24 episodes

Legal update on the rapidly evolving employment law climate in California and Nevada

CalNeva Law Podcast Brett Sutton, ESQ.

    • Business

Legal update on the rapidly evolving employment law climate in California and Nevada

    What Employers Need to Know About California Meal and Rest Period Laws

    What Employers Need to Know About California Meal and Rest Period Laws

    Brett Sutton and Jared Hague talk about the latest update to California meal and rest period employment laws and what California employers need to know about this recent change. There are little nuances to this law that you need to be aware of and in this episode, Brett and Jared help make suggestions (not legal advice) on how to best navigate this within your company. 
     
    Highlights:
    A bit of background around meal and rest period laws.  There are significant financial consequences if you don’t properly provide meal and rest time to your California employees.  Meal periods are unpaid and rest periods are paid. What penalties should the employer be aware of if they do not accurately do this?  Brett reminds employees what their pay stub needs to say.  Your employees might be taking all the necessary rest breaks, but if you are unable to prove this, you’re on the hook.  Jared brings up the recent case that got brought up in regards to accurate meal and rest period times. With the recent decision, the stakes have increased dramatically.  You really have to revisit what you’re doing and make sure your company is fully compliant. The first starting point is your policy.  Jared recommends doing a quarterly spot check within your company.  Supervisors need employee training to help them understand employment laws and to keep track of meal and rest period breaks.  It is part of a manager’s job to make sure the company complies with meal and rest periods.  It’s hard enough to be in business. Don’t make it harder for yourself.   
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com

    • 35 min
    What You Need to Know About Potential Changes in the National Labor Relations Board

    What You Need to Know About Potential Changes in the National Labor Relations Board

    Today’s special guest is Ryan Lyle from IRI Consultants. Ryan has extensive experience in union representation and they have invited him today to talk about current developments for employers on the National Labor Relations Board. Jared shares his own experience and key takeaways from a recent successful union election. Ryan also discusses topics that will help employers better understand the latest trends happening within the union and shares how he believes workforces will be unionized in the future.
     
    Highlights:
    What is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)? The NLRB has two main areas of responsibility: run union representation elections and administer unfair labor practice charges. Ryan provides an overview of how a union election works in the U.S. He shares what happens in a worst-case scenario when an employer gets surprised by a petition for an election. Ryan also talks about the mandatory meetings that cover the educational aspects of having a union. Jared shares the process they went through and some of the lessons they learned from the recent union election they had in Nevada. To persuade the employees to vote against the union, Jared talks about captive audience meetings and explains why they were critical in their communications. In August 2021, then newly-appointed general counsel of the board, Jennifer Russo released a public memo. Ryan continues to share what it was. Ryan disagrees that captive audience meetings are implicit or implied threats. He explains why. He shares there is now an emphasis on the NLRB making rule changes based on case law and administration. Ryan provides some examples. One of the ways that a union can organize in a workplace is to get authorization cards signed. Ryan shares what the changes will be if the new law passes. Brett and Jared share their thoughts on the potential, significant changes explained by Ryan. Brett summarizes the key takeaways from today’s discussion: assess the risk early, don’t make assumptions, and be proactive in your communications.  
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com
    Iriconsultants.com

    • 29 min
    What You Need to Know about AB-51 Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

    What You Need to Know about AB-51 Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

    Brett Sutton and Jared Hague talk about the recent developments that have happened regarding the AB-51 mandatory arbitration agreement law. Brett first dives in by giving a simple overview of what an arbitration agreement is, how it works, and some of its pros and cons. After, Jared steps in to explain the upcoming legal changes happening within the law and what employers need to know going forward.
     
    Highlights:
    What do employers need to know about mandatory arbitration agreements? The laws can change on any of this information provided today. Before taking action, seek legal counsel for your unique situation. A quick overview of workplace arbitration agreements. All things being equal, employers want to be in front of a trained arbitrator vs. a jury. A huge benefit for California employers is that they can include a class-action waiver in their arbitration agreements. If you’re in an industry that’s not popular with the public, like chemicals or oil, then it’s even more important to favor an arbitration agreement. What are some of the disadvantages of an arbitration agreement? There’s been pushback by certain advocacy groups saying that an arbitration agreement is not fair. Jared steps in and explains what have been some of the latest developments happening in this space. Let’s take a quick look at why the Federal Arbitration Act was created in the first place. What’s the biggest takeaway that you need to know about AB-51? You can’t incentivize your employee in any way nor fire him/her if they don’t want to sign an arbitration agreement. What happens to you if you violate AB-51? When should you ask someone to sign an arbitration agreement? What are some of the best ways to protect yourself from a potential lawsuit? Brett and Jared weigh in with their thoughts.  
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com

    • 38 min
    Meal Period and Rest Breaks: New Changes Happening Under California Employment Law

    Meal Period and Rest Breaks: New Changes Happening Under California Employment Law

    Brett Sutton and Jared Hague sit down to discuss the recent ruling in the Supreme Court of California on the Donohue vs. AMN case and how it might affect employers in the future. In the State of California, they take their meal and rest breaks seriously, and if employers fail to comply, they can risk multi-millions in lawsuits. Brett and Jared share their thoughts on what all this might mean and provide a little bit of clarity on how employers can prevent this from happening to them in this week’s episode.
     
    Highlights:
    Let’s do a quick review on what the basic meal period and rest rules are currently under California law. For other states, the meal period is incredibly flexible, but for California, it is very strict. What’s behind the 2012 Brinker case? What are the definitions of a rest period? A recent Supreme Court of California ruling could change all of this. What do you need to know about the 2021 Donohue vs. AMN Services case? Despite the software rounding up and down on employees’ lunch breaks, it appeared that employees were taking on average a 45-minute lunch break. Can employers properly round time punches for meal periods? It’s every employer’s duty to maintain accurate records. This means you need to prove that the employee did not waive their opportunity for a full 30-minute break. Brett and Jared take turns talking about some of the lessons they learned on the case. You need to be very careful with your meal and rest policies. The handbooks you have might very well be wrong or out to date. It’s going to be harder and harder to overcome non-compliant meal period time punches. Make sure your timekeeping technology isn’t “rounding up.” What kind of evidence or statement should you include in your meal periods, going forward? If the court determines your records are unreliable, they’re going to get thrown out and it’s going to cost you big. When does it make sense to offer an individualized settlement agreement? It might be time to consider a severance program.  
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com
    Sba.gov/ppp

    • 50 min
    Are You Eligible for PPP Second Draw?

    Are You Eligible for PPP Second Draw?

    Brett Sutton is joined by Joe Amato, the District Director at the Small Business Administration to discuss the latest updates in the Paycheck Protection Program and answers the attendee’s live questions. After that, Scott, a CPA based in Nevada, will discuss what you need to be aware of when trying to file your Federal loan tax credit for last year, and other tax info you need to consider. All the proceeds of this webinar will be going to the food bank of Northern Nevada.
     
    Highlights:
    What do we need to know about the second draw of PPP? Every application for PPP must be in before March 31st. The eligible expenses for PPP have changed. How are you eligible for a second draw? If you have a 25% or greater loss in revenue, you’re eligible. For PPP1 you need to be at 500 employees or less and for PPP2 you need to be at 300 employees or less. Do you have to apply for forgiveness in order to get a PPP second draw? Is your PPP taxable by the IRS? Do you have to use the same lender? The answer is no! Best places to contact a lender? Joe answers some pending questions! The whole idea of PPP is you get a fully-forgiven loan. It was unrealistic for the IRS to not let you deduct your expenses from a PPP loan. Applied for PPP and haven’t heard back? Scott takes the stage to discuss the Federal loan tax credit. How do you consider sick leave? There are special rules for the self-employed. Remote schooling? You might qualify for medical leave. You have delayed payment of your employee payroll taxes. What do you need to know about the PPP flexibility act? Make sure your bookkeepers are using the right credit and going through this manually! Some software is not automatically calculating this. The IRS is behind, but they will still be checking on these tax returns. With the PPP proceeds, are they tax-exempt income or are they capital contributions? This is tricky and we still need more clarification on this. Scott answers some questions! Should you keep your doctor’s notes to prove you have a legitimate request for medical leave?  
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com
    Sba.gov/ppp
    Email Joe: Joseph.Amato@sba.gov

    • 53 min
    What You Need to Know About The New Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations

    What You Need to Know About The New Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations

    Brett Sutton and Jared Hague are joined by OSHA veteran James Boretti to discuss the new Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations. James comes with over 33 years of experience and knows the ins and outs of OSHA compliance. In this webinar, you’ll learn what you need to know when it comes to an exposed risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, what is still pending clarification, and best practices to put in a prevention program. Stay till the end, where Brett, Jared, and James answer questions live from the participating audience.
     
    Highlights:
    Brett shares some resources that you can use in regards to the employee handbook and COVID-19 on their website. A bit about James and his expertise. What do people need to know about the new Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations? Do these new regulations apply to your business? Universally, it’s going to be a yes. Jame shares what the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) is about and who it applies to. Employers need to establish and implement a COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP). What is considered a COVID-19 case? You will probably need additional help to complete and implement the CPP. What notices do you have to provide? You have to give notice about potential COVID-19 exposure within one business day. What type of training do you have to provide for your employees? What is considered a “high-risk” exposure? Are employees entitled to paid leave? When can employees apply for unemployment? Is there a pay limit under the emergency standards as of right now? The answer is no. How do you determine whether COVID-19 exposure was work-related? What documentation do you need? What’s the protocol on how to notify people who have potentially been exposed to the virus? Contact tracing in the workplace is critical, but do you put it on the reportable or the OSHA log 300? The fine for not reporting within an 8-hour period is $5,000. There are actually two definitions of “outbreak,” depending on which guidelines you look under. Can an employer require their staff to be vaccinated? Brett, James, and Jared answer some of your burning questions! You do have to let your staff know within one business day that someone on the team has been exposed to COVID-19. If an employee is quarantining at home, do you still need to inform your staff about the recent exposure? What testing can you ask your employees to bring in before they go back to work? What kind of information should you have on hand and ready to provide the health department if an outbreak were to occur? Unfortunately, you’re getting guidance and regulations from three different sources, so the information you need can be conflicting.  
    Resources:
    Suttonhague.com
    Calnevalaw.com
    Borettiinc.com

    • 1 hr 49 min

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