New Employment Laws for 2011

First Quarter 2011Newsletters California Update Employment Law

Workers’ Compensation Stop Orders: The registrar of contractors is authorized to issue a stop order to any contractor who failed to secure workers’ compensation coverage for his/her employees. Employees affected by the work stoppage must be paid by the employer for lost time, up to 10 days, while the employer becomes compliant with the law. Failure to observe the stop order is punishable by a misdemeanor and/or a fine up to $10,000. California Business and Professions Code § 7127. Effective: January 1, 2011.

Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave: Employers with 15 or more employees must provide paid leave to an employee who chooses to donate organs or bone marrow. Labor Code § 1508 – 1513. Effective: January 1, 2011.

Exemptions for Meal Breaks: Construction workers, commercial drivers, some security officers and employees employed by an electrical corporation, a gas corporation or a local publicly owned electric utility are exempt from California’s meal break requirements if those employees are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that contains specified terms, including meal period provisions. Labor Code § 512(e). Effective: January 1, 2011.

Cal/OSHA Serious Safety Violations: There are new procedures and standards for the investigation and citation of serious violations of health and safety laws in the workplace. The changes create a rebuttable presumption that a serious violation exists if the division demonstrates that there is a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the actual hazard. Labor Code § 6432. Effective: January 1, 2011.

Food Handler Cards: The law establishes new training procedures and certification for food handlers. Most employees who handle food must have a California Food Handler Card on or before July 1, 2011. Employees hired after June 1, 2011, will have 30 days from the date of hire to acquire a food handler card. Health and Safety Code § 113948. Effective: January 1, 2011.