Anti-Defamation League Regional Board Chair Eric Kingsley Speaks about Anti-Semitism at Shomrei Torah Synagogue
On January 27th, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Regional Board Chair Eric Kingsley and Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman participated in a three-part series sponsored by Shomrei Torah Synagogue. Their presentation, titled Hatred, Bigotry and Anti-Semitism, covered anti-semitism in Los Angeles, the U.S. and the World.
According to the ADL post (link here), Kingsley explained details of various countries including those with the highest and lowest index of anti-Semitism and those with highest rates of ignorance or misinformation about the Holocaust.
In the heels of Iskanian v. CLS, the 2nd Appellate District took up the case of Fowler v. CarMax. The CarMax case had a storied history having previously reversed the trial court on a Gentry issue, the California Supreme Court then denied review but the United states Supreme Court granted defendant writ of cert and remanded the case to the appellate court. In light of Iskanian the court for different reasons reversed in part he trial court ruling regarding the PAGA claims. Law 360 covered our case in the January 29th newsletter of which a link is here. I also tried to sell them my car this week and they low balled me, so there.
Workers at the Port of Los Angeles have filed a California labor lawsuit against a distribution company, California Cartage, and a staffing company, SSI Staffing. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in December, alleges the workers are owed millions of dollars in wages since the defendant leases land from the city of Los Angeles and therefore must pay a “living wage” instead of the minimum wage.
Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance
Key to the lawsuit is Los Angeles’ Living Wage Ordinance. Under the Ordinance, workers for companies operating under certain license agreements are owed at least $11.03 an hour if they receive medical benefits and $12.28 an hour if they don’t receive medical benefits. Additionally, they are to be given 12 paid days off per year. The plaintiffs allege that because California Cartage leases land from the city of Los Angeles, it is subject to Los Angeles’ Living Wage Ordinance.
According to a December 18, 2014 Los Angeles Times article, the plaintiffs allegedly are paid between $9.00 and $10.20 an hour, receive no health benefits and are only entitled to four paid days off per year. The workers also allege that they are not paid for days when they report to work but are sent home and are not always paid overtime when their shifts run long. The L.A. Times also reports that the lawsuit could cover more than 500 workers and involve millions of dollars in unpaid wages.
California enacted more than 300 new employment laws in September 2014, many of which impact employer practices regarding wages, leave and rest breaks. Below are some of the key changes in wage payment, sick leave and rest break laws taking effect in 2015.
Prevailing Wage & Public Works Projects
Highway improvements, new government buildings and related California construction projects are most often paid for using public funds. California workers who provide labor for these California public works projects that exceed $1,000 in cost are entitled to receive wages at the prevailing wage.
The prevailing wage rate for any publicly funded construction project is based on the basic hourly rate that a majority of workers who are engaged in similar work within the nearest labor market area are currently receiving. Workers on federal construction and service contracts should be paid at least $10.10 per hour, the new minimum wage for federal contracts.
A Rundown of Key Hiring and Contracting Laws to Remember in 2015
California enacted more than 300 new laws in September 2014, many of which impact employer hiring and contracting practices. California employers should remain diligent in reacting to these laws while employees in California should remain apprised of new or expanded rights as a result of new legislation. Below are some of the key changes in hiring and contracting laws taking effect this year.
Laws Related to Hiring
Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue an
In August of this past year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began what many are calling a “crusade” against company wellness programs.
The First Lawsuit
According to the EEOC, Wisconsin-based Orion Energy Systems violated federal law by requiring an employee to submit to medical exams and inquiries that were not job-related and consistent with business necessity as part of a so-called “wellness program,” which was not voluntary, and then by firing the employee when she objected to the program.
In a lawsuit filed on August 20, 2014, the EEOC claimed that Orion instituted a wellness program that required medical examinations and made disability-related inquiries. When an employee declined to participate in the program, Orion shifted responsibility for payment of the entire premium for the employee health benefits from Orion to the employee. Shortly thereafter, Orion fired the employee.
The EEOC maintained that Orion’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it was applied to the employee, and that Orion retaliated against the employee because of her good-faith objections to the wellness program. The EEOC further asserted that Orion interfered with the employee’s exercise of her federally protected right to not be subjected to unlawful medical exams and disability-related inquiries.
We were supposed to know today if Iskanian v. CLS was to be taken up by the Supreme Court. Evidently, they choose to punt that decision to another week. The court made no decision either way and relisted the decision for this Friday’s conference. In some research I found online it appears that relists are quite common and typically a case will be relisted before it is granted. There were 13 relists today and an article in Washington Post stated that relists are taken up about 45% of the time. So while this would appear to be perceived as bad news, its not as bad as it might seem in that there are many resoans why they ultimately choose not to take up the case. We shall see as this develops. I should note that serial relists are not uncommon. I saw one where there were 10 and another where there were 24 and they ended up not taking up the case. Tea leaves are hard to read here, so we all have to wait.
At the Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda meeting, federal agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) provided insight into their progress on more than 75 rules and regulatory proposals in their pipelines. They also shared particulars, to include proposed deadlines, of new regulations that will impact human resources professionals starting in 2015.
EEOC Regulations on Wellness Programs
There are four items highlighted by EEOC’s Regulatory Plan, two of which pertain to much needed