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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 19 posts by Lara A. H. Shortz.

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New California Law Seeks to Close the Corporate Gender Gap, But Is It Constitutional?

Think of California and you’re likely to conjure up images of palm trees, movie stars, surfers, the Golden Gate Bridge and maybe even In N Out Burger. But what the Golden State is perhaps best known for is its progressivism. Time and again, causes that take root in California are often precedential, which explains the adage: as California goes, so goes the nation.

Enter Senate Bill 826. Recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, the law requires publicly held, California corporations to have in place at least one female board member. These companies have until December 31, 2019 to comply, and then in 2021, additional measures kick in – when boards with five or more seats will be required to include at least two female directors. The failure of corporations to abide by the new rule comes with a notable price tag – fines from $100,000 to $300,000 can be imposed. (Read More)

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California’s Salary History Ban Just Got a Bit Easier to Understand

That employers in California are not allowed to ask job applicants about their prior compensation is, by now, old news. The prohibition was signed into law in October 2017, when California joined several other jurisdictions nationwide in a move to close the gender pay gap by banning salary history inquiries.

Indeed, California Labor Code §432 makes it unlawful for employers to rely on an applicant’s salary history information in determining whether to extend an offer of employment or the salary to be paid. There is more. The law also requires an employer, upon an applicant’s “reasonable request,” to provide the “pay scale” applicable to the position applied for. (Read More)

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AB 3080: Arbitration and Nondisclosure Agreements in the Crosshairs

Assembly Bill 3080 is pending legislation that should be of great interest to all California employers. The proposed law seeks to prohibit employers in California from requiring an applicant or employee to agree to arbitrate discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims as a condition of employment, continued employment, or receipt of any employment-related benefit. As pointed out in one of our previous blog posts, not only does AB 3080 look to make many employment arbitration agreements unlawful in the Golden State, but it also forbids an employer from prohibiting an employee or independent contractor from disclosing sexual harassment he or she suffers, witnesses or discovers. The upshot: if the bill is signed into law, these banned acts will be characterized as unlawful employment practices under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which would entitle employees to remedies for every violation. (Read More)

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The Gap Narrows

There’s good news regarding the gender pay gap – it continues to narrow, as recently confirmed by the Pew Research Center. No doubt, courts and legislatures throughout the U.S. are doing their part to ensure that this trend continues, which is particularly true out west.

Since this past January 1, 2018, employers in the California have been required to comply with California Labor Code §432.3, which prohibits them from asking job applicants about their salary histories (a law directly aimed at the compensation divide between men and women). And last April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue. (Read more)

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Salary Inquiries Becoming A Thing Of The Past

Attention employers in California, you are the latest to be prohibited from asking questions about a job applicant’s compensation history, a move designed to close the gender pay gap. (Read more)

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Suitable Seating Laws in California: Do Not Read While Standing

Picture this: a grand and bustling hotel lobby bathed in light, impeccably designed, and furnished with beautiful seating areas where guests lounge and enjoy. Adjacent to the stunning lobby, and just steps from the hotel’s entrance, is the busy front desk, staffed by attentive, smartly dressed employees answering questions, checking guests into rooms, and otherwise accommodating all those who approach them.

Noticeably absent from anywhere behind the front desk, however, is a place for these employees to sit. And while it is no surprise that hotel staff is not provided with plush chairs and couches like those adorning the lobby, the lack of suitable seating could raise red flags given the California Supreme Court’s relatively recent clarification of the issue in Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., a class action suit brought on behalf of pharmacy cashiers and bank tellers for violation of certain California Wage Orders issued by the California Industrial Welfare Commission (“Wage Orders”). (Read More)

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Transgender Bathroom Laws in California: What Employers Need to Know

The rights and civil liberties of transgender people have become an important topic openly discussed and debated nationwide. Clearly, the issues confronting the transgender community are many, but it seems press coverage has boiled its plight down to a rather narrow question: which public restroom should transgender men, women, boys and girls use? (Read More)

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Hoteliers Taking Aim at Airbnb

No doubt, Airbnb has found its way prominently onto the radar screens of those occupying the hospitality space. But the question remains: how much of a threat is the short-term rental platform to hotels and resorts? (Read More)

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Arbitration Agreements: Do Yours Include All Necessary Carve Outs?

Attention employers, including those of you in the hospitality space. The California Supreme Court issued a ruling within the last week significantly impacting your ability to arbitrate certain disputes with employees. Consequently, if you have entered into any stand-alone arbitration agreements with employees or employment contracts with arbitration provisions – or should you plan on doing so going forward – read on. (Read More)

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No Relief in Sight: Ninth Circuit Refuses to Block LA Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance

Unfortunately for Los Angeles hotel owners, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s refusal to block the Los Angeles Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance (Hotel Ordinance) which, among other things, raises the City’s hourly minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37.  The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel affirms a May 2015 decision to deny preliminary injunctive relief to hotel industry groups American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). The groups appealed to the Ninth Circuit, claiming that the ordinance interferes with labor—management relations and is thus pre-empted by federal labor law. For hotel properties that have been clamoring to comply with this union-backed ordinance since its passage in 2014, this decision deals a further blow to their business model, and means that full legal compliance is now an absolute necessity. (Read More)