Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Labor & Employment Law Update

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Closing the Unequal Pay Gap: California Releases Guidance to Employers on Complying with the California Fair Pay Act
The California Fair Pay Act ("CFPA") passed in 2015, requires all employers pay employees
 performing "substantially similar work" the same wage regardless of gender, ethnicity or race. The CFPA also requires employers to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant who makes a reasonable request for it, prohibits employers from requesting an applicant's prior salary history and from relying on an applicant's salary history alone to justify a disparity in compensation "based on sex, race or ethnicity." After enacting the CFPA, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls launched the California Pay Equity Task Force ("Task Force") to monitor the implementation of the CFPA and facilitate dialogue on legislative modifications to California law. On September 10, 2018, the Task Force released written guidance for employees, employers, and unions on how they may comply with the CFPA. The guidance includes, among other things, a myriad of tips and recommended practices for employers seeking to comply with the CFPA. More.
Prop 65 Compliance Gets More Complicated
It has been almost three months since the latest amendments to California's Proposition 65 took effect on Aug. 30, 2018. Prop 65 was enacted in California in 1986 as the "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act." Despite this official title, Prop 65 regulates far more than just water pollution. The purported goal of Prop 65 is to protect Californians from exposure to substances known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The plaintiffs bar is out with a vengeance, targeting all types of consumer products, with a sharp focus on products containing phthalates--in particular, DINP, DEHP and DBP. Targeted products include pouches, bags, goggles, earmuffs, earbuds/cords, hangers, eyelash curlers, stress neck pillows, charging cords, badge holders, and backpacks. There is also a continued focus on lead in items such as brass towel rings, towel racks and holders. Prop 65 is a big business for bounty hunters. In 2017, out of court settlements totaled $25,767,500 and attorney's fees totaled $19,486,382. This large amount of money is kept by a small group of lawyers and alleged "environmental groups." Based on recent notices, the most prolific filer is Anthony Ferreiro, represented by Brodsky & Smith. The runner-up is Consumer Advocacy Group Inc., represented by Yeroushalmi & Yeroushalmi. Industries that have not yet been targeted can assume they will be targeted soon. The author of this article anticipates that the first products that plaintiffs will target are those without warning labels. After that, plaintiffs will target websites and catalogs without warnings, or with improper warnings. Finally, plaintiffs will start to target products with incorrect or inaccurate labels, in an effort to demonstrate that the chemicals or endpoints are incorrectly stated. More.