Attorney Warren Morten Examines New California Labor and Employment Laws

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Warren Morten, of The Morten Law Group, PC, in light of a National Law Review article about new California labor and employment laws, educates employers on what they need to know in 2016.

The Morten Law Group, PC

This means employers now need to have solid reasons why certain employees make more or less than others. If people have similar jobs but different titles, employers still need to pay them the same. Adding ‘senior’ to an employee’s title won’t help.

In order to ensure compliance with California’s new labor and employment laws, attorney Warren Morten, founder of the The Morten Law Group, PC, is educating the state’s employers on several important details of the laws. “For example, there now exists personal liability for the individual that misclassifies an employee on behalf of the employer,” said Morten, who focuses on employment and business law. “This means that the hiring manager or HR department employee can be held personally liable if they incorrectly classify workers on behalf of their employer.”

Furthermore, according to a March 3, 2016,National Law Review article, AB 622 prohibits misuse of E-Verify (the federal electronic workers’ authorization system). The law imposes penalties of $10,000 per violation and requires compliance with notification protocols upon receipt of notice that E-Verify information does not match federal records. “This is a very costly mistake that is easy to make,” adds Morten.

Additionally, SB 579 expands child-related employee leave, allowing time off to find a school or childcare provider and time off to address childcare or school emergencies, while AB 583 expands the list of employees eligible for California’s military leave protections. Whistleblower protection to an employee who is a family member of a person engaged in protected activities has also been extended. “Now you have to be concerned about what a spouse does or does not do,” said Morten. “From a liability standpoint you will want to ensure a spouse is not engaging in protected activities when disciplining an employee, and when you do discipline or fire an employee you must take care in documenting the details of why such discipline is necessary.”

New California labor and employment laws also allow the labor commissioner to levy business accounts and place stop orders on a company’s business for wage and hour violations. As for the California Fair Pay Act, new laws target gender-based wage differentials by relaxing the standards necessary to show a violation and shifting the burden of proof to employers to “affirmatively demonstrate” that a disparity is based entirely on a valid factor.

“This means employers now need to have solid reasons why certain employees make more or less than others,” said Morten. “If people have similar jobs but different titles, employers still need to pay them the same. Adding ‘senior’ to an employee’s title won’t help.”

About The Morten Law Group, PC
Attorneys at The Morten Law Group, PC have a consistent track record of counseling and leading organizations by bringing simplicity in solving otherwise complex situations, and creating opportunities for growth and acceleration while minimizing risk. Practice areas include business law, litigation/dispute resolution, employment law, and estate planning/probate. For more information, please call (949) 579-2760. The law office is located at 19200 Von Karman Ave., 4th floor, Irvine, CA 92612.

About the NALA™
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