The Lester & Cantrell Legal Blog

AB 51 aims to ban some arbitration and settlement agreements

AB-51 Employment discrimination: enforcement. Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.

AB 51, a new bill proposed by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), aims to ban arbitration agreements and settlement agreements of labor and employment claims as a condition for work. Two previous and very similar bills, AB 3080 and AB 465, were vetoed in previous years. California Chamber of Commerce views the bill as a “job killer.”

The bill was heard on March 6 by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, and passed with a vote of 5-1. Those voting yes included Bonta, Carrillo, Gonzalez, Kalra (chair), Luz and Rivas. Flora was the sole “no” vote.

The bill is opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce due to the following reasons:

It: “(1) essentially prohibits arbitration of labor and employment claims as a condition of employment and is likely preempted by federal law; 

(2) interferes with and prohibits settlement agreements for labor and employment claims; 

(3) exposes employers to criminal liability regarding arbitration agreements; and, 

(4) adds another private right of action onto employers under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).” 

The Chamber states that AB 51 “will create more litigation, significant delays in the resolution of disputes, and higher costs for employers and employees.” 

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 721 raises inspection standards for decks and balconies

One of California’s newest building codes affecting the real estate and construction industry is SB 721, which raises the standards of inspection for decks and balconies on buildings with three or more multi-family units.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash.

One of California’s newest building codes affecting the real estate and construction industry is SB 721, which raises the standards of inspection for decks and balconies on buildings with three or more multi-family units. Existing law allows enforcement authorities “to enter and inspect any buildings or premises whenever necessary to secure compliance with or prevent a violation.”

The new code sets a deadline of Jan. 1, 2025 for the elevated exterior elements to be inspected by a licensed architect, engineer or contractor. The requirement continues with a Jan. 1 deadline every 6 years thereafter.

Any immediate safety threats found by the inspector must be reported to the building’s owner within 15 days. Emergency repairs should be done immediately, and the local enforcement agency must also be notified. Discoveries that are not an immediate threat must be repaired within 180 days.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB721

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.

Two new California laws that affect restaurant owners

Restaurant business owners have two new California laws to comply with in 2019. SB 1192, the “California Healthy-by-Default Kids’ Meal Drinks” bill, now requires restaurants to serve water or milk as the default kids meal beverage. Parents will need to specifically request soda if they wish their child to enjoy one with their kids meal, and there should not be an additional cost. Written by Senator Bill Monning, the bill was co-sponsored by groups including the American Heart Association and YMCA.

A second bill, AB 1884, bans all full-service restaurants in California from automatically giving out plastic straws with drinks. Customers must specifically request the straws when ordering. The law does not apply to fast-food, coffee shops, delis, or takeout deliveries. Restaurant owners who don’t comply can be fined up to $300 a year, or $25 a day.

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.

Businesses using blacklisted port trucking companies may be held liable for damages under SB 1402

SB 1402

SB 1402. Photo by Unsplash.

Companies using drayage (ship-to-warehouse) services in California should pay close attention to California Senate Bill 1402, a new law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The bill essentially makes your company responsible for unpaid wages, expenses, damages and penalties if the port trucking companies you hire have labor and employment violations.

SB 1402 required California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) to establish an online “blacklist” directory with the names of port drayage companies who have unsatisfied labor malpractice legal judgments against them. Companies appear on the list only after the period of possible judicial appeals has ended.

Under the new law, any businesses who hire these blacklisted port drayage companies will be held jointly liable for 50 percent of the wages and damages owed to its drivers.

To avoid fines and responsibility, employers should never hire a blacklisted provider (check the list regularly!), and focus only on companies that pay their drayage truckers hourly. It is also wise to avoid, or carefully question, drayage providers who hire independent owner-operators.

If your company has an existing contract with a blacklisted provider, you are not liable for damages until the contract ends, or 90 days after the company appears on the blacklist (whichever is shorter).

View current blacklisted providers.

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.

AB 3018 amends skilled and trained workforce requirements

AB 3108. Photo by chandler denise on Unsplash.

Photo by Chandler Denise on Unsplash.

Public agency contractors who fail to meet AB 3018’s new skilled and trained workforce requirements could face stiff penalties of up to $10,000 per month — and three years of disbarment from public works — depending on the seriousness of the violation.

In 2019, 50 percent of employed journeypersons working on public agency construction contracts are required to be graduates of a certified apprenticeship program – that’s up from 30 percent last year. In 2020, the requirement will rise to 60 percent.

Fines for first offenses, imposed by the Labor Commissioner, will be up to $5,000 for each month of violations. Second offenses (which take place within 3 years of the first violation) may cost up to $10,000 per month of violations. Willful violations with the intent to defraud will result in disbarment from public works projects for up to three years.

Contractors are required to provide monthly reports of compliance. If the contractor fails to comply, public agencies may withhold 150 percent of the monthly bill.

Advance planning is recommended for all projects requiring the skilled and trained workforce, as qualified labor may become increasingly difficult to find. 

For more information, please visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB3018

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.

AB 2610 – Meal Break Law Adjusted for Commercial Feed Drivers

Photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash

With the passage of AB 2610, commercial drivers transporting feed to customers in rural areas will be permitted to deviate from standard California meal break laws. Generally, employers must provide 30-minute meal breaks for employees who work more than 5 hours a day.

AB 2610 will allow commercial feed drivers to work up to 6 hours before taking the required meal break if the driver’s regular pay rate is no less than 1 1/2 times California’s minimum wage, and the driver receives overtime compensation.

For more information about AB 2610, check out the California Legislative Information website.

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.