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Employee or Independent Contractor? Enhanced Penalties in Recent California Legislation Counsel Review of Non-Employee Classification Practices


By: Camille Olson, David Kadue, Tim Haley, Fred Sanderson and Ferry Lopez

On October 9, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 459 ("SB 459"), which adds sections 226.8 and 2753 to the California Labor Code. SB 459, effective January 1, 2012, imposes steep penalties on employers who willfully misclassify employees. This legislation is but one example of a growing effort at both the federal and state level to identify, reclassify, and prevent misclassification of employees as independent contractors, deterring companies from doing so with significant penalties.

Read more: Independent Contractor SB 459

Senate Bill 126—ALRA Modifications
(effective January 1, 2012)

Read more: ALRA Modifications SB 126

Legislation Signed Into Law by Governor Brown

The Governor has been busy reviewing 870 bills the legislature sent him since August. The Governor had until October 9th to take action on those bills. Governor Brown signed 745 of the bills and vetoed 125.

Read more: Legislation Signed into Law eff 01/12

California Joins Other States in Placing Restrictions on Employers’ Use of Credit Checks

On October 10, 2011, Governor Brown signed into legislation Assembly Bill No. 22, which generally prohibits employers from using an applicant’s or employee’s credit history in making employment decisions. 

Read more: Credit Check Restrictions

New California Law Requires Written Contract for Commission Pay Arrangements

Governor Brown signed into law AB 1396, which requires commission pay arrangements to be set forth in a written contract. 

Read more: Written Commission Contract Required

California Employers Must Now Provide Health Benefits for Four Months for Pregnancy Disability

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 299, legislation requiring California employers to continue group health coverage to employees on pregnancy disability leave for up to four months. 

Read more: Pregnancy Health Plan Requirement

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