Ten New California Employment Laws For 2004
By Daniel Croley Labor and Employment & Litigation, Futterman & Dupree | February 13, 2010
Wage and Hour Lawsuits (Private Attorney General)
While employee rights under the Labor Code abound, an employee may not bring a lawsuit against his employer for a wide variety of violations. Under SB 796, however, they will have a private-right-of-action and the possibility of collecting attorneys' fees for any Labor Code violation for which the Labor Commissioner could impose monetary sanctions. Any damages recovered shall be allocated: 50% to the state; 25% to the employee and 25% to a state educational agency. SB 796 also provides that any misdemeanor violation of the Labor Code shall also be subject to monetary penalties. In the case of employers who have employees at the time of the violation, the penalty will be $100 per employee per pay period for the first infraction up to three years and $200 per employee per pay cycle for each following violation up to three years. For more information, see http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_276_bill_20030908_chaptered.pdf
Careful employers should audit their wage and hour practices in conjunction with labor counsel to assure that they miss the next wave of wage and hour class actions.
Paid Family Leave
Who's Covered and What's the Benefit?
The same employers covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI) will be covered by "Family Temporary Disability Insurance" (FTDI) and this includes most employees of private employers, regardless of size. Eligible employees will get the greater of 55% of their base pay or $728 weekly for 2004 and $840 for 2005, up to six weeks of leave in any rolling 12 month period. Unlike FMLA and CFRA leave, there is no length of service period, though there is a one week waiting period.