Posts from January 2018.
Assembly Bill 1710 Expands Military Personnel Employment Protections

Effective January 1, 2018, AB 1710 amends Section 394 of the Military and Veterans Code by including protection against discrimination in all terms, conditions or privileges of employment due to membership or service in the military.  This applies to all military service and personnel including the National Guard, and expands existing anti-discrimination measures for military personnel.

The new law also includes criminal and civil penalties for violations.

Employers are reminded to train employees to comply with this law and other existing anti-discrimination laws ...

Sexual Harassment Training Must Now Include Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation

In light of the substantial media attention given to sexual harassment issues in recent months, employers should anticipate new legislation on this topic. Senate Bill 396, however, was drafted before the increased focus on these issues began.  As of January 1, 2018, the enactment of the Transgender Work Opportunity Act (SB 396) makes California the first state to require that harassment trainings cover the topics of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) already required sexual harassment training for ...

New and Proposed Tax Legislation Present New Difficulties for Employers Attempting to Settle Sexual Harassment Claims

Most employers have heard of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, and have contemplated what it may mean for them.  What has been largely overlooked, however, is a denial of deduction buried deep in section 162(q) of the Internal Revenue Code, which may have a significant impact on employers’ ability to settle lawsuits based on sexual harassment or sexual abuse.  Referred to as the “Harvey Weinstein Tax” (even though it is not a tax), section 162(q) provides:

  • No deduction shall be allowed … for (1) any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or ...
California Legislature Increases Benefits for Employees on Family Leave and State Disability

For periods of disability commencing on or after January 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 908 will increase the benefits provided to individuals in the Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance programs.  AB 908 raises the level of benefits from the previous level of 55 percent of an applicant’s wages to 60 or 70 percent of the applicant’s wages depending on the applicant’s income.  Low income employees are eligible for the maximum benefit level of 70 percent.  AB 908 also removes the prior seven-day period that employees had to wait in order to gain eligibility for family temporary ...

Assembly Bill 2886 Extends SDI Appeal Deadlines

Beginning March 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 2886 amends the Unemployment Insurance Code to extend the period that an individual may appeal a determination regarding eligibility to receive State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits, a computation made regarding benefits, or a notice of overpayment of benefits,  from within 20 days from mailing or personal service of the determination to within 30 days of such date.  The 30-day period may be extended for good cause, which is defined to include mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.

Further, prior to March 1, 2018, AB 2886 ...

California Extends Family Leave Requirements to Smaller Employers

Effective as of January 1, 2018, Senate Bill 63 provides that employers with 20 or more employees within a 75-mile radius must grant an employee’s request to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.  In addition, employers must provide continuance of group health coverage during the leave period on the same basis as would have been provided had the employee continued to work.  These coverage costs can be recovered if the employee fails to return from the leave and the failure is for a reason ...

New Law Increases Cal/OSHA Penalties and Changes Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Rules

Senate Bill 96, the California state budget bill, includes some employment-related “trailer bills” that accompany the main budget bill, including the following:

Cal/OSHA Penalty Increases:

SB 96 increases penalties for repeated Cal/OSHA violations from $70,000 to $124,709.  In addition, the civil penalty maximum is increased from $7,000 to $12,471 for each non-serious violation and each violation of posting, recordkeeping or notice requirements.

The bill also permits those maximum penalty amounts to be increased on January 1, 2018, and each January 1st thereafter based ...


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