It’s Fall! As we transition to longer days and colder weather, we’re taking a look at our hottest blog posts from Summer 2020.
If there is one word that defines this pandemic, it is fear. While we understand more about COVID-19 today than we did even a few weeks ago, including who may be more susceptible to severe complications, this pandemic still involves a dash of Russian roulette. It is therefore understandable that some employees – even perfectly healthy ones – will express reservations about returning to the workplace, especially in areas around California where cases are spiking.
As the “new normal” drags on longer than any of us would have hoped, some people are having a harder time adjusting than others. While nobody likes wearing a mask or practicing social distancing, what are an agency’s options and obligations with respect to an employee who can’t or won’t?
While skies all over California were turned strange colors by fire and smoke on September 11, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 2147 into law. Passed by a 51-12 majority in the Assembly and a unanimous 30-0 vote in the Senate, this law creates new Penal Code section 1203.4b, designed to make it easier for inmates trained in firefighting in the Conservation Camp Program or on a county hand crew to gain employment as professional firefighters after release.
If you consume social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the app of the moment TikTok, you have certainly come across “the Karen meme.” By and large, “the Karen meme” is an image depicting a middle-aged Caucasian woman, almost always sporting a spiky, short blonde haircut. “Karen” argues with and is condescending to service industry workers, and demands to speak to the manager on account of small, meaningless inconveniences, such as an iced skinny vanilla latte with one too many ice cubes. While memes have become popular on the internet, “the Karen meme” has the potential to create legal claims for employers depending on how it is used at work.
On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state of California (with an exemption for essential workers) causing many public agencies, businesses, and schools to shut their doors. In an effort to reopen California’s economy, Governor Newsom announced a Resilience Roadmap setting out a four-stage plan that modifies the statewide stay-at-home order and gradually permits some non-essential businesses to resume operations. While many employers are eager to reopen and have their employees return to work, it is crucial to have a plan in place to address the different issues that may arise in having employees return to the worksite.