Recent Change to California Employment Law

While some aspects of the law and legal doctrine date back more than 1,000 years ago, when empires were fighting each other in Western Europe, a good portion of our laws and our legal system are constantly evolving based upon the will of the people and the actions of legislative bodies.

to-sign-a-contract-3-1221952-mFor this reason, is it important to review all recent changes to the law from time-to-time. A news article from The National Law Review takes a look at recent changes to employment law in the state of California. One of the recent changes was that the word “alien” has been removed from the California Labor Code.

As our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys understand, many people were offended by the use of the term alien and noted that it is no longer used in any other context. Having the term in the labor code was essentially a form of codified discrimination, and that is unacceptable in our modern society.

Another major change in California labor law is that grocery workers must be given preferential treatment following a change in control of the supermarket or grocery store. The problem with working at a grocery store, whether we are talking about a family-owned corner store or a large supermarket owned by a corporation, is that there is a great deal of turnover in ownership. Supermarkets are constantly changing owners and changing names. This is a big problem for workers who are often laid off when their store closes and then have to reapply for a job with the new owner. In many cases, they were not getting rehired instead of other new employees.

The new law requires the buyer of the store to maintain a list of eligible workers from the store under its prior owner, and the new owner can only hire from that list for the first 90 days the new store is up and running. If there are still positions to fill after 90 days, the employer can open the job posting for the general public. However, by this point, all workers at the previous store have first crack at getting a job at the new store.

Another change in the law, or rather a clarification, is that cheerleaders of professional sports teams in California are employees of the organization and not independent contractors. This change came as a result of Assembly Bill 202 (AB 202) and means that cheerleaders will be eligible for unemployment. Traditionally, cheerleaders were paid for each game at which they worked and were provided no other benefits or status as an employee of the team.

There was also a strengthening of the law against employer retaliation through Assembly Bill 987 (AB 987), which makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for requesting any accommodations based upon the employee’s disability or religious beliefs, without regard to whether the accommodation was granted. The issue was that if any employee requested an accommodation, and the accommodation request was denied, there was no economic impact on the business, yet employers were still retaliating against employees for even having made the requests.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

California Employment Law Notes: September 2015, September 4, 2015, National Law Review

More Blog Entries:

Denial of Same-Sex Spousal Benefits Sparks Lawsuit Against Chain, Aug. 2, 2015, Orange County Employment Attorney Blog