The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has changed material elements of the 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 1904 to include electronically submittal of injury and illness data for certain industries. This rule will be phased into effect within a two-year period with certain high-risk employers being targeted for more frequent reporting than their low-risk counterparts. Whereas, employers with high injury rates will have injury records available for workers, job seekers, customers, researchers, and the general public that will affect the way they do business. The rule applies to private sector employers covered by OSHA with more than 10 employees. State and local government employers are covered in states with federally approved state OSHA plans. OSHA does not require employers in industries it considers “low hazard” to keep injury records under the new rule. This category includes educational services (schools, colleges, universities, and libraries), medical and dental clinics and laboratories, and other workplaces where AFSCME members are employed. These employers must still report any workplace incident that results in a death or causes three or more employees to be hospitalized, the same as other employers.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates and limit’s retailers’ ability to contact consumers by cell phone, text or prerecorded message. Businesses have serious liabilities for violating TCPA. Developing effective and creative mobile marketing campaigns to promote products and services is the solution to make sure your business TCPA compliant.
The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. PAGA cases must follow the requirements specified in Labor Code Sections 2698 – 2699.5. SB 836 became effective on June 27, 2016. It made important changes in PAGA requirements. These requirements apply prospectively to all pending PAGA cases as well as new ones.
- All new PAGA claim notices must be filed online, with a copy sent by certified mail to the employer.
- All employer cure notices or other responses to a PAGA claim must be filed online, with a copy sent by certified mail to the aggrieved employee or aggrieved employee’s representative.
- A filing fee of $75 is required for a new PAGA claim notice and any initial employer response [cure or other response] to a new PAGA claim notice.
- The filing fee may be waived if the party on whose behalf the notice or response is filed is entitled to in forma pauperis status.
- The time for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to review a notice under Labor Code § 2699.3(a) has been extended from 30 to 60 days.
- When filing a new PAGA lawsuit in court, a filed-stamped copy of the complaint must be provided to LWDA. (Applies only to cases in which the initial PAGA claim notice was filed on or after July 1, 2016.)
- Any settlement of a PAGA action must be approved by the court, whether or not the settlement includes an award of PAGA penalties.
- A copy of a proposed settlement must be provided to LWDA at the same time that it is submitted to the court.
- A copy of the court’s judgment and any other order that awards or denies PAGA penalties must be provided to LWDA.
All items that are required to be provided to the LWDA must be submitted online. All PAGA related notices and documents are no longer required to be submitted to LWDA by certified mail.
Employers of 26 or more employees need to update their handbooks and revise their HR policies. They need to provide wage increases to their minimum wage employees effective July 1, 2016, adopting both minimum wage rules and paid sick leave benefits applicable to all employees who perform at least two hours of work in a particular week within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), enacted on May 11, 2016, represents the significant trade secret reform legislation in years. The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, providing for federal criminal penalties for foreign economic espionage and trade secret theft and adds new federal civil trade secret protections. The Act creates a new cause of action which became effective immediately – for trade secret misappropriation. The Federal Courts take jurisdiction and provide remedies. The plaintiff has a choice of Federal or State remedies. There is whistleblower protection and employment contracts require disclosure about the whistleblower protection and immunity provisions in employee contract “that governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information” that is “entered into or updated after” May 11, 2016. The failure to provide notice will bar exemplary damages or attorney fees against an employee who did not receive notice.