Stokes Wagner Law Firm
Stokes Wagner

The Department of Labor has issued new tipping regulations, to take effect on March 1, that make a few significant changes, some of which may be advantageous to hospitality employers.

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On Thursday, the California Supreme Court ruled that California’s “ABC” test for determining independent contractor status applies retroactively. As a result, employers may be held to a standard not even in effect at the time they made worker classification decisions. The Supreme Court in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. delivered a long-awaited opinion finding that the “ABC test” for independent contractor classification, adopted in its 2018 Dynamex decision, applies retroactively to all pending cases that arose before April 30, 2018. This new ruling will weigh heavily in currently pending misclassification lawsuits where the employer applied pre-Dynamex classification standards.

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After much confusion sparked by a press release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health earlier this week, LACDPH just issued its second Revised Temporary Targeted Safer at Home Health Officer Order in less than 24 hours.

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On December 16, 2020, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 guidance to include guidelines pertaining to mandatory vaccinations in the workplace. The EEOC stated that the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination is not a “medical examination” under the ADA, and thus private employers may require employees to be vaccinated as a condition to continued employment, or, at the very least, as a condition to returning to the workplace.

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California recently adopted stringent COVID-19 workplace standards, known as the “Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations”, that immediately went into effect on November 30, 2020.

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2020 forced millions of employers to adapt their business models to allow employees to work from home and it looks as if this trend will continue indefinitely for many employers. With this in mind, employers should be aware of certain unintended consequences of having a workforce that telecommutes, namely the creation of additional repositories of electronic data that may be discoverable later in litigation. Given that this is the new normal, businesses should take this opportunity to review and update their data retention and litigation hold policies to ensure that they are meeting their obligations and setting themselves up to be successful should this data be needed in the future. Here are four simple steps you can take now to update your protocols.

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Exemption from overtime is dependent on two factors: an employee’s salary and an employee’s duties. Effective October 3, 2020, new regulations issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry took effect. These regulations began expanding eligibility for overtime based on salary and updating the task-related tests for determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime.

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On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom approved Senate Bill No. 1159, which creates a framework for COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims. The new law adds Section 3212.88 to the California Labor Code and applies to employees of employers with 5 or more employees (other than first responders and certain health workers) who test positive during an outbreak at the employee’s specific place of employment. The law will remain effective until January 1, 2023.

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On August 5, 2020, Georgia Governor Kemp signed into law “Charlotte’s Law,” providing additional workplace protections to working mothers who need to express breast milk during working hours. Charlotte’s Law went into effect on August 5, 2020, and applies to all private employers.

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On September 9, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1867 immediately expanding supplemental paid sick leave (“SPSL”) for COVID-19-related reasons for employers who did not qualify for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) because of size. The new law, codified as Labor Code section 248.1 (“LC 248.1”), requires compliance by September 19, 2020.

Here is what you need to know.

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