Labor / Employment

The California Legislature is well into its 2021 Legislative session and February 19 was the last day to introduce new bills. Below is a sampling of some wage and hour bills that employers should have on their radar. Assembly Bill 1003 – Wage Theft as Grand Theft AB 1003 would make an employer’s intentional theft of wages, in an aggregate amount greater than $950 punishable as grand theft. AB 1003 would prevent intentional theft of wages that is punished as grand theft from being punished under any other criminal provisions but would authorize wages, benefits, or other compensation to be…
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This major funding bill included the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. Following are highlights of the provisions affecting employer-sponsored benefit plans: Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) The CAA allows for certain relief pursuant to health care and dependent care FSAs as follows: Carryovers — All unused benefits in plan years ending in 2020 may be carried over into the plan year ending in 2021. Similar relief is also available for unused FSA benefit carryovers for…
On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the final version of its new prohibited transaction class exemption for investment professionals: Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2020-02, Improving Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees.  The new class exemption is based on the DOL’s temporary policy adopted after a 2018 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. United States Department of Labor vacated the DOL’s 2016 Fiduciary Rule. It codifies the reinstatement of the 1975 regulation establishing a “five-part test” to determine who is an investment advice fiduciary under ERISA…
With a new administration and Congress in place, there will undoubtedly be some significant changes to employment laws, and pay equity is likely to be key issue for employers to watch in 2021 and beyond. During his campaign, President Biden indicated his support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) as the next step in building upon a pay equity law passed by the Obama-Biden administration, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2019, the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) addresses wage discrimination on the basis of sex. It amends equal pay…
In Opinion Letter FLSA2020-20, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided guidance on paying overtime to live-in caregivers who work shifts of more than 24 hours based on an expected number of hours worked, and whether these overtime payments can be excluded from the regular rate and credited for overtime. The employer addressed in the Opinion Letter employs caregivers to provide in-home or live-in care services for shifts of 24 hours or more. Typically, a caregiver works five days per week for 120 hours or more, spending this time in a client’s home without direct supervision.…
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, California’s legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom have passed a number of laws impacting California employees and employers. The new legislation is effective as of January 1, 2021 and addresses several topics including sick leave, workers’ compensation, and safety regulations. Here is a look at some of the new regulations. AB 685 – Written Notice of COVID-19 Exposure AB 685 requires employers to provide all employees with written notice within one business day of learning of a potential exposure to COVID-19. The notice must include information about COVID-19-related benefits and the safety protocols that…
In Opinion Letter FLSA2020-19, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided guidance on whether an employee who works remotely for part of the day and works at the office for the remainder of the day while doing personal tasks in between must receive compensation for travel time between home and office. There were two examples provided in the Opinion Letter: #1: Employee has a school conference in the afternoon and leaves work at 1 p.m. After the conference, she drives home and resumes work. The question posed under this scenario is whether the employee’s travel time…
As the state of California approaches one year of being under various shelter-in-place orders, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency and the Department of Industrial Relations have consolidated resources for employers into a new website. The site provides information on how to ensure a safer and healthier workplace. It also has information on handling employees who may be sick or exposed to COVID-19 in the form of an FAQ. The site has training resources for employees and employers to learn more about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The new state website further includes a “road map”
In response to the widespread shift to remote workforces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to clarify how employers can comply with federal laws requiring the display of certain notices in the workplace that inform employees about their rights under federal employment law. Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-7 was issued on December 29, 2020, to give guidance on permissible electronic posting of required workplace notices. The DOL guidance applies to postings required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Section 14(c) of the FLSA (Section 14(c)),…
On December 29, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance stating that a telemedicine visit with a health care provider to verify an employee’s serious health condition can be used to support FMLA leave. Under the FMLA, one avenue for an employee to prove a serious health condition is to visit a health care provider in person. Under the FMLA a “serious health condition” is an “illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves” either: (1) “inpatient care” such as an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity…