This week, the Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law cannot prevent California’s worker-friendly laws from applying to workers who frequently travel out of state or are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

This rule comes from a decision in which a class of pilots and flight attendants sued United and Delta Air Lines for violations of California’s wage statement and timekeeping regulations. The flight companies responded that federal, not state law, should apply to workers who do not perform most of their work in any one state and also argued that having to comply with California’s laws posed an excessive burden on interstate commerce.

However, the Ninth Circuit quickly rejected these arguments, reasoning that United can “easily comply” with the law. 

The Ninth Circuit’s decision for California law to reach the federal circuit courts is based from a California Supreme Court case in June 2020, where the Court ruled that California’s Labor Code § 226 and minimum wage laws apply to interstate transportation workers when California serves as their base of work operations, regardless of their place of residence or whether a collective bargaining agreement governs their pay.


The increase in application of California law to out of state employees spells out one vital lesson to any employers with interstate transportation workers – know and understand the ins and outs of California labor and wage and hour law. If you have any questions on the potential impact of this decision to your company, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.


Cal/OSHA Continues to Fine Employers for COVID-19 Violations

On February 4, 2021, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) released Cal/OSHA issued citations for COVID-19 violations. These citations have resulted in over $1 million in proposed penalties and were issued for a variety of industries, including health care, grocery stores, and agriculture.

Cal/OSHA identified that the citations were issued due to employers failing to:

  • Provide adequate training or equipment for working with COVID-19 infected individuals.
  • Provide proper medical services to exposed employees, including testing, contact tracing and referrals to licensed health care professionals.
  • Institute and/or maintain an effective written aerosol transmissible diseases (ATD) control exposure plan.
  • Institute and/or maintain an adequate written respiratory protection plan.
  • Implement and/or enforce work practice controls to minimize exposure to COVID-19 amongst employees.
  • Enforce face covering use and physical distancing in the workplace.
  • Immediately report COVID-19 related serious illnesses.
  • Implement methods or procedures to correct unhealthy conditions.
  • Implement and/or maintain an effective Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

You may review the news release here.


This serves as a reminder that Cal/OSHA is actively investigating COVID-19 related violations. Employers should make sure that they are complying with Cal/OSHA’s policies regarding COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding complying with the regulations or implementing effective policies and procedures, contract the experts at The Saqui Law Group, P.C.


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