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Yearly Archives: 2016

  • On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.” Prop. 64, among many things: • Legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. • Allows adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. • Allows adults to grow up to six marijuana plants for recreational use (so long as they are locked up and not visible from a public place). So, all this means you can’t be fired (or a potential employer can’t refuse to hire you) for failing a drug test because you […]

  • Normally an operating covenant or continuous operation provision is not the most noteworthy or “sexy” provision in a retail lease. However, this seemingly unremarkable provision can have remarkable consequences to an unsuspecting tenant.  An operating covenant is an agreement by a tenant to operate its store for a designated number of hours and/or days each week (i.e., continuous operation). Such a provision may be desirable to both tenants and landlords because open stores bring in customers. Operating covenants help landlords keep their shopping centers open and operating, maximize revenue and make their properties appeal to prospective tenants. Such provisions are […]

  • In a potentially significant ruling, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday “that an employer violates § 7 and § 8 of the National Labor Relations Act [“NLRA”] by requiring employees to sign an agreement precluding them from bringing, in any forum, a concerted legal claim regarding wages, hours, and terms of conditions of employment. The panel held that Ernst & Young interfered with the employees’ right to engage in concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act by requiring the employees to resolve all of their legal claims in ‘separate proceedings.’ The panel concluded that the […]

  • Cities across the state have recently been enacting ordinances increasing the minimum wages and the amount of paid sick leave available to employees above the state-wide minimums. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, and San Francisco all recently enacted minimum wage and paid sick leave laws, some of which go into effect July 1. All of the laws provide for a higher minimum wage and many provide substantially more paid leave than is required by California’s Paid Sick Leave law. Employers with workers in any of these cities may need to update their practices regarding accrual of sick leave and/or […]

  • Yesterday morning, the U.S. Department of Labor released a long-awaited update to the overtime rules under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers are advised to ensure that they are prepared to raise salaries to meet the minimum thresholds, pay overtime when appropriate, or otherwise adhere to the new rules well before the December 1, 2016 implementation date. The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their […]

  • Last week, I came back from the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. On my last night there, my wife and I went to the Grand Ole Opry. One of the featured country artists that night asked the audience, “You know what happens when you play a country music record backwards? You get your truck back, you get your dog back, you get your wife back…” Well, after discussing California’s new Labor Code section 1720.9 (which goes into effect on July 1, 2016) with some of my colleagues from around the country, I couldn’t help […]

  • Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 908, which increases the level and duration of benefits provided in the Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability (SDI) insurance programs. The law also removes the 7-day waiting period normally required for these benefits. The law goes into effect January 1, 2018. More specifically, AB 908 revises the formula for determining benefits available under California’s unemployment compensation disability and family temporary disability insurance programs. Under the revisions, the wage replacement rate for PFL and SDI benefits are increased from 55% to: 1) Seventy percent for those who make up to 33% […]

  • California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 3, which, over the next several years, will gradually increase California’s minimum wage from $10 per hour to $15 per hour for most employers. The bill was quickly enacted and signed into law after two initiatives increasing the minimum wage qualified for ballot in the upcoming elections in November. For employers with 26 or more employees, the law requires annual wage increases as follows: From $10 to $10.50 on January 1, 2017; From $10.50 to $11 on January 1, 2018; From $11 to $12 on January 1, 2019; From $12 to $13 on […]

  • Amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Regulations go into effect on April 1, 2016. It is critical that employers ensure compliance with the amended regulations and make revisions to (or implement) written policies, if needed. Among other things, the amended regulations: • Require employers to maintain detailed written anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies; and  • Require employers to distribute and translate these policies  Covered Employers FEHA only applies to employers with 5 or more employees. The regulations expand what it means to have 5 employees by including out of state employees in the 5-employee threshold.  Written Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention […]

  • In DeSaulles v. Community Hospital (March 10, 2016) case no. S219236, the Supreme Court has weighed in with what it calls a “default” rule regarding which party may be entitled to costs when an action is dismissed by way of settlement. Such a “default” rule in effect overturns the prior holding in Chinn v. KMR Property Management (2008) 166 Cal. App.4th 175, at 185–190. The settlement in Desaulles was made and put on the record during trial as a result of rulings by the Court and included a monetary payment plus the Defendant to prepare a Judgment of Dismissal with prejudice with respect to […]