Articles Posted in Employment

AdobeStock_326855505-300x204Courts across the United States have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With court closures, modifications of hours, countless restrictions, and case backlogs, courts (and litigants) have faced unique challenges.

As courts in California and across the country still face a significant backlog of cases due to the pandemic, many courts have embraced technology and are expected to continue using video and audio platforms and holding virtual hearings, depositions, and even trials in an attempt to improve public safety.

Below, we will talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed California’s Superior Courts.

AdobeStock_199400743-300x200Hearing the phrase, “a complaint filed against you is being investigated by the California Labor Commissioner” may sound intimidating – and for good reason. Any employer should take investigations conducted by the Labor Commissioner seriously.

If you are an employer who is being investigated by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), you need to understand your rights and obligations. If you received a notice of the ongoing investigation of a complaint filed by your employees, get in touch with a lawyer right away.

At Structure Law Group, our skilled employment lawyers have helped numerous employers across California deal with the California Labor Commissioner and ensure that employers’ rights are protected throughout the process.

AdobeStock_466265284-300x200As an employer, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of employment laws. Specifically, we are talking about California’s laws regarding the classification of independent contractors. These laws have seen several changes over the past few years.

If you are an employer in California, you need to be aware of the current independent contractor laws in California to ensure that you classify your workers in compliance with state law and avoid harsh penalties for misclassification.

Employers can avoid problems with the misclassification of workers by working with an experienced employment lawyer. At Structure Law Group, our lawyers help understand employers their rights and obligations to ensure their compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

AdobeStock_189991100-300x200In 2018, lawmakers in California extended sexual harassment training requirements to employers who employ five or more employees and required such training for both supervisors and non-supervisors. When the law passed, the original deadline to complete anti-harassment training was set to January 1, 2020.

However, in 2019, California extended the deadline for initial compliance to January 1, 2021. Under the sexual harassment training requirements, covered employers (companies with at least five employees) must provide:

  • One hour of training to non-supervisory employees; and

AdobeStock_422347465-300x151In recent years, California lawmakers have strengthened the state’s labor laws to increase workplace diversity. Employers must keep up with the ever-changing laws to ensure that they are fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

California’s latest measures aimed at increasing diversity in the workplace are Assembly Bill 979 and Senate Bill 973, which took effect on January 1, 2021. The two bills are legislators’ latest efforts to increase workplace diversity by requiring more diversity in corporate boardrooms (AB 979) and imposing new pay data reporting requirements based on employees’ gender, race, and ethnicity.

Diversity Requirements for Public Company Boards in California (AB 979)

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Employers’ non-compliance with meal and rest break requirements accounts for a large percentage of civil litigation and Labor Commissioner disputes between employees and employers in California.

It is critical for employers to understand California’s meal and rest break requirements to ensure compliance with these laws and avoid potential litigation. If you are not sure whether or not you comply with the requirements for mandatory breaks, consider speaking with a lawyer.

What Are the Meal Break Requirements in California?

AdobeStock_333504091-300x200One of the many changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic was the work-from-home shift. As millions of workers across the nation had to switch to remote work during the pandemic, many employers wonder, “How does working from home affect the productivity of employees?

The impact that remote work has on workers’ productivity levels is a controversial topic. While some employees believe that they are more productive when working from home, others believe that their productivity decreased because they switched to remote work.

Since an increasing number of employees are working from home nowadays, more employers want to keep an eye on their work-from-home employees through the use of remote monitoring technologies.

AdobeStock_429521227-300x212After California has fully reopened its economy on June 15, 2021, many California employers and employees alike have been wondering, “Can an employer compel its workforce to get vaccinated prior to returning to work?

The short answer is, “Yes.” An increasing number of companies in California have mandated vaccination policies for their employees. Under federal and California state law, employers can require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated in order to return to work.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are allowed to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 as long as the decision to require an employee to be vaccinated harasses or discriminates against the employee. Employers should also keep in mind that they are required to provide reasonable accommodations related to employees’ disabilities and religious beliefs.

AdobeStock_252112056-300x200Changes to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) took effect on January 1, 2021, after the passage of Senate Bill 1383. The expansion of the CFRA has brought significant changes to employers and employees in California.

Below, we will summarize everything California employers should be aware of to ensure compliance with the CFRA expansion.

SB 1383: Sweeping Changes to the California Family Rights Act

AdobeStock_423161698-300x200Running a business is complicated in the COVID era, especially if you run a business in California. After California reopened its economy in June 2021, employers have had to make sure they comply with all applicable state laws, local ordinances, and rules to stay open and avoid hefty fines.

Below we have highlighted some of the most significant COVID-related employment laws that apply to businesses and employers in California in 2021.

AB 685: COVID Reporting Requirements