New Law Extends Time Limits and Authorizes Legal Fees in Some Employee Cases

On September 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill, making it the law of California, which changes several aspects of current employment law. The new law has two core changes:

Time limits for filing a complaint

The time for filing a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is extended from six months to one year. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement enforces requirements of the California Labor Code. Current law provides that complaints must be filed within six months of an alleged violation involving people who:

  • Believe they were discharged – in violation of any law that the Labor Commissioner (who heads the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement) enforces
  • Believe they were discriminated against – in violation of any law that the Labor Commissioner enforces

“Existing law generally requires the Labor Commissioner to commence actions to enforce labor standards within 3 years of their accrual, as specified.”

Attorneys’ fees for illegal retaliation

Current laws prohibit employers (and their agents) from “making, adopting, or enforcing a rule, regulation, or policy” if that rule/regulation/policy – prevents the employee from:

  • Disclosing information to certain entities
  • Providing information or testifying before any “public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry”
  • if the employee reasonably believes the information reveals a violation of the law.
  • An example could include employer rules that prevent an employee from disclosing employer discrimination or employer sexual harassment.

Current laws also forbid employers from retaliating against the employee for making proper disclosures.

The new law provides that a court can authorize reasonable legal fees to an employee who files a successful action against employers who violate these provisions.

At the California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates, our lawyers fight to hold employers to their duty to respect the legal rights of employees. To speak with an experienced employee rights attorney, please call us at 877-789-9707 or use our online contact form to make an appointment. Se Habla Espanol.