Berkeley Minimum Wage Increase

Berkeley Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum wage increases are all the rage. Berkeley, CA is no exception.  Effective October 1, 2017, Berkeley minimum wage increases to $13.75 per hour (from $12.53). It will increase again on October 1, 2018 to $15.00 per hour, and continue to increase each year. Because Berkeley has a higher minimum wage rate than the one set by California or the Federal government, the higher local minimum wage rate takes precedence and must be paid to all employees covered by the local minimum wage regulation. Berkeley’s minimum wage ordinance applies to any employee who “In a calendar week performs at least two (2) hours of work for an Employer within the geographic boundaries of the City.”

Employers must post the Berkeley Minimum Wage Poster, which you can download here. The same poster talks about Berkeley’s new Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and Berkeley’s Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance.

Berkeley Paid Sick Leave

In addition to the Berkeley minimum wage increase, Berkeley also has its own Paid Sick Leave Ordinance the becomes effective October 1st. The Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSL) requires all employees earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. “Small Business” employers with fewer than 25 employees may cap an employee’s accrued paid sick leave at 48 hours and may cap the use of paid sick leave to 48 hours per year. Employers with 25 or more employees may cap an employee’s accrual of paid sick leave at 72 hours, but may not cap how much paid sick leave an employee uses in a calendar year. All Employers, regardless of where they are located, must provide paid sick leave to their Employees who perform at least 2 hours of work per week within the geographic limits of the City of Berkeley.

Berkeley Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance

The Family Friendly ordinance provides each employee the right to ask for a flexible or predictable work schedule. Employers must respond in writing within 21 days to any written request. The ordinance applies to employers who regularly employs 10 or more employees working in the City. Covered employers include the City but not any other federal, state, or local government entities. It applies to employees who regularly work at least 8 hours per week in Berkeley, and have worked for the same employer for at least three months. Eligible employees can request a flexible or predictable working arrangement.

A “Predictable Working Arrangement” means “a change in an Employee’s terms and conditions of employment that provides a consistent or reliable pattern of work assignment, including but not limited to days scheduled to work, start time and end time and work site location with at least seven (7) calendar days’ notice prior to the start of the scheduled shift.”

A “flexible working arrangement” means a change in an employee’s terms and conditions of employment that provides flexibility. Employees may request changes such as:

  • Modified work schedules.
  • Changes in start/end times for work.
  • Part-time employment.
  • Job-sharing arrangements.
  • Working from home.
  • Telecommuting.
  • Reduction or change in work duties.
  • Part-year employment.

Employees must request the changes in writing. Employers must respond to the request within 21 days.

As is common for local ordinances, employers cannot retaliate against employees under any of the new ordinances. If you work in Berkeley, or have employees working at least 2 hours per week in Berkeley, become familiar with these new laws.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Working with Caregivers: Solutions to Common Problems

On September 20th I will be presenting: Working with Caregivers: Solutions to Common Problems at the PFAC’s Northern California Education Day. For those of who you are not familiar with PFAC, the Professional Fiduciary Association of California is an organization dedicated to servicing professional fiduciaries by providing ongoing educational opportunities, legislative advocacy, and professional resources. PFACE helps professional fiduciaries provide excellent service as well as advocate for and advance the profession throughout California.

There will be a number of other great topics and speakers about a wide variety of subjects from investment and allocation issues, neuropsych exam issues, coordinating special needs trusts and understand SSA, SSDI and SSI. You can view the entire schedule here.

My presentation regarding working with caregivers starts at 2:15 p.m.

I will cover:

  • The past, current and future of caregiver laws
  • Who is the Employer and Why is it Important?
  • The difference between a household worker, a personal attendant and a companion
  • The Right and Wrong Ways to Pay
  • What Happens When a Worker Gets Injured
  • Simple Solutions to the Most Common Problems

I hope you can join me and the rest of the distinguished speakers. The annual event is always enlightening and an opportunity to work with a great group of people.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Possible New Mediation Confidentiality Legislation

Mediation and other forms of ADR are an important part of the litigation process. Colleague and friend, Kevin Coleman, wrote an article recently regarding possible new mediation confidentiality legislation. Like most things Kevin produces, I found the article interesting and helpful. Kevin allowed me to reprint the article for your consideration. Without further ado, here it is:

Mediation Confidentiality Proposed Tentative New Legislation

The California Law Revision Commission (CLRC) has made a tentative recommendation to the legislature to create an exception to mediation confidentiality that will allow communication from a mediation to be admitted into evidence in an attorney malpractice case.  The CLRC has written proposed legislation upon which it is accepting public comment.

By way of background for those not familiar with the issue, in Cassell v. Superior Court 51 Cal. 4th 113 (2011) the Court upheld mediation confidentiality, disallowing testimony in a legal malpractice action of conversations between client and attorney that took place during the course of a mediation.

Thereafter, the legislature tasked the CLRC with analyzing “the relationship under current law between mediation confidentiality and attorney malpractice and other misconduct….” 2012 Cal. Stat. res. ch. 108 (ACR 98 (Wagner & Gorrell)).

After much research, many hearings and public comment, the CLRC has “tentatively concluded that existing California law does not place enough weight on the interest in holding an attorney accountable for malpractice or other professional misconduct in a mediation context.”

Importantly, the CLRC’s tentative proposed exception will still allow for open communication among the parties without fear that what they say during mediation will come back to bite them during a later proceeding.  The proposed evidence code section 1120.5, is narrowly written to only allow communication that took place during mediation in very limited circumstances related to attorney misconduct.

Also, the exception to mediation confidentiality cannot used be to void a settlement.

The exception can only be used it in 3 instances:  a State Bar disciplinary action, a cause of action seeking damages from a lawyer based on alleged malpractice, and, in an attorney-client fee dispute.  The exception to mediation confidentiality is limited to only apply to an allegation that an attorney breached a “professional requirement,” basically when acting as an attorney in a professional capacity, and only when doing so in a mediation context.

It won’t apply to a lawyer who is acting as the mediator.  A mediator still won’t be compelled to testify or provide documentary evidence.  So, Evidence Code 703.5 won’t be affected.

If the above criteria are met then only the portion of the communication necessary for the application of the exception could be admitted but not for any other purpose.

A precaution is built in – mediation participants would receive notice so that they can try to prevent improper disclosure of mediation communications.

The CLRC’s tentative recommendation can be found here, and the actual proposed legislation begins at page 145.

The CLRC is seeking comment on any aspect of its tentative recommendation.  Its next meeting is September 28 but would like comments by September 1.

Kevin C. Coleman has been settling cases as a professional mediator since 1996.  Contact Kevin here, or by calling 415-488-7609.   Kevin mediates throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma counties, and throughout California. I hope my newsletter provided you some insight.