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Hunt Ortmann is one of the foremost authorities on California construction law, contracts, dispute resolution and litigation offering additional legal services in the areas of business and commercial law, employment matters and labor law compliance, real estate, insurance and suretyship.

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NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS IMPACTING EMPLOYERS-Part 1 of a 3-part Series

December 6, 2019

The California Legislature had another prolific year with several new bills impacting employers beginning on January 1, 2020. The following summary of the new laws is designed to serve as a guide for further action by employers to seek education and advice regarding compliance.

Some new Bills that may require your attention are:

Assembly Bill 749- Restrictions on “No Rehire” Provisions in Settlement Agreements

When settling claims with an aggrieved employee, Employers may no longer require language prohibiting rehire of the aggrieved employee with the employer or any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, division or contractor of the employer, with one exception.  If an employer, in good faith, determines that an employee engaged in sexual harassment or sexual assault. An employer is not required to employ or rehire a person if there is a legitimate nondiscriminatory or nonretaliatory reason to terminate or refuse to rehire the employee.

Assembly Bill 9- Extension on Employment Discrimination Administrative Complaints

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes unlawful a broad range of employment and housing practices, including discrimination and harassment against employees and tenants. Under FEHA, an aggrieved person has one year from the date of an unlawful practice to file a verified complaint forms with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  An aggrieved person is required to exhaust administrative remedies in this fashion, as the department has the This bill extends the time limitation within which an administrative complaint of discrimination may be filed to three years from the date of knowledge of the facts of an alleged unlawful practice. 

Assembly Bill 1768- Expanded Definition of Public Works for Prevailing Wage

On public works projects, California law maintains certain requirements regarding the payment of prevailing wages, the regulation of working hours, and for securing workers’ compensation protection. It is a misdemeanor to willfully violate the law relating to the payment of the general prevailing rate of per diem wages to workers on public works projects.

This bill expands the definition of public works to include work conducted during site assessment or feasibility studies. This bill also specifies that preconstruction work, including design, site assessment, feasibility studies, and land surveying, is deemed to be part of a public work, regardless of whether any further construction work is conducted.

Hunt Ortmann’s Employment Law Group excels in handling litigation and administrative matters, document drafting, updating, and revision, training, and general advice to provide our clients with peace of mind and confidence in the ever-changing employment environment.

JoLynn M. Scharrer is a shareholder at Hunt Ortmann and leads the firm’s Employment Law Group and Insurance Group. Our team is ready to guide you with handling your employment matters.  Please contact us at employment@huntortmann.com.

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