2020
Employment Law
Key Statutory Developments

Exempt Status of Instructors at Private Colleges and Universities: AB 736

AB 736 adds section 515.7 to the Labor Code and involves the classification of instructors at private, non-profit institutions of higher education. It provides that these instructors (as defined in Education Code section 66010, subdivision (b)) are exempt employees under Industrial Wage Order 4-2001 or 5-2001 when certain qualifications apply. AB 736 is aimed at adjunct faculty and is the legislature’s attempt to clarify when these instructors qualify as exempt professionals under California wage and hour law. The bill is a response to ambiguities in the Labor Code that led some colleges and universities to classify adjunct faculty as hourly, non-exempt employees. AB 736 was passed as urgency legislation and became effective Sept. 9, 2020.

More analysis on this and related topics from CEB:
Current Awareness Articles
New Wage and Hour Laws From the 2020 California Legislative Session
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California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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The Endless Dynamex Saga: AB 2257

In the latest legislative move in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903, which introduced the ABC test for the purpose of determining employee status, AB 2257 repealed Labor Code section 2750.3 and replaced it with Labor Code sections 2775 through 2787. AB 2257 became effective on Sept. 4 as urgency legislation. The bill retained the ABC test, but recast the descriptions of certain previously exempted occupations and included even more exemptions. The most significant aspect of AB 2257, and undoubtedly the one that will be the focus of future litigation, are the various exemptions from the ABC test that appear in Labor Code sections 2776 through 2784, including exemptions based on the relationship between specified parties, exemptions for specified persons or entities, specified persons and occupations in the performing arts, and contracts for professional services.

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The Never-Ending Story: Details on the Latest Legislative Developments in the Aftermath of Dynamex
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Advising California Employers and Employees
California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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Labor Commissioner Representation in Arbitration: SB 1384

Under Labor Code section 98.4, the Labor Commissioner is empowered to represent indigent wage claimants in superior court proceedings to enforce California’s wage and hour laws. SB 1384, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2021, expands the Labor Commissioner’s jurisdiction to permit such representation irrespective of whether the proceedings occur in a judicial or arbitral forum. It also permits the Labor Commissioner to represent an indigent wage claimant in an arbitration when the claimant was unable to have their claim adjudicated in a Berman hearing because of the entry of an order compelling arbitration. Arbitration agreements have long been a staple in the employment context, and SB 1384 appears to be an effort to bring wage claim adjudication in line with this reality.

More analysis on this and related topics from CEB:
Current Awareness Articles
New Wage and Hour Laws from the 2020 California Legislative Session
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California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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Employers’ Annual Pay Data Report: SB 973

On or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each subsequent year, private employers with 100 or more employees and who are required to file an annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) under federal law must submit a pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The law requires collection of “Component 2”-type pay data for California employers by race and gender that was halted on the federal level in the EEO-1.

More analysis on this and related topics from CEB:
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Five New Laws With the Most Impact on California Employers
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Advising California Employers and Employees

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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Extended Deadline to File Labor Commissioner Complaints: AB 1947

Existing law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against employees who complain about Labor Code violations or other violations of law. AB 1947 amends Labor Code section 98.7 to provide a longer time for employees to report complaints to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, extending it from 6 months to one year. AB 1947 also allows employees to recover attorney’s fees in court actions alleging retaliation.

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Five New Laws With the Most Impact on California Employers
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Employee Leave Laws: Compliance and Litigation

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Expansion: SB 1383

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, SB 1383 significantly expands the CFRA by extending its applicability to employers with 5 or more employees, compared to 50 or more employees currently. In addition, the new law expands the family members for whom an employee can take leave to include care of grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and domestic partners with a serious health condition, in addition to existing leave to care for a child, parent, or spouse. This law will have a significant impact on small employers who have not previously been subject to the CFRA.

More analysis on this and related topics from CEB:
Current Awareness Articles
Five New Laws With the Most Impact on California Employers
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Employee Leave Laws: Compliance and Litigation

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Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
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California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: AB 1867

On Sept. 9, Governor Newsom signed AB 1867 into law, providing supplemental paid sick leave for California employees and codifying provisions of Executive Order N-51-20 that had already provided paid sick leave for “food sector workers.” California employers should take time to review the new law to ensure compliance, even if they were covered under the prior executive order. The new law creates obligations for employers to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to non-food sector employees starting no later than Sept. 19, 2020.

More analysis on this and related topics from CEB:
Current Awareness Articles
Five New Laws With the Most Impact on California Employers
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Print
Employee Leave Laws: Compliance and Litigation

CLE
Key Developments in Employment Law 2020
This CEB program is available via a CEB Passport, Course Pass, or Compliance Package.