- On July 1, 2015
Worker Benefit Increases Mean a Growing Demand for Labor Attorneys in California
A flurry of recent developments within the state of California foreshadows an increasing need for the counsel of labor attorneys. With wage increases, ADA compliance lawsuits, and changes in workers’ compensation for leaves of absence looming on the horizon, the skills of a knowledgeable labor attorney will be highly sought after.
California Leads the Nation in Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuits
Out of the top five states with the most ADA compliance lawsuits California is number one. According to a recent report, California’s total number of ADA lawsuits is greater than the next four states combined.
At the heart of many of these litigations are the complex, detailed, and often changing requirements placed on businesses to preserve ADA compliance. With violations carrying a minimum of $4000 in fines in addition to legal fees, businesses and employees might strongly considering retaining the services of qualified labor attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Premiums on the Rise
Workers’ compensation premiums in California swelled to more than $1 billion compared to last year representing a nearly 11 percent increase. While those numbers may be staggering they aren’t out of the ordinary. Analysts believe these kind of increases will continue over the next few years, which is sure to be unwelcome news to business owners. Keeping it all in check will be labor attorneys making sure each and every claim and injury related leave of absence is accurate and valid.
The Minimum Wage Debate
Labor attorneys in Los Angeles are no doubt working tirelessly to iron out last minute details of the landmark minimum wage law that increased the rate to $15 per hour. While many support the increase, there has been some criticism of the law even from its supporters.
One disruption occurred when union labor leaders, the most adamant supporters of the wage increase, proposed a clause that would give unions the freedom to negotiate wages below the $15 per hour minimum.
A clash ensued between non-union business owners and political allies of the bill who believed the clause put unfair pressure on businesses to unionize to gain access to lower pay rates. The clause was subsequently denied, but the whole incident left some questioning union motivations.
Just this week, small business owners raised further concerns over the possible negative effects of raising the minimum wage. It’s a significant enough concern that the LA County Board will delay moving forward with the law until further review.
More Changes to Come
Looking toward the future there are many changes coming that will greatly affect both employers and employees. Some of the most significant changes are expansions to how and when employees can take a leave of absence from work.
One bill proposes two significant changes be applied to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). As it currently stands, any company in California with over 50 employees are subject to CFRA laws when an employee submits a leave of absence request for a serious health condition. This bill seeks to lower that required number of employees to any companies with more than 5 employees.
Also, this bill wants to expand the types relationships a person has to have with a significant other to take a CFRA leave. These new expansions would allow an employee to take a leave if a child (regardless of age or dependency), parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or domestic partner fell seriously ill.
Finally, there’s a proposed amendment to paid sick leave which would allow parents to take time off for childcare and school emergencies. This would give parents with chronically ill or behaviorally challenged children the freedom to handle emergencies that arise at school without having to worry if it will negatively affect their employment.
How to Navigate It All
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the changes coming and keeping it all straight if you’re an employee or business owner. Sorting all these details out will be California’s labor attorneys who are at the center of all of FMLA, American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Workers Compensation (WC) changes.