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Pending California Legislation (Part 2 of 2)

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SB 25 Agricultural Labor Relations: Dispute Resolution

Steinberg (D-Sacramento)

SUMMARY: Existing law provides that within 60 days of a decision by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board taking effect, a party may file an action to enforce the order, using specified procedures. Existing law provides that during the pendency of any appeal of the board’s order, the order may not be stayed unless the appellant demonstrates that he or she is likely to prevail on the merits and that he or she will be irreparably harmed by implementation of the board’s order.

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Pending California Legislation (Part 1 of 2)

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AB 1897 Labor Contracting: Client Liability

Hernandez (D-West Covina)

SUMMARY: This bill would require a client employer to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers’ compensation coverage. The bill would prohibit a client employer from shifting to the labor contractor legal duties or liabilities under workplace safety provisions with respect to workers provided by the labor contractor.

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New Laws Place Additional Burdens on California Employers

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AB 1522: Paid Sick Leave

Gonzalez (D-San Antonio)

SUMMARY: This bill enacts the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to provide that an employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes, to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.

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Fast-Food Workers Protest to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

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Source: CBS Los Angeles (losangeles.cbslocal.com)

Police said 10 protestors were arrested Thursday during a march downtown Los Angeles, California, for higher wages. About 300 employees and supporters in Los Angeles, as well as in more than 150 other cities, were taking part in sit-ins at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger Kings and other chain locations as a more “militant” phase of the “Fight for $15″ movement.

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California Supreme Court Rejects NLRB Ruling on Franchisee Employees

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The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has previously ruled that McDonald's, USA, LLC can be liable as a joint employer with its franchise operators for labor law and wage and hour violations. (Previously reported by The Saqui Law Group here.)

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CONTINUED SPOTLIGHT ON SWEEPS AND NEW HARASSMENT LEGISLATION!

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DLSE Sweeps Update on FLC Signage

Keeping our finger on the pulse of the DLSE's unannounced site visits this week to check for FLC sign compliance, our continued incoming industry reports demonstrate these DLSE surprise visits are persisting this week and are likely to continue.

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DLSE SWEEPS IN SONOMA COUNTY!

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This is an important notice that the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement “DLSE” is sweeping Sonoma County and other areas, specifically targeting farm labor contractors, including vineyard management companies who must also be licensed FLC’s. Among other things, the DLSE is looking for compliance with the mandatory posting of FLC signage. At this time, the sweeps seem to be advisory in nature but FLC’s are being told the DLSE will issue citations on the next non-compliant visit.

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Are You Reimbursing Employees For Cell Phones?

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The Court of Appeal has recently held  that an employer must reimburse employees when they use their personal cell phones for work-related calls.  Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. (B247160). The Court relied on Labor Code section 2802 which requires employers to indemnify employees for all the necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employees in the scope of their employment. 

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President Obama Looks to Executive Action for Immigration Reform

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On Wednesday, President Obama suggested that he will use his executive power to advance immigration reform. Due to Congressional inaction, Obama has said he has no choice but to act alone. “In the face of that kind of dysfunction, what I can do is scour our authorities to try to make progress,” Obama said. “And we’re going to make sure that every time we take one of these steps that we are working within the confines of my executive power. But I promise you, the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress.”

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Assembly Bill 2074 to Expand Liquidated Damages for Minimum Wage Violations

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Wage and hour lawsuits are about to get even more expensive for employers. A.B. 2074 is a bill that would modify California labor law concerning minimum wage violations. The bill passed the state Senate on Monday on a 25-10 vote and now heads to Governor Jerry Brown. The new bill would allow employees to pursue liquidated damages anytime before the expiration of the statute of limitations for bringing the underlying action alleging minimum wage violations.

This legislation comes after a 2013 California court of appeals decision that held employees can recover wages for three years of minimum wage violations but only one year of liquidated damages. The new bill aims to allow employees to recover liquidated damages for the entire three year statute of limitations period.

This new bill was proposed by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D – West Covina. Hernandez states, “A.B. 2074 holds companies accountable for wage theft and simplifies the process for recovering illegally held wages.” Hernandez went on to state that “A.B. 2074 only targets businesses who fail to follow the law. It is crucial that we protect the rights of our lowest-paid workers, prevent abuse and curb labor law violations in California.”

A.B. 2074 has support from labor groups such as the California Labor Federation, Unite Here, and the California Federation of Teachers. There has been no formal opposition from business groups to this bill.

Counsel to Management: Contact The Saqui Law Group immediately if you believe that you are exposed to liability with respect to potential wage and hour violations. With the new legislation before Governor Brown, wage and hour lawsuits are going to cost employers even more for failure to pay appropriate wages.

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