Category Archives: California

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Impersonators Beware: Claim Preclusion of Copycat PAGA Lawsuits

In August 2020, the California Court of Appeal issued two wins for California employers facing multiple simultaneous representative actions under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) (Lab. Code § 2698 et seq.) in Robinson v. Southern Counties Oil Company and Starks v. Vortex Industries, Inc. Read the full GT Alert, “Impersonators … Continue Reading

California Wine Country Pours Out Another Round of Paid Sick Leave Benefits

On August 18, 2020, Sonoma County joined the ranks of ten other California cities and counties that have enacted local supplemental paid sick leave ordinances related to COVID-19.1 The Board of Supervisors voted to approve the Ordinance2 as an urgency ordinance, meaning it became effective immediately and shall sunset on December 31, 2020. It will … Continue Reading

California Wildfires Are Heating Up Employer Concerns

As employers continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, they now face a new set of workforce challenges related to extreme weather and wildfires. Both are creating a challenging remote work environment due to: (1) recent evacuations; and (2) heat exposure risks linked to employees now forced to work in their homes with closed windows (and … Continue Reading

California Revamps its Reopening Criteria for Businesses and Activities

On Friday, August 28, 2020, Governor Newsom unveiled the state’s new tiered system for identifying and reducing COVID-19 infection risks in each county. This new “blueprint” is aimed at reducing instances of COVID-19 by imposing revised criteria for both easing and tightening restrictions on the activities of California residents and businesses. Under the new system, which … Continue Reading

Collision: Collateral Effects of California’s Lawsuits Against Lyft and Uber

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has challenged Uber and Lyft in two new state-backed lawsuits that allege that the companies have engaged in “wage theft” by misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors. Filed in Alameda County, the suits are the most recent effort to enforce A.B. 5, which arguably caused a sea change in the analysis … Continue Reading

Was Mary Poppins an Employee Under California’s ABC Test?

With remote work for adults and online distance learning for students here to stay, it is natural for parents with already demanding workloads to seek the help of others to keep their children busy and focused on learning during an already difficult situation. Many parents are searching for options, including engaging the services of at-home … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget to Check, and Re-Check, the California Reopening Guidelines

Just one week after its release on July 24, California has already issued an updated version of its COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening, which is intended to offer employers clear and practical guidance on how to safely reopen their businesses during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the latest update, employers are … Continue Reading

High Court Articulates Test for Applicability of California Wage Statement Requirements to Interstate Workers

California employers have frequently been faced with confusing standards for the application of California’s stringent wage statement requirements for employees that routinely travel between states as a function of their jobs. The California Supreme Court recently addressed this issue in two companion cases: Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., … Continue Reading

No Back to School

As the new school year approaches, some California employers will have to deal with the continued closure of schools, which impacts many working parents, and consequently their employers. Already, the Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento Unified School Districts have announced they will not re-open in the fall. (Read the California Department of Public Health Reopening Framework). … Continue Reading

California Makes A U-Turn

This week California ordered the re-closure of certain higher risk workplaces, in response to an increase in the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in some parts of the state. The statewide order requires the following businesses to close immediately: Bars, pubs, and breweries, regardless of whether operating indoors or outdoors. However, outdoor operations may … Continue Reading

California Requires Face Coverings as Coronavirus Cases Increase

As California enters Stage 2 of its “Resilience Roadmap” plan to reopen, California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health issued further guidance on June 18, 2020, mandating all Californians wear face coverings in various “high-risk” settings.  The guidance updates a previous CDPH guidance (issued on April 1, 2020) that outlined best … Continue Reading

Timothy Long and Lindsay Hutner to Participate at Bridgeport’s Independent Contractor, Joint Employment Misclassification Litigation 2020 Teleconference

Timothy Long and Lindsay Hutner of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP will participate in the Independent Contractor, Joint Employment Misclassification Litigation Teleconference program on June 30. Hosted by Bridgeport Continuing Education, the teleconference will discuss the challenges of how to classify independent contractors and employees and which employees are exempt. According to its website, Bridgeport … Continue Reading

COVID-19-Related Supplemental Sick Leave Benefits Now Available to Certain City of Los Angeles Workers

Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the City of Los Angeles COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the Ordinance) into law on April 7. Originally passed by the Los Angeles City Council on March 27, the new Ordinance applies to employers who have at least 500 employees nationwide (i.e., those businesses that had been excluded from the … Continue Reading

PAGA Plaintiffs: No Injury, No Problem, Says Unanimous California Supreme Court

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Kim v. Reins International California, Inc. and unanimously reversed the California Court of Appeal. The Court held an employee does not lose standing to pursue claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), Cal. Lab. Code § 2698 et seq., even when that employee … Continue Reading

Employers: Stop, Drop, and Ensure CCPA Compliance as to Employees Residing in California

Despite being in effect since Jan. 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) continues to generate confusion for employers of California residents. Much attention has been given to the CCPA’s effect on a business’ obligations in collecting, using, and sharing California customers’ data. However, given the CCPA’s broad “consumer” definition includes “employees,” it also imposes … Continue Reading

Employers Score Another Hit Against AB 51 as Preliminary Injunction Extends Prohibition on Enforcement by State of California

In the span of five weeks, a coalition of plaintiffs representing national and state business organizations and employers, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce, have gone two for two in challenging AB 51 to restore the previous status quo permitting the use of arbitration agreements with their employees. The … Continue Reading

AB 5 Update: The California Supreme Court Will Likely Decide if Dynamex Is Retro in 2020

On Jan. 15, 2020, the California Supreme Court granted, and then deferred further action on, the appeal of a lower appellate court’s opinion in Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit, Inc. pending its disposition of Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc., which takes up the common issue of whether the Dynamex decision applies retroactively. Last year, … Continue Reading

California Labor & Employment Legislative Update 2019 – Spoiler Alert, Things Have Not Moderated

Gov. Newsom signed 870 bills into law and vetoed 172. Fortunately, not all of them were labor and employment related. This GT Alert provides an overview of the new employment-related laws, which will likely create additional challenges for California employers. As always, we focus here on what is likely to be important as opposed to … Continue Reading

We May Not Have Until January to Sort Out AB5: Update on Dynamex Retroactivity

After the California Second District Court of Appeal’s Oct. 8, 2019, decision in Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit, Inc., brought as a garden variety wage and hour class action claiming various classifications of drivers who agreed to be and were treated as independent contractors were in fact employees, the California Supreme Court will have the final say … Continue Reading

AB5 Update: California Legislature Seeks Shake-Up of Gig Economy; Any Impact of CA Independent Contractor Laws on Franchisors Remains Unclear

On Sept. 18, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law. AB5, effective Jan. 1, 2020, seeks to codify and clarify a California Supreme Court case (Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles), which dramatically changed the standard for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees … Continue Reading

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back: California Supreme Court Nixes Plaintiffs’ Ability to Recover Unpaid Wages Under PAGA, but Forecloses Defendants’ Path to Arbitration

On Sept. 12, 2019, the California Supreme Court in ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Lawson) delivered a victory for California employers, clarifying that a plaintiff bringing a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) action may not recover as a “civil penalty” the “wages” referenced in Cal. Labor Code section 558, and thereby … Continue Reading

A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in structuring non-competes that balance their need to attract talent with their need to protect confidential and sensitive information, while preventing unfair competition by former employees. … Continue Reading

California Adopts Emergency Regulation to Protect Outdoor Workers From Wildfire Smoke

Last year was the most destructive fire season in California’s history. Over 7,600 wildfires burned nearly two million acres. As a result, on July 18, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Occupational Safety Health Standards Board adopted an emergency regulation to protect workers from hazards associated with wildfire smoke. The regulation is now in … Continue Reading
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