In late May, California announced new amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) strengthening the protections afforded to applicants and employees, including those who are undocumented, on the basis of national origin. The changes go into effect July 1, 2018. The new regulations significantly broaden the definition of “national origin” as well as conduct that constitutes discrimination based on national origin.
The California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker v. Superior Court unleashed a flood of single-plaintiff and class-action lawsuits involving alleged violations of California’s meal and rest period laws. Under California law, employees are entitled to take at least one 30-minute uninterrupted, off-duty meal break no later than the end of their 5th hour of work. If employees work over 10 hours, they must be provided a second 30-minute meal period. Similarly, employees must also receive 10-minute rest periods for each 4 hour-period worked or major fraction thereof.
On February 8, 2018, in what is believed to be the first time a gig economy case has been fully decided on the merits, a California federal judge ruled in favored in favor of the company and held that the delivery driver was properly classified as an independent contractor.
The opinion of US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley states that “[a]fter considering all of the Borello factors as a whole in light of the trial record, the Court finds that Grubhub has satisfied its burden of showing that Mr. Lawson was properly classified as an independent contractor.”
In rejecting the driver’s claim that he was actually an employee entitled to minimum wage, overtime and other benefits associated with employee status, the Court awarded the gig economy a significant victory.
In mid-December, we hosted our Annual California Update in Millbrae, CA. We were so pleased to see many of you in attendance.
Our End-of-Year Newsletter will hit inboxes shortly, but until then – here’s our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for multinationals in 2018:
On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark new law barring California employers — and their agents — from inquiring about applicants’ previous salaries and benefits.
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
Here are 3 steps to take now to prepare:
- Remove all salary questions from hiring forms (including job applications, candidate questionnaires and background check forms)
- Update interviewing and negotiating policies and procedures
- Train recruiting, hiring managers and interviewers on the new law to include instructions regarding the importance of ensuring that candidates are not pressured (even indirectly) to disclose salary history and how to respond to requests for pay scale information
Read more here and reach out to your Baker McKenzie lawyer for more details.