Tag: Labor Code
AB 1844 (Passed): This bill would prohibit an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee or applicant disclose user name or password information for personal social media, or to divulge any personal social media.
Chapter 2.5. Employer Use of Social Media
980. (a) As used in this chapter, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.
(b) An employer shall not require or request an employee or applicant for employment to do any of the following:
(1) Disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media.
(2) Access personal social media in the presence of the employer.
(3) Divulge any personal social media, except as provided in subdivision (c).
(c) Nothing in this section shall affect an employer’s existing rights and obligations to request an employee to divulge personal social media reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or employee violation of applicable laws and regulations, provided that the social media is used solely for purposes of that investigation or a related proceeding.
(d) Nothing in this section precludes an employer from requiring or requesting an employee to disclose a username, password, or other method for the purpose of accessing an employer-issued electronic device.
(e) An employer shall not discharge, discipline, threaten to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by the employer that violates this section. However, this section does not prohibit an employer from terminating or otherwise taking an adverse action against an employee or applicant if otherwise permitted by law.
SB 1255 (Signed): This bill would specify circumstances under which “injury” would be presumed to an employee as a result of an employer not providing wage statements, or providing incomplete wage statements. Presumed injury would allow the employee to recover penalties and/or actual damage. Presumed injury could be shown by the failure to provide a wage statement at all, or by the failure to include the employee’s name and last 4 digits of the social security number. It could also be shown by failing to provide complete wage information, causing the employee to be unable to determine (from the statement alone) gross and net wages earned, deductions therefrom, and the name and address of the employer.
“An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($100) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not to exceed an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
AB 1744 (Signed, effective July 1, 2013): This bill would require temporary services employers to include additional information on itemized wage statements for employees, including the rate of pay for each assignment, the name and address of the entity that secured the services and total hours worked for each entity.
AB 2103 (Signed): Payment of a fixed salary to a nonexempt employee shall be deemed to provide compensation only for the employee’s regular, non-overtime hours, notwithstanding any private agreement to the contrary.
AB 2674 (Signed): This bill would amend section 1198.5 of the Labor Code relating to employee rights to inspect personnel files. The bill would require employers to maintain employee personnel files for at least 3 years following termination of employment, and to permit current and former employees (or their designated representatives) to inspect and copy personnel records, within 30 days of a request to do so by the employee. The bill specifies that an employer is not required to comply with more than 50 requests for copies of personnel records by a representative of employee(s) in one calendar month.
And of course, HR That Works!
A California appellate court just granted a class action opportunity against 99 Cents Only Stores which I believe will invite a number of copycat claims. It boils down to this: If 99 Cents Only Stores didn’t provide its employees with seats they can sit on when nobody needs help or nothing needs to get done (when, I ask, is that?) then they have violated the Labor Code and can be assessed a penalty of $100-$200 per pay period. Figure 25 pay periods per year and for every employee you are looking at roughly $5,000 in penalties per year for up to 3 years! Even if each store has only 5 employees/day subject to the suit my math says the award can be as high as $75,000 per store…not including the inevitable attorney fees! Again, unless my math is way off, the total penalty can be as high as $15,000,000. For not supplying employees at a retail establishment with seats. According to their website they have over 200 stores in California. Now you can see why an attorney may be interested in what seems like a trivial matter.
Here’s what the Wage Order states:
Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14 provides: “(A) All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats. [¶] (B) When employees are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature of the work requires standing, an adequate number of suitable seats shall be placed in reasonable proximity to the work area and employees shall be permitted to use such seats when it does not interfere with the performance of their duties.”
Here’s what the Labor Code penalty provision states:
Section 2699, subdivision (f), which was added in 2003, provides in pertinent part: “For all provisions of this code except those for which a civil penalty is specifically provided, there is established a civil penalty for a violation of these provisions, as follows: … (2) If, at the time of the alleged violation, the person employs one or more employees, the civil penalty is one hundred dollars ($100) for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation and two hundred dollars ($200) for each aggrieved employee per pay period for each subsequent violation.”
But of course…
The trial court has discretion to award less than the maximum amount of the civil penalty if “to do otherwise would result in an award that is unjust, arbitrary and oppressive, or confiscatory” in the circumstance of the particular case. (§ 2699, subd. (e)(2).) Let’s hope they use that discretion in this case.
So, my question is: Did 99 Cents Only really say, “Sorry, you can’t have seats?” I can’t believe it was because of the cost. They can probably get them from China, like everything else they sell, for 10 bucks each. Did they do that so employees worked on something instead of sitting down? Or did they say “no” for no good reason? Was it really a corporate-wide policy that somebody thought about in advance? How many people complained and what was the response like? So many questions!
I can see many employers being exposed to this exact same claim. Hopefully you are not one of them! You can read the case by going to http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B220016.PDF.