As of January 1, 2016, any individual who is an owner, director, officer, or managing agent of an employer may be held liable as the employer if he or she violates, or causes to be violated, wage and hour provisions. Cal. Lab. Code § 558.1. The California Supreme Court has defined "managing agent" as an employee who "exercise[s] substantial discretionary authority over significant aspects of a corporation's business." White v. Ultramar, 21 Cal. 4th 563, 577.
Compliance with state and federal employment laws is always an important consideration when an employer merges with or acquires another company. In industries with high rates of consolidation, companies tend to have heightened union concerns and may even draw the attention of lawmakers who want to ensure that employees are being treated fairly during and after the sale of a business.
Amid reports that business owners in Los Angeles County are more optimistic about this year's business conditions compared to last year's, owners still share some serious concerns, not the least of which is government regulation in the form of the citywide minimum wage hike.
If you're an employer whose employees travel around to provide services in various locations, then you may have software for keeping track of employees' travel times and expenses. A lawsuit recently filed in California raises the question of how far employers can go in tracking their employees' whereabouts.
In California, employers of any size have to comply with state and federal employment laws, and certain employers are subject to additional regulations and requirements.
California lawmakers are currently considering a bill -- the Fair Pay Act -- that would significantly increase equal pay protections for women. Specifically, the bill would prohibit California employers from firing, retaliating or discriminating against employees who discuss or ask about pay at work, particularly if a woman asks about wages or salaries in order to seek equal pay.
Employment-related lawsuits in the United States have been on the rise in recent years, with disputes ranging from whistleblower claims to wage and hour disputes. As we discussed in a recent post, "Pros and cons of the 1099 economy," misclassification of employees is often the basis of legal claims that, in some cases, have resulted in companies changing their business models.
If you've been keeping up with business news, then you're probably aware of the rise of on-demand companies that provide anything from in-home massages to grocery delivery. Some people have called the phenomenon the "1099 economy" because most of these services are provided by independent contractors -- not company employees -- and a company fills out a 1099 MISC form when it hires a contractor.
California law does not require that employees be given paid or unpaid vacation time, though many employers choose to offer these benefits in order to attract and retain employees and remain competitive in the labor market. While providing vacation time is not mandatory, if an employer chooses to offer paid vacation, then state employment law requires the employer to abide by certain rules regarding how the employee is paid for time off.
Everyone wants job security, and people may assume that executives have plenty of it. That is not necessarily the case, however, as executives can be hit with job loss for any number of reasons. Maybe share prices drop, or the company merges or is bought. Maybe there is a push for a change in business culture. These things happen, and they happen often.