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California Law


  •   California local public agencies and their contractors should take note of a recent appellate decision pertaining to late progress payments on public works projects. In Clark Bros., Inc. v. North Edwards Water Dist., 2022 Cal. App. LEXIS 331, filed on April 22, 2022, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that a local agency’s late progress payments to a general contractor did not constitute breach of contract under the prompt payment penalty statute, Public Contract Code § 20104.50. Notwithstanding this holding, the contractor recovered damages, interest, fees, and costs in excess of its contract amount. In […]

  • March 2022 The pandemic certainly did not slow down California’s Legislature and appellate courts. The following five appellate decisions significantly impact businesses that use standard form agreements, employ mechanics lien and related remedies to ensure payment for labor or materials on construction projects, rely on website/online terms and conditions, and agree to resolve debts with written agreements. INCONSPICUOUS ARBITRATION (AND POSSIBLY OTHER CONTRACT) CLAUSES WILL NOT BE ENFORCED The Domestic Linen Supply Co., Inc. v. L J T Flowers, Inc., 58 Cal. App. 5th 180 (2020) case should encourage all distributors and manufacturers that utilize standard form credit, sales, or rental agreements […]

  • January 2022 Aas v. Superior Court (2000) 24 Cal. 4th 627 – economic loss rule Amelco Electric v. City of Thousand Oaks ( (2002) 27 Cal. 4th 228 – abandonment does not apply to public works – total cost theory is allowed Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (2014) 59 Cal. 4th 568 – architect liable in absence of privity Cates Const., Inc. v. Talbot Partners (1999) 21 Cal.4th 28 – no tort recovery on bonds – performance bonds can cover contract warranties Condon-Johnson & Associates, Inc. v. Sacramento Municipal Utility Dist., 149 Cal. App. 4th 1384 […]

  •   November 2021 Employment arbitration agreements continue to be a hot button issue in California. We recently highlighted a ruling by the Ninth Circuit that upheld AB 51, California’s ban on mandatory employment arbitration agreements. While the AB 51 decision was bad news for employers, the newly decided Martinez-Gonzalez v. Elkhorn Packing Co. LLC provides some relief. The representative plaintiff in the Elkhorn Packing case was a former farm laborer who worked for Elkhorn Packing Company (“Elkhorn”), a farm labor contractor. The plaintiff brought a class action claim for wage and hour violations. Elkhorn moved to compel arbitration and the […]

  •     October 2021   As 2021 winds down, California has yet again passed a host of new employment laws that has been signed by Governor Newsom.  Most of these new laws will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new employment laws cover a wide swath of issues, including medical leave, wage theft, settlement and severance agreements, Cal/OSHA regulations, and, of course, COVID-19.   CHANGES TO THE CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT (CFRA) Last year, California enacted sweeping changes to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  The CFRA is the California equivalent to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act […]

  • October 2021 In response to what has been described as an extreme shortage of affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles, the City has adopted civil and criminal remedies to curb unlawful harassment against tenants. As explained below, the new statute increases liabilities and risk to residential landlords. On August 6, 2021, the City passed an ordinance adding Article 5.3 to the Los Angeles Municipal Code establishing a Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance, and Section 151.33 incorporating the protections in the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance is purported by the City to be in response to a 2018 […]

  • September 2021 A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit may prevent employers from mandating arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. But the ruling leaves the door open for employees to voluntarily enter into such agreements. In late 2019, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 51. AB 51 was enacted on January 1, 2020 and codified as Labor Code § 432.6. The law prevents employers from requiring employees or job applicants to enter into mandatory arbitration agreements for claims related to the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Labor Code. It also bars employers from retaliating against […]

  • September 2021      Mechanics Liens are a mainstay of California construction industry and law. These liens may seem commonplace, but they should not be taken for granted as they are an essential sword and shield for contractors of every level to use to make sure they get paid their due on a project. What Is A Mechanics Lien?      A mechanics lien is a lien on a piece of real property held by a mechanic, material supplier, artisan, and/or laborer of every class who has bestowed labor and/or materials to improve the property. See 1 Ca Mechanics’ Lien […]

  • Written by Keemia Tabrizi and Matthew Wallin August 2021 California employers are required to provide employees with paystubs for each pay period where an employee earned income. Labor Code section 226 (the “Code”) includes very specific information that must be included in every wage statement. Failing to include all of the required information on every wage statement can expose employers to substantial liability, as will be discussed below. I. WHAT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED: The Code lists nine categories of information that must be included in every wage statement: (1) Gross wages (without deductions); (2) Total hours worked; (3) All […]