The Lester & Cantrell Legal Blog

AB 9 extends discrimination claim’s statute of limitations

AB 9 Employment Discrimination

AB 9 has extended the statute of limitations to three years for complaints alleging employment discrimination. Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash.

Assembly Bill 9 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, amending the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to extend the statute of limitations from one to three years for complaints alleging employment discrimination.

Designed to assist victims of sexual harassment, AB 9 will require plaintiffs to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) within three years after the incident, before filing a civil lawsuit. The DFEH is largely responsible for enforcing California’s employment and civil rights laws.

The new language of AB 9 extends the statute of limitations to all FEHA protected classes who claim retaliation, harassment or discrimination.

Because of this extended statute of limitations, employers should keep detailed records of any personnel incidents or complaints, along with witness statements, performance evaluations, and other notes pertinent to the matter.

AB 9 prohibits its provisions from being interpreted to revive lapsed claims.

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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.

New minimum wage for California in 2020

California’s minimum wage will rise to $12 hourly with employers 26+ for 2020. Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash.

It’s that time of year again, when employers need to review the new minimum wage in California for 2020. Here’s how it will stack up: All employers with 25 employees or less will pay their minimum wage workers $11 an hour, while those with 26 or more employees will pay $12 an hour.

Since January 1, 2017, California’s minimum wage has been increasing for all businesses and industries. The minimum wage will continue to rise here in the state until 2022, when it will cap at $15 hourly.  All businesses with less than 26 employees will have an additional year until 2023 for each increase.

Keep in mind that some cities have ordinances for higher wages. For example, on July 1, 2020, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Los Angeles City & Los Angeles County minimum wages will increase to $15 hourly (for those with 26 or more employees) or $14.25 hourly (for 25 or fewer employees). On July 1, 2019, the San Francisco minimum wage already increased to $15.59 hourly. Here, the rate is adjusted every year, based on the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.

According to the Inland Empire/ Desert Region Educational Supply and Occupational Demand Analysis for June 2019, the median wage for skilled trades such as EMTs and paramedics was $14.76 hourly, and medical assistants/nursing assistants made a median wage of $14.34 hourly. 

Employers may not use tips as a wager for the hourly payment, nor may they pay minors any less than adults. For questions about the new minimum wage increases, please contact our employment attorneys at the link below.

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.

 

SB330: New law aims to accelerate California housing construction

SB330 aims to accelerate California housing construction. Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash.

Governor Newsom has signed Senate Bill 330 (SB330), also known as the “Housing Crisis Act of 2019.” The new law, which will be in effect through 2025, aims to accelerate California housing construction by banning local governments from freezing new projects — or increasing fees — once an application has been properly submitted. 

There are currently 2.8 million new housing units approved for zoning in California, according to a 2019 report by UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies.

Authored by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), SB330 will help speed up the building permit process from 120 to 90 days for standard projects and 60 days for affordable housing projects. The new law will also prohibit a county or city from changing building design standards, establishing population caps, or reducing the number of allowable housing units. No more than 5 public hearings will be permitted regarding new housing construction projects.

An additional section of SB330 prohibits developers from demolishing rent-controlled housing unless the owners offer relocation assistance to displaced households and offer a “right of first refusal” once new housing is built.

Read more about the bill here.

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.

Governor Newsom signs bill banning mini plastic hotel toiletry bottles

After January 1, 2023, California hotels will no longer be able to provide tiny toiletries in their bathrooms. Photo by Unsplash.

Governor Newsom signed a bill Wednesday that bans all travel-size toiletries from California lodging establishments. Set to take effect in 2023, AB 1162 will fine any hotels using plastic bottles under 12 ounces. Hotels with less than 50 rooms have until 2024 to comply with the new law.

Violations will come with written warnings and $500 fines for EACH DAY the hotels are out of compliance. Subsequent violations are set at $2,000 apiece.

Hotel chains such as Marriott have already begun to make the change, vowing to have wall-mounted dispensers or larger bottles of toiletries in their hotels by December of this year. Walt Disney Co. has promised to take similar action on its cruise ships and resort hotels. Holiday Inn, Kimpton and InterContinental hotels are also following suit throughout their entire chains.

The bill was opposed by Personal Care Products Council , arguing it would hurt personal care companies.

Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) remarked on Twitter: “This bill moves us one step closer to phasing out single use plastic in our society.”

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.

Lester & Cantrell, LLP welcomes Marsha Smith

Marsha Smith

Marsha Smith

Please join our team at Lester & Cantrell, LLP, in welcoming attorney Marsha Smith. Marsha is a civil litigation associate at Lester & Cantrell, LLP. She has experience advising clients from pre litigation to trial preparation including propounding and responding to discovery; preparing law and motion pleadings; taking and defending witness depositions; and working directly with clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel.

Prior to joining the firm, Marsha worked for a general practice law firm where she handled litigated matters and gained experience in transactional work such as estate planning, drafting business contracts, and forming business corporations.

Marsha graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in English Literature. She earned her law degree at Southwestern Law School, where she graduated cum laude. While in law school, she clerked at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Major Crimes Division and volunteered at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Learn more about Marsha

Ruling: Employees may not recover unpaid wages under PAGA

Paga Decision

In a significant victory for employers, the California Supreme Court ruled that employees may not recover unpaid wages for themselves or other coworkers under Section 558 of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

ZB, N.A. and Zions Bancorporation v. Superior Court of San Diego County, No. S246711 (Cal. Sept. 12, 2019) will now limit the ability of employees to circumvent arbitration agreements. PAGA actions have been used by employees in the past to avoid arbitration and begin class action wage dispute claims against their employers. In those cases, the state would collect 75 percent and 25 percent would go to the employees.

Under this new ruling, the Supreme Court said that recovery of unpaid wages is compensatory relief – not a civil penalty – and that only the Labor Commissioner can enforce the recovery of unpaid wages under Section 558.

Read the decision

Do you have questions about the PAGA decision? Call us for a consultation at (951) 300-2690.

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.