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24 Mar

March 2021 California HR Legal Updates

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California Cities Continue Introducing Hero Pay Ordinances

Update Applicable to:
Large retail employers operating in Pomona or Santa Ana.

What happened?
Cities across California continue to pass ordinances requiring large retail and grocery stores to provide a paid premium to their employees, as they work through the pandemic.

The ordinance requires that employers notify covered workers in writing about their rights. The notice must include information regarding (a) the right to premium pay guaranteed by the ordinance; (b) the right to be protected from retaliation; and (c) the right to bring a civil action for an employer’s violation of the ordinance. Employers must post the required notice in a location that employees use for breaks, as well as in an electronic format accessible to the covered workers via a smartphone application or an online web portal. Employers must provide the notice in English and any language known by the employers to be the covered workers’ primary language.

What are the details?
Pomona defines a covered employer as: “Retail establishments” that employ 300 or more employees nationwide and employ more than 10 employees per location in Pomona. Pomona. Additionally, “any grocery store, retail pharmacy or ‘big box retailer’ who employs 300 or more employees nationally and employs more than 10 employees per location in the City.” (Emphasis in original).

Santa Ana defines a covered employer as: grocery store or retail pharmacy “hiring entities” that employ more than 300 workers nationally and more than 15 employees per grocery store or pharmacy in the City of Santa Ana.

Both cities are requiring employers to pay the same premium to their employees. Each employee working in the applicable location will need to pay a premium of $4.00 an hour.

The ordinance includes provisions to protect workers. The protections bar employers from reducing employees’ hours, altering their employment status, or limiting their earning capacity in response to the passage of the ordinance.

Employers are required to keep records showing compliance with the ordinances for up to two years.

An article going more in-depth for the Santa Ana ordinance can be found here. The article for the City of Pomona can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Large grocery store or retail employers should review the linked articles to review the needed changes that may be required of them in various locations.


New California COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Requirements Update

The Labor Commissioner’s Office has made the required notice available online, here. Employers will need to post the notice in the workplace or distribute the notice via other means, like email, to any employees that are unlikely to see the notice in the workplace.

The original post regarding SB-95 can be found here.


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