Jul 14 California "Fixes" Paid Sick Leave Law

Governor Brown just signed urgency legislation effective immediately fixing some of the problems in California's Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, the Paid Sick Leave Law. Key changes to the Paid Sick Leave Law include...

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Jul 10 San Francisco Ordinances Impose New Requirements for Formula Retail Employers

Effective July 3, 2015, a pair of ordinances known collectively as the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances or the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights (“Ordinances”), places substantial burdens on covered San Francisco employers and limits their flexibility to schedule part-time employees and to hire temporary labor. Although the Ordinances became effective July 3, 2015, key provisions of these acts were recently changed when the Board of Supervisors voted to amend the Ordinances on July 7, 2015. Covered employers are now any entity that operates a Formula Retail Establishment as defined by the Planning Code, has 40 or more Retail Sales Establishments worldwide, and has 20 or more employees in the City of San Francisco.

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Jun 19 Time is Running Out for California Employers to Bring Their Sick Leave Policies Into Compliance

Many California employers are assuming--incorrectly--that because they have an existing paid time off (PTO) or sick leave policy, they do not need to review their policies for compliance with California's new paid sick leave law, which requires paid sick leave starting on July 1, 2015. For example, policies containing these common provisions will not comply with the new law...

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Apr 20 Ninth Circuit Sharply Narrows Enforceability of Jury Waivers in Commercial Contracts

In a decision which narrows the contractual rights of companies doing business in California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last week that jury trial waivers in contracts signed under California law will not be upheld in federal court, even where those agreements are entered voluntarily and knowingly. In re County of Orange, filed April 16, 2015.

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Apr 02 Recent Legal Developments Require Review of Employee Handbooks

Many employers have employee handbooks that have been passed down through generations of management, or that were obtained through networking or an online search. These handbooks may be legal landmines waiting to explode in litigation. Employers should review their employee handbooks for legal compliance in light of two recent developments.

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Feb 02 Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc.

In the recently published case, Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc., the Court of Appeal determined that an attorney’s acceptance of a $13 million certified check covering his client’s entire judgment plus interest prevented the client from also obtaining attorney fees for enforcing the judgment. This meant that the client was out more than $3 million in fees.

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Feb 02 A Cautionary Tale: Should You Turn Down a Check Offered as Satisfaction of Your Judgment?

In the recently published case, Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc., the Court of Appeal determined that an attorney's acceptance of a $13 million certified check covering his client's entire judgment plus interest prevented the client from also obtaining attorney fees for enforcing the judgment. This meant that the client was out more than $3 million in fees.

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2014 The End of the Age of Ignorance: Courts Are Becoming Less Tolerant of Lapses and Noncompliance With Discovery Obligations Involving Electronically Stored Information

A recent federal case illustrates increasing expectations of courts in civil discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). In Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, No. 2:13-cv-00298-APG, 2014 WL 4079507 (D. Nev. 2014), a Special Master appointed by the court recommended that draconian and severe sanctions be imposed on a large corporation for its massive failure to comply with its obligations to preserve, identify, maintain, retain and collect ESI, including e-mails and text messages on its servers, company mobile phones, company-issued personal mobile devices (such as laptops, tablets and smart phones), and internal accounting, financial and employee timekeeping records.

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2014 Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada

A recent federal case making the rounds lately is part of a growing trend in courts' and judges' attitudes pertaining to civil discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). To some attorney (especially older lawyers) the trend signals a "sea change" in what courts and litigants expect when it comes to civil discovery obligations. The case is Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (D. Nev., Aug. 18, 2014, No. 2:13-cv-00298-APG) 2014 WL 4079507, and serves as a cautionary tale. It deals with a large corporate client's massive failure to comply with its discovery obligations to preserve, identify, maintain, retain and collect various electronically stored information (ESI) that included e-mails on its servers, text messages on company mobile phones and other company issued personal mobile devices (such as laptops, tablets and smart phones); and internal accounting, financial and employee timekeeping records, etc.

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2014 New California Law Makes Companies Responsible for Contractor's Failure to Pay Wages

On January 1, 2015, companies that use labor contractors to supply workers will share legal responsibility for paying their wages and providing worker's compensation coverage. Under Assembly Bill 1897, recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, companies will be liable for wages and other penalties in the event a labor contractor fails to pay its employee or secure valid worker's compensation coverage.

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