuntary dissolution under Corporations Code section 17707.03. Certain defendants who were owners of 50% of the LLC moved immediately to exercise their rights to buyout Camden’s 1% ownership interest under Section 17707.03(c)(1) to avoid the dissolution ...

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