CLOSE X
RSS Feed LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Search:
FMG Law Blog Line

Archive for the ‘Employment Law Blog – CA’ Category

Trump Nominates New Labor Secretary Nominee One Day After Puzder Drops Out

Posted on: February 16th, 2017

GTY-alexander-acosta-02-as-170216_31x13_1600By: Marty Heller

Donald Trump has named Florida International University Law School Dean, R. Alexander Acosta, as his new nominee for Secretary of Labor. Acosta is a Harvard Law graduate who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was an appeals court judge, and previously has served on the National Labor Relations Board and was an Assistant Attorney General under George W. Bush, before acting as US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. It remains to be seen where Acosta stands on several key issues that await the new secretary of the DOL, including implementation of the currently enjoined “overtime rule” which substantially increases the minimum salary to qualify for the FLSA’s white collar exemptions. 

For any questions, please contact Marty Heller at [email protected].

Breaking News – Puzder Withdraws from Consideration to be Secretary of Labor

Posted on: February 15th, 2017

By: Paul H. Derrick

Andy Puzder, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, has withdrawn his name from consideration after being plagued by criticism since his nomination. Union leaders and prominent Democrats have been among his staunchest critics. Puzder’s decision to step down comes a day before his Senate confirmation hearing was set to begin. Just hours before the announcement of his withdrawal, media outlets had begun reporting that Republican officials advised the White House that Puzder lacked the votes needed for confirmation because at least four GOP senators intended to break ranks and vote against him. It remains to be seen who President Trump will nominate in his place.

For any questions, please contact Paul Derrick at [email protected].

San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Law

Posted on: January 9th, 2017

parental-leave-557x362By: Julie Marquis

Effective January 1, 2017, the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (“PPLO”) requires San Francisco businesses provide supplemental compensation to employees who use California Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) benefits for bonding following the birth or adoption of a child. California’s PFL Law provides benefits of up to 55% of an eligible employee’s normal wages for six weeks.  The PPLO requires employers to pay the difference, up to a cap, between the employee’s PFL benefits and total gross weekly wages such that the employee’s PFL benefits and PPLO supplemental compensation equal 100% of the employee’s gross weekly wages during the leave period.

Who is a covered employer?

Businesses with 20 or more employees with at least one employee who works in San Francisco. Employers of 50 or more employees must comply beginning January 1, 2017; those with 35 or more employees must comply beginning July 1, 2017; employers of 20 or more employees must comply beginning January 1, 2018.

Who is an eligible employee?

An employee who:

  1. Began employment with a covered employer at least 180 days prior to the start of the leave period;
  2. Performs at least eight hours of work per week for the employer in San Francisco;
  3. Performs at least 40% of his or her total weekly hours worked for the employer; and
  4. Is eligible to receive PFL benefits under the California PFL Law.

What must an eligible employee do to receive benefits?

An eligible employee must complete and submit to his or her employer the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Form (“PPL Form”) and either provide the employer with a copy of the Notice of Computation form received from the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”), which reflects the employee’s PFL weekly benefit amount, or provide the EDD with permission to share the employee’s PFL weekly benefit amount with the employer. This allows the employer to calculate the amount of supplemental compensation.

What if an employee works for more than one employer?

Where an employee works for more than one covered employer, the amount of supplemental compensation is apportioned between the employers based on the percentage of the employee’s total gross weekly wages received from each employer. Where an employee works for a covered employer and a non-covered employer, the covered employer is responsible only for its percentage of the employee’s total gross weekly wages.

What other requirements must be met to comply with the new law?

Covered employers must post the required PPLO Poster at every work place and job site. Notices must be posted in English and any language spoken by at least 5% of employees at the workplace or job site.  Covered employers must also provide the PPL Form to San Francisco employees, who must complete the form to receive supplemental compensation.  If the employer publishes an employee handbook describing other kinds of personal or parental leave available to its employees, the employer must include a description of the supplemental compensation rights under the PPLO in the next edition of its handbook. Covered employers must also keep records documenting the payment of supplemental parental leave compensation for three years.

Does the PPLO include enforcement provisions?

Yes; the PPLO prohibits retaliation or discrimination against an employee for exercising the right to supplemental compensation. An employer who takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days of the employee’s protected activity must overcome a rebuttable presumption of retaliation. The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement may investigate alleged violations and enforce the PPLO administratively through a hearing process, where potential remedies for violations include payment of unlawfully withheld supplemental compensation, plus penalties and interest.  The PPLO also provides a private right of action for violations.

Employers should have a policy addressing the PPLO requirements and train personnel in managing compliance with the policy. For guidance or answers to questions, please contact Julie Marquis at [email protected] in FMG’s San Francisco office.

Be on the Lookout for Minimum Wage Increases in 2017

Posted on: December 20th, 2016

 By: Brad Adler and Agne Krutules

As we enter into 2017, employers should remember that, while the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, many state and local jurisdictions have passed legislation that will increase their respective minimum wage in 2017.

Below is a list of the states and some of the major local governments that will be increasing their minimum wage in 2017. Of course, if you have employees working within any of these jurisdictions, it is important that you pay them in accordance with the state or local law.

Jurisdiction Current Min. Wage Planned Min. Wage Effective Date
Alaska $9.75 $9.80 January 1, 2017
Arizona $8.05 $10.00 January 1, 2017
City of Flagstaff, AZ $8.05 $12.00 January 1, 2017
Arkansas $8.00 $8.50 January 1, 2017
California* $10.00 $10.50 January 1, 2017*
Berkeley, CA $12.53 $13.75 October 1, 2017
Cupertino, CA $10.00 $12.00 January 1, 2017
Emeryville, CA $13.00 $14.00 July 1, 2017
Los Altos, CA $10.00 $10.50 January 1, 2017
Los Angeles, CA $10.50 $12.00 July 1, 2017
Los Angeles County, CA $10.50 $12.00 July 1, 2017
Mountain View, CA $11.00 $13.00 January 1, 2017
Oakland, CA $12.55 $12.86 January 1, 2017
Palo Alto, CA $11.00 $12.00 January 1, 2017
Pasadena, CA** $10.00 $10.50 July 1, 2017
Richmond, CA $11.52 $12.30 January 1, 2017
San Diego, CA $10.50 $11.50 January 1, 2017
San Francisco, CA $13.00 $14.00 July 1, 2017
San Jose, CA $10.30 $10.50 January 1, 2017
San Mateo, CA $10.00 $12.00 January 1, 2017
Santa Clara, CA $11.00 $11.10 January 1, 2017
Santa Monica, CA $10.50 $12.00 July 1, 2017
Sunnyvale, CA $11.00 $13.00 January 1, 2017
Colorado $8.31 $9.30 January 1, 2017
Connecticut $9.60 $10.10 January 1, 2017
District of Columbia $11.50 $12.50 July 1, 2017
 Florida $8.05 $8.10 January 1, 2017
Hawaii $8.50 $9.25 January 1, 2017
Chicago, IL $10.50 $11.00 July 1, 2017
Cook County, IL $8.25 $10.00 July 1, 2017
Johnson County, IA $9.15 $10.10 January 1, 2017
Polk County, IA $7.25 $8.75 April 1, 2017
Wapello County, IA $7.25 $8.20 January 1, 2017
Maine $7.50 $9.00 January 1, 2017
Portland, ME $10.10 $10.68 January 1, 2017
Maryland $8.75 $9.25 July 1, 2017
Montgomery County, MD $10.75 $11.50 July 1, 2017
Prince George County, MD $10.75 $11.50 October 1, 2017
Massachusetts $10.00 $11.00 January 1, 2017
Michigan $8.50 $8.90 January 1, 2017
Missouri $7.65 $7.70 January 1, 2017
Kansas City, MO*** $7.65 $9.82 January 1, 2017
Montana $8.05 $8.15 January 1, 2017
New Jersey $8.38 $8.44 January 1, 2017
Albuquerque, NM**** $8.75 $8.80 January 1, 2017
Bernalillo County, NM $8.65 $8.70 January 1, 2017
Las Cruces, NM $8.40 $9.20 January 1, 2017
New York***** $9.00 $9.70 December 31, 2016
New York City, NY****** $9.00 $11.00 December 31, 2016
Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, NY $9.00 $10.00 December 31, 2016
Ohio $8.10 $8.15 January 1, 2017
Oregon******* $9.75 $10.25 July 1, 2017
South Dakota $8.55 $8.65 January 1, 2017
Vermont $9.60 $10.00 January 1, 2017
Washington******** $9.47 $11.00 January 1, 2017

 

* Although the statewide minimum wage will increase from $10.00 to $10.50 as of January 1, 2017, employers with 25 or fewer employees will receive a one-year reprieve and will not face the statewide increase in 2017.

** In Pasadena, employers with 25 or fewer employees will face a minimum wage increase to $10.50 as of July 1, 2017, while larger employers will face an increase from $10.50 to $12.00 as of the same date.

*** The Kansas City minimum wage was slated to increase to $9.82 on January 1, 2017, but is stalled due to pending court challenges. The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to soon rule on the issue. The same holds true for the St. Louis minimum wage, which was scheduled to increase to $10.00 as of January 1, 2017.

**** However, if the employer provides healthcare and/or childcare benefits to the employee during any pay period and pays an amount for these benefits equal to or in excess of an annualized cost of $2,500, the minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $7.80.

***** For fast-food employers outside of New York City, the minimum wage will increase from $9.75 to $10.75 on December 31, 2016.

****** For businesses with less than 11 employees, the minimum wage will increase from $9.00 to $10.50. For fast-food establishments in New York City, the minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $12.00 on December 31, 2016.

******* For employers within the state’s Urban Growth Boundary, the minimum wage increase on July 1, 2017 will be from $9.75 to $11.25. For employers in frontier counties, the minimum wage increase on July 1, 2017 will be from $9.50 to $10.00 per hour.

******** Seattle employers with 500 or more employees will see an increase in their minimum wage from $13.00 to $15.00 on January 1, 2017. The SeaTac minimum wage applicable for hospitality and transportation workers will increase from $15.24 to $15.35 as of January 1, 2017. In Tacoma, the minimum wage will increase from $10.35 to $11.15.

The minimum wage for federal contractors covered by those regulations and Executive Order 13658 (primarily those with Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act contracts) will increase from $10.15 to $10.20 effective January 1, 2017.

New I-9 Form Takes Effect Next Year

Posted on: December 1st, 2016

U.S. Department of Homeland Security LogoBy: Agne Krutules

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The revision process commenced over a year ago, with the main goal to strengthen the security and integrity of the I-9 Form.

Effective January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016. Until then, they can continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013 or the new version.

Among the changes to the I-9 Form, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.

Other changes include:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly;
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins;
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.

The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) imposes hefty fines (raging from $110 to $1,100 per violation) for improperly preparing I-9 Forms.

For any questions you may have, please contact Agne Krutules at [email protected].