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REHIRE PROVISIONS IN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS EXPLAINED

Currently, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1002.5, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, prohibits “no-rehire” provisions in settlement agreements, i.e., provisions that prevent, or otherwise restrict an employee from obtaining future employment with the employer or any related entity. The only exception is where an employer has made a “good faith determination” that the former employee engaged in sexual harassment or sexual assault.

AB 2143 amends this law in three ways:

AB 2143 clarifies that, the employer must have made a good faith determination, “before the aggrieved person filed the claim,” that the former employee engaged in sexual harassment or assault.

AB 2143  No re-hire provisions are allowed when the former employee engaged in “any criminal conduct,” (i.e., no longer limited to sexual harassment or sexual assault)  

AB 2143 The prohibition against “no-rehire” provisions in settlement agreements does not apply where the former employee did not file their complaint in good faith.

EXPANDED SUCCESSOR LIABILITY FOR WAGE AND HOUR JUDGMENTS

Effective January 1, 2021, AB 3075 makes it easier for workers to enforce judgments for unpaid wages by making certain successor businesses liable for their predecessor’s unpaid wage and hour judgments. 

EXTENDED PERIOD TO FILE DLSE COMPLAINTS AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS

As of January 1, 2021, AB 1947 makes significant changes to existing laws: (1) revising Labor Code section 98.7 to increase the time to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement from six months to one year; and (2) authorizing courts to award reasonable attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs who bring successful retaliation claims under Labor Code section 1102.5.

CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT APPLIES TO SMALLER EMPLOYERS

Starting January 1, 2021, employers with as few as five employees will have to comply with the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  Previously, CFRA only applied to employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the worksite. However, the new CFRA rules expand the scope and require employers with five or more employees and also eliminates the requirement that employees work within 75 miles of the same worksite.  Employers covered by the expanded CFRA are required to provide unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks during each 12-month period for employees to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a family member with a serious medical condition.

EMPLOYMENT ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS

IN 2020,  Labor Code section 432.6, would prohibit employers from requiring employees to enter into arbitration agreements covering claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Labor Code as a condition of employment. This law has been challenged as being preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  Time will tell how the courts will rule on this important issue.

INFORMATION ABOUT HOW COVID 19 IMPACTS YOUR EMPLOYMENT

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/03/DFEH-Employment-Information-on-COVID-19-FAQ_ENG.pdf

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/General-Industry.html

www.mediation-project.com

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/InfectionMitigationinBehavioralHealthFacilitiesCOVID19FAQs.aspx

https://www.asam.org/Quality-Science/covid-19-coronavirus/infection-mitigation-in-residential-treatment-facilities