The Lester & Cantrell Legal Blog

Crown Act prohibits natural hair discrimination

SB 188 will protect black employees and K-12 public school students from discrimination based on their natural hair. Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash.

A new bill, signed into law by Governor Newsom on July 6, protects employees and K-12 public school students from discrimination based on their natural black hair. Senate Bill 188, also known as the CROWN Act, will prohibit businesses or schools from banning such traditionally black hairstyles as dreadlocks, cornrows, Afros and braids/twists in their dress codes or grooming policies.

The Crown Act bill, written by Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, was inspired by a high school student in New Jersey, who was asked to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit an upcoming wrestling match.  

The natural hairstyles are now included in California’s list of classifications protected from discrimination, including race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability and sexual orientation.  Lawmakers in the states of New York and New Jersey are expected to follow suit this year.

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The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

New California minimum wage increases for July 1, 2019

Photo by Unsplash

On July 1, 2019, California’s minimum wage increases in several California cities, most notably Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu here in the Southland. These cities will see a minimum wage increase from $13.25 to $14.25 hourly for businesses with 26 or more employees. Those with 25 or fewer employees will go up to $13.25 an hour. The current overtime pay in California is $15 per hour. 

Other raises on July 1, 2019 include:

Berkeley – $15.65 hourly for all businesses

Emeryville – $16 hourly for all businesses

Los Angeles City & County – $13.25 to $14.25 hourly for businesses with 26 or more employees

Malibu – $13.25 to $14.25 hourly for businesses with 26 or more employees

Milpitas – $15 hourly for all businesses

Pasadena – $14.25 (pending City Council action)

Sacramento – $11.75 for all businesses

San Francisco – $15.65 (TBD)

San Leandro – $14 for all businesses

Santa Monica – $13.25 to $14.25 hourly for businesses with 26 or more employees

Businesses are required in this areas to update their minimum wage postings in a visible area of their workplace or job site. The increases are a continued result of SB-3, which was signed into law in 2016.

Disclaimer

The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

SB 171 would require some private employers to report pay data

The “Disclosure of Pay Equity Data” bill, recently passed in senate, and pending assignment to assembly committee, would require private businesses with more than 100 employees to sort their employees into 10 job classifications. Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash.

SB 171, authored by Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), would impose Federal EEO-1 pay data reporting requirements to California employers at the state level.

If passed, SB 171 would require private California businesses with more than 100 employees to “submit a pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing that contains specified wage information.” This would be required on or before March 31, 2021 and on or before March 31 each year afterward.

The “Disclosure of Pay Equity Data” bill, recently passed in senate, and pending assignment to assembly committee, would require such businesses to sort their employees into 10 job classifications and submit a report outlining each employee’s race, sex and ethnicity in each category. This would be applicable to all businesses who are required to file an annual federal Employer Information Report.

Follow the bill’s progress.

Disclaimer

The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Prop 63 to restrict California ammunition sales starting July 1

Prop 63 goes into effect on July 1, 2019, making it more difficult for California residents to buy ammunition.

Photo by Ryan on Unsplash

Prop 63 goes into effect on July 1, 2019, making it more difficult for California residents to buy ammunition.

Passed on the November 2016 ballot, the Prop 63 law will require all businesses selling ammunition to have a customer show a government-issued photo ID and pay for their own background check from the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS). A statewide criminal background check typically runs $10-$20. It will also require all California residents to buy ammo in person from licensed dealers instead of online.

Additional restrictions under Prop 63 include fines for failing to report lost/stolen guns and making ammunitions magazines holding more than 10 rounds illegal. However, in March 2019, a San Diego-based U.S. District judge upheld a lawsuit against the ban of high-capacity magazines, stating that it “hits at the center of the Second Amendment and its burden is severe.”

Disclaimer

The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

SB 142 proposes new building code requirements for lactation spaces

SB 142 proposes new building code requirements to accommodate lactating employees. Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash.

Employers are likely aware of the new laws regarding lactation accommodation in the workplace, but SB 142 seeks to expand these regulations to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC).

Authored by Senator Scott Wiener, the bill would require the CBSC to develop and propose new building code requirements to include lactation rooms. The CBSC would be required to use the San Francisco “Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance” as the starting point for framing new building standards.

Additionally, the bill would require employers to provide lactating mothers with access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee’s workspace.

SB 142 passed in the Senate, and is pending in the Assembly Committee. Follow the bill’s progress at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB142

Disclaimer

The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Prop 65 coffee warning overturned by State

California’s Office of Administrative Law has ruled that coffee can be exempt from Prop 65 warnings.

California’s Office of Administrative Law this week ruled that coffee can be exempt from Proposition 65 cancer warnings, reversing a decision that was made by California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle in May 2018.

Berle had argued that since roasted coffee contains trace amounts of acrylamide, it fell under the Prop 65 rule. The decision met with quite a bit of backlash, prompted by groups including California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), National Coffee Association, and even the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In August of 2018, the FDA stated that the Prop 65 coffee warning would mislead coffee consumers. “Such a warning could mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health when it actually could provide health benefits,” the FDA stated. “Misleading labeling on food violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. No state law can require food to bear a warning that violates federal law.”

Disclaimer

The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.