One area of labor and employment law that California employers continue to struggle with is the proper classification of employees as exempt versus non-exempt, or independent contractor versus employee. In California, the tests to determine whether an employee is exempt are different than the federal standards and are extremely subjective, thereby leading to differing interpretations and expensive litigation. Similarly, the analysis in California as to who qualifies as an independent contractor is overwhelming and confusing. Different state agencies utilize different factors to determine independent contractor status, thereby leaving an employer with little guidance or certainty on the issue. Labor and Employment Reform
Related Business Issue:
Protect employers’ rights to organize, direct and manage their companies’ employees in an efficient, safe and productive manner.
- Defeated costly workplace mandates, such as a bill driving up the cost of commodities to consumers by removing the overtime exemption allowed for agricultural employers (AB 1313); an automatic minimum wage increase (AB 1439); expanded leave requirements (AB 2039); and a targeted burden on companies with call centers (AB 2217). Also secured amendments to remove the threat of frivolous litigation for inquiring into an applicant’s most recent employment background (AB 1450). Advocated veto of bill increasing the cost of food by creating unprecedented and excessive consequences for perceived and actual violations of heat illness prevention regulations (AB 2346).
Supported legislation signed into law that preserves existing employer rights to conduct workplace investigations with regard to personal social media (AB 1844).
Negotiated amendments to bills that would otherwise have exposed employers to new wage-and-hour litigation or greater likelihood of penalties for good faith administrative errors on wage statements (AB 1744, SB 1255).
Supported veto of proposed requirement for individuals and families who hire “domestic work employees” to comply with onerous wage-and-hour mandates that even sophisticated businesses struggle to satisfy (AB 889).
Alternative Workweek Schedules
Position: Support policy that allows an employer and employee, who both desire an alternative workweek arrangement, to enter into an agreement to that effect without having to cross so many procedural hurdles that unnecessarily expose employers to so much risk. Alternative Workweek Schedules
Expanding Protected Classifications in California
Position: While the California Chamber of Commerce certainly supports anti-discrimination laws, it is concerned by the adoption of new classifications that do not address any actual discrimination and serve only to create opportunities for new frivolous litigation. Expanding Protected Classifications in California
Position: Combine stricter enforcement with 100% reliable employment eligibility; establish a guest worker program; address the status of the 12 million undocumented workers already here; provide greater border security. Immigration
Social Media in the Workplace
Position: Support a well-balanced approach to legislation in this developing area that takes into consideration both sides of the employment relationship. Social Media in the Workplace
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