In the fall of 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 51 into law which is essentially the California Ban on Mandatory Arbitration Agreements. The legislation bars companies and organizations from resolving most types of employment law claims through forced arbitration. The bill is strict — it even includes the possibility of criminal penalties for employers that violated that law.
Leaving a job is never easy. Whether it is due to a lay-off, corporate restructuring, or differences in vision, the transition to a new position always presents challenges. A severance package — generally defined as benefits paid to an employee when they leave a company — helps to provide some relief during the transition.
On April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of California issued an important decision affecting the analysis of whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor versus an employee. The classification of a worker as an employee or an independent contractor impacts the rights and remedies of workers, and it is often a contentious issue in employment and labor disputes.
California employees are protected under a web of interconnected state and federal labor laws. It is critical that all workers are able to exercise their rights, without the fear that they are going to face punishment from their employer. The good news is that Bay Area workers are protected against retaliation. Though, in practice, defining and proving retaliation can sometimes be difficult.