California Drivers MUST Give Wide Birth to Bicycle Riders.

See that bicyclists up ahead, pedaling on the side of the road? There is a new Three (3) Feet Passing Rule going into effect in California on Tuesday.

California Vehicle Code Section 21760 requires drivers to give three (3) of clearance when passing a bicycle.

Here is the text of the new code:

(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.
(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance
of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.
(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver
shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.
(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35).  (2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver
of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.
(f) This section shall become operative on September 16, 2014.

For some interesting commentary, check out this article:

California’s latest wealth distribution tax – 3 free sick days to all workers.

California just gave your employees three free sick days a year.

Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, California became the second state (Connecticut was first) to guarantee annual paid sick time off for most all employees – full and part-time.  Today, Governor Brown signed the bill.

The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act,” requires – Beginning on July 1, 2015 – that public and private employers must provide eligible employees – (You are eligible if you work 30 or more days within a year after being hired) – with sick leave “at the rate of not less than one hour per every 30 hours worked.”  Salaried, exempt employees are deemed to work a 40 hour workweek.  Exemptions exist for employees covered by some collective bargaining agreements, some construction industry workers, home healthcare workers, and certain airline employees who are already covered by the federal Railway Labor Act.

The law also requires employers to carry over unused sick leave time from year to year, but employees may be limited to use no more than 24 hours or three days per year.  The bill also mandates that employers provide written notice of available sick leave on the itemized wage statement California law already requires or in a separate notice in each pay period.

Employers are well served to review this new law with their legal counsel and make plans to implement no less than the legally mandated minimum.

Employer questions abound.

  • Can I fire an employee who falsely claims to be sick and uses the “sick leave” to play at the beach?
  • Can I reduce the amount of vacation time that I already awarded employees to make up for the forced sick time benefit?
  • Do I have to pay terminated employees the unused sick leave accrual?

Review your Employee Policies, Handbooks and Guides.

Many, if not most, of our clients have written Employee Handbooks or Policy Manuals that specifically set forth all compensation terms and benefits.  We regular review many of these policies for completeness, relevance and inclusion of the latest government mandates.  Even though most of the policy statements that we review do include some kind of sick leave benefit, all employers will be well served to review their policies anew to insure that they are in compliance with this latest California mandate.

For more information about this news, see these links:

  1. JD Supra
  2. The San Diego Union Tribune
  3. Sacramento Bee


Deducting vacation time for missed work is OK in California!

Employers can deduct exempt employee annual leave (vacation) time for missed portions of work days.

In the sometimes confused landscape of employee compensation rules, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently clarified that Employer’s who require exempt employees to use their annual leave hours when they are absent from work for portions of a day do not violate state law.

Conley v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 131 Cal. App. 4th 260 (2005), which held that California law does not prohibit an employer “from following the established federal policy permitting employers to deduct from exempt employees’ vacation leave, when available, on account of partial-day absences,” remains good law and is not limited to missed work time in excess of four hours or more in a single day.

The case is Rhea v. General Atomics – filed July 21, 2014, Fourth District, Div. One: D064517.PDF

Employers should consider whether their existing practices, and their existing Employee Policy Handbooks, comport with this and other nuances of California law.



Fighting back against the selfie stealing hacker!

Hacker stole your cloud stored selfie? What can you do?

It’s a crime under the Stored Information Act.

It’s a violation of the Copyright Act (maybe).

It’s an invasion of your privacy.

Recourse is available in only limited situations, and asserting your rights is expensive.

But you are not completely helpless.

Here’s a Great article with more details on JD Supra.