2020 has been a challenging year for employers. At our recent Annual Labor and Employment Legal Update, we covered new case law and best practices to keep your workplaces working.
Partner Lisa Ryan and Cook Brown attorneys Ian Sangster and Dylan Rupchock provided a detailed overview of key legislative changes including the dramatic expansion of California’s Family Rights Act (CFRA) to small employers and changes to CFRA impacting large employers.
Other recent legislative enactments discussed included paid sick leave changes, COVID notice requirements, workers compensation presumptions, and changes to independent contractor laws.
Here are a few frequently asked questions from the presentation:
Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Under AB 1867
AB 1867 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave only applies to employers with 500 or more employees, regardless of where they are located. Pursuant to AB 1867, supplemental paid sick leave must be set forth on the employees’ itemized wage statement. However, there is no separate federal obligation to set forth emergency paid sick leave still “available” under the FFCRA.
Q: Is the “wage statement” the same thing as the posters?
A: No. The wage statement is the portion of the paycheck that the employee retains showing hours, rates, deductions, etc. Accrued sick leave information must be provided with the wage statement either on the statement or an attachment.
California Family Rights Act
Full-time employees may take leave of up to 12 work weeks in a 12-month period. Part-time employees may take leave on a proportional basis. The leave does not need to be taken in one continuous period of time.
Employers are not required to pay employees during a CFRA leave. An employer may require an employee to use accrued vacation time or other accumulated paid leave other than sick time. If the CFRA leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition, the use of sick time can be required. If the employer provides health benefits under a group plan, the employer must continue to make these benefits available during the leave. Similarly, the employee is entitled to continue accruing seniority and participate in other benefit plans.
Q: Does the employer still have to continue the employer’s contribution towards the employee’s premiums? Or does the employee assume the entire premium but still at the group rate?
A: If the employer provides health benefits under a group plan, the employer must continue to make these benefits available during the leave and pay the employer contribution as if the employee was still working. But the employee must also pay for their portion of the health insurance premium, if any. This is why it is important to set clear expectations with any employee going on a family medical leave regarding how those premiums will be collected.
Sexual Harassment Training
California employers must provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to employees every two years. All employees should have completed training by January 1, 2021. SB 1343 required that DFEH make online training courses available on the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace. As noted the DFEH regulations require that employers now link to the DFEH Training, which is available at: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/shpt/
Employers must provide employees with a poster or fact sheet developed by the Department regarding Sexual Harassment. Finally, according to DFEH, in the case of a temporary employee employed by a temporary services employer, as defined in Section 201.3 of the Labor Code, to perform services for clients, the training shall be provided by the temporary services employer, not the client.
Note: This presentation is for general information purposes only. It does not provide specific legal advice. It is not intended to nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions regarding any of the issues discussed, please contact your counsel.