The Lester & Cantrell Legal Blog

Criminal Background Checks Clarified under SB 1412

SB 1412. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

SB 1412 offers clarifications on the criminal history law. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

Although current California law prohibits employers from asking applicants about judicially sealed or expunged convictions, SB 1412 now offers some clarifications.

For example, some employers — for example school districts — are required by state, federal, or local law to conduct criminal background checks. SB 1412 makes allowances for these circumstances when “particular convictions” are legally prohibited. Examples of relevant convictions in a school setting include a violent or serious felony, sex offense and a controlled substance offense.

SB 1412 defines “particular conviction” as “a conviction for specific criminal conduct or a category of criminal offenses prescribed by any federal law, federal regulation or state law that contains requirements, exclusions, or both, expressly based on that specific criminal conduct or category of criminal offenses.”

Those employers not required by state or federal law to consider criminal convictions must follow the restrictions in Section 432.7. This states that they cannot request criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made.

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 1123 allows family of US Armed Forces members to take paid leave for military activities

SB 1123 allows spouses of US Armed Forces members to collect California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits during time off for military-related activities.

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash.

Among California’s newly signed employment laws is SB 1123, which allows immediate family of US Armed Forces members to collect California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits during time off for military-related activities. The states of New York and Washington currently offer similar programs.

The new law extends to spouses, domestic partners, children and parents of  “covered active duty members” deployed in a foreign country. Examples of qualifying exigencies covered under the paid family leave include spending time with the service member during leave, military ceremonies and briefings, and meetings related to financial/legal/childcare arrangements.

Up to 12 weeks of protected leave is available for qualifying activities under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The law goes into effect on January 1, 2021. 

To see the text of Senate Bill 1123, please click here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1123

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.

Minimum Wage increases to $12 an hour

California’s state minimum wage increased on Jan. 1, as part of the planned mandatory raises put in place by SB 3 in 2016. This year, businesses with 25 and fewer employees are required to pay $11 hourly. Businesses with 26 and more employees are required to pay $12 an hour.

SB 3 established that California businesses employing 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $15 by 2020. Employers with 25 or fewer employees have until 2023 to reach the $15-per-hour rate. 

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 1300 broadens employer responsibilities of harassment

SB 1300 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, broadening the responsibility of businesses who have knowledge of harassment acts committed by nonemployees (such as volunteers, contractors, applicants and unpaid interns) and fail to take immediate corrective action.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment of any kind, whether based on sex, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

SB 1300 prohibits businesses from requiring either of the following items as a condition of employment, or in exchange for a raise or bonus. As such, these items will be unenforceable:

(1) requiring the execution of a release of a claim or right under FEHA

(2) requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Under the bill, businesses are authorized to provide bystander intervention training to their employees, but it is not required.

Furthermore, SB 1300 offers clarification on several court decisions:

• Affirms Harris v. Forklift Systems, 510 U.S. 17 (1993) decision

• Rejects United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Brooks v. City of San Mateo, 229 F.3d 917 (2000)

• Affirms Reid v. Google, Inc., 50 Cal.4th 512 (2010) decision

• Rejects decision in Kelley v. Conco Companies, 196 Cal.App.4th 191 (2011)

• Affirms Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc., 178 Cal.App.4th 243 (2009) decision 

To learn more about SB 1300, go to 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.

SB 826 requires at least one female on board of directors

Under SB 826, publicly held corporations with executive offices in California must have at least one female on its board of directors.

Under SB 826, publicly held corporations with executive offices in California must have at least one female on its board of directors.

One of the latest laws signed by Jerry Brown is SB 826, which requires that publicly held corporations with executive offices in California must have at least one female on its board of directors. By Dec. 31, 2021, the requirement moves up to a minimum of two female directors (if there are five on the board) and three female directors (if there are at least six on the board).

The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Businesses that are unsure if they qualify can look at their corporation’s SEC 10-K form to confirm their California location. The law applies to both domestic and foreign publicly held corporations.

The California Secretary of State will be responsible for enforcing the new law.

The SOS will be required to publish a report on its website by July 1, 2019, documenting the number of corporations that have at least one female director.

By March 1, 2020, the SOS must publish an annual report on its website stating:

  • the number of publicly held corporations in compliance with the new law during the preceding calendar year
  • the number of publicly held corporations that moved their U.S. headquarters into or out of California from another state during the preceding calendar year
  • the number of publicly held corporations that are no longer publicly traded, and therefore no longer required to comply with the new law.

Companies that don’t comply with the law will be subject to stiff fines:

  • $100,000 for failure to file board member information in a timely manner with the Secretary of State
  • $100,000 for a first violation
  • $300,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

To read more about the new law, go to 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.

Attorney James Sohn joins Lester & Cantrell, LLP

Please join us in welcoming attorney James Sohn to the team of Lester & Cantrell, LLP.

Before joining the firm, James worked as in-house litigation counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company where he defended individuals and businesses in lawsuits involving auto accidents, premises liability, dog bites, and defective products. Before Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, James was an associate attorney at Clayson, Mann, Yaeger & Hansen where he worked in many different areas of practice including employment discrimination, wage and hour, personal injury, real property, trusts, probate, business disputes, business transactions, and estate planning.

James has extensive experience in written discovery, depositions, law and motion, mediations, and trial preparation. He has litigated administrative, bench, and jury trials. Additionally, James has handled several different business law matters such as forming LLC’s, revising employee handbooks, and preparing various kinds of contracts.

Outside of work, James loves spending time with his wife and children, serving in his church, and surfing.