San Francisco to Require Fully Paid Parental Leave

Paid Parental LeaveThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved a new paid parental leave law that will allow employees to take up to six weeks of fully paid time off from work to be with a new child. The new paid parental leave legislation is the broadest of its kind in the United States.

What the Fully Paid Parental Leave Law Entails

Some of the most important features of the legislation are as follows:

Covered employees will be able to take the six weeks of fully paid leave to spend time with a newborn child, a newly adopted child, or a new foster child.

The law is intended to supplement the benefits that employees receive through California Paid Family Leave. California Paid Family Leave allows covered employees to receive 55% of their pay for as much as six weeks of family leave. The new legislation compensates employees with the remaining 45% of their salaries during that period.

Employees will not be covered unless they began working for their employers at least 180 days before the beginning of their leave periods, and they work at least 8 hours per week within the city of San Francisco, and they are eligible for California Paid Family Leave for the purpose of “bonding with a new child.” (If an employee’s work hours fluctuate from week to week, a determination will be made based on the average number of hours he or she has worked per week throughout the past three months.)

If an employee works for more than one employer, the employer’s share of that employee’s benefits under the new parental leave law will be based on how much of the employee’s salary is paid by each employer. (This means that if a covered employee earns 60% of his or her salary from a particular employer, that employer will be required to pay 60% of the employee’s supplemental benefits.)

If an employee voluntarily quits a position less than 90 days after the end of his or her leave period, the employee must reimburse the employer for the full amount of the benefits that the employee received under the new law. In addition, before receiving these benefits, an employee must sign a form agreeing to pay back the full amount of the benefits if he or she quits within 90 days of the end of the leave period.

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2017 for employers with 50 or more employees. It will go into effect on July 1, 2017 for employers with 35-49 employees, and on January 1, 2018 for employers with 20-34 employees.

Covered employers will be required to post a notice explaining the law’s provisions. The notice must be written in English, Spanish, Chinese, and any other language that is spoken by at least 5% of the employees at the location. [Read more…]

New Precedent for California No Rehire Clause – Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians

No Rehire Clause,New precedent for California no rehire clause – Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians. It’s fairly well-known that the state of California doesn’t look kindly on non-compete provisions in employment contracts. Settlement agreements with “no rehire” provisions have not posed many problems for employers, however – until now. In a case that could have major consequences for California employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a “no rehire” clause can violate the same California law that prohibits non-compete provisions.

No Rehire Clause Decision

The decision, Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians, was handed down in April 2015. It held that a settlement agreement’s provisions about re-hiring could be considered overly broad – and thus could be found to impermissibly restrain an employee’s professional practice, which is a violation of Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code.

What Happened in the Case?

The employee, David Golden, was a doctor employed by California Emergency Physicians Medical Group. He was terminated from his position, and then filed an employment discrimination suit. The parties eventually agreed to settle.

The settlement agreement contained a clause stating that he would waive any and all rights to be employed by CEP, or to be employed at any facility owned by CEP. The clause also stated that if Dr. Golden were to become employed at a facility unaffiliated with CEP, and then CEP bought or contracted with that facility, then Dr. Golden would be terminated without any liability.

Dr. Golden was unhappy with this clause, and refused to sign it. He argued that the clause violated Section 16600, which states that a contract “by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.”

When his case went to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the court ruled against Dr. Golden. The district court held that because the agreement didn’t prevent him from working for a competitor of CEP (or for a hospital or facility operated by someone other than CEP), then the agreement could not be considered a violation of Section 16600.

This decision, however, was overturned by the Ninth Circuit, which sent the case back to the district court. The Ninth Circuit held that the language of 16600 is broad, and should not be interpreted to apply only to non-compete clauses. The court, however, did not take a stance on whether the agreement actually violated Section 16600.

What Does This Case Mean For You?

If you are an employer in California, and you have signed no-rehire agreements with former employees, there’s no need to panic. The ruling does not prohibit no-rehire agreements altogether. But it does mean that some no-rehire agreements could conceivably be considered violations of Section 16600.

Before you sign any new settlement agreements, it may be wise to ensure that the language you use does not go overboard in restricting the employee’s rights. If you are concerned about the enforceability of your agreements, you may wish to speak to a lawyer. The employment and labor law attorneys at Beck Law P.C., in Santa Rosa, have a great deal of experience with employment contracts. You can call or email them today to schedule a consultation.


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and testimonials presented on or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.