In a recent meeting with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (“OESA”), manufacturing human resources representatives were surprised to learn how different California employment laws are from the laws in the rest of the United States. Below is a summary of what laws most surprised the attendees:

  • California has daily as well as weekly overtime rules;
  • California requires employers to pay employees premium pay for missed lunch and rest breaks;
  • California has very specific rules regarding itemized pay statements and final paychecks;
  • California is still operating under its Emergency Temporary COVID-19 standards;
  • California has mandatory paid sick leave;
  • California still has COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave;
  • California has paid family leave as well as paid disability leave;
  • California mandates harassment training for all employees;
  • California does not recognize most non-compete provisions; and
  • California’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, Cal. Lab. Code § 2698 et seq. (“PAGA”), authorizes “any ‘aggrieved employee’ to initiate an action against a former employer ‘on behalf of himself or herself and other current or former employees to obtain civil penalties that previously could have been recovered only by the State in a Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) enforcement action.” See Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, No. 20-1573, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 2940, *9 (June 15, 2022) (citing Cal. Lab. Code Ann. 2699(a)). Under PAGA, “[a]n employee who alleges he or she suffered a single violation is entitled to use that violation as a gateway to assert a potentially limitless number of other violations” suffered by other employees in a representative action.  Id. at *12.

If your company is expanding its operations to California, it is imperative that you consult a California employment lawyer to make sure you do not get hit with expensive fines and lawsuits as a result of California’s novel employment laws. Please contact the author of this blog or a member of Dykema’s Labor and Employment practice group for more information.