Apr 26 San Francisco Requires Employers to Pay for Parental Leave

With the Mayor’s signature, San Francisco has formally adopted the country’s most generous paid parental leave policy with its new law requiring employers to provide fully-paid family leave for parents after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. Under the ordinance, employers will be obligated to make up the difference between an employee’s salary and the state-sponsored Paid Family Leave benefits for a total of six weeks of paid time off.

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Feb 25 California Court of Appeal Continues to Narrow "Other Insurance" Clauses

In a ruling that should help policyholders secure defense funding, the California Court of Appeal issued another opinion limiting the application of "other insurance" clauses in commercial general liability policies. In Underwriters of Interest Subscribing to Policy No. A15274001 v. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co., 241 Cal. App. 4th 721 (2015) review denied (Feb. 3. 2016), the court refused to enforce an insurer's "other insurance" clause and permitted a co-insurer to seek equitable contribution of defense costs that it paid to defend a mutual insured.

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Feb 01 EEOC Proposes New Pay Reporting Requirement to Combat Pay Discrimination

On Friday, January 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report ("EEO-1") that are intended to identify pay discrimination and promote equal pay in the workplace. The EEO-1 already requires federal contractors with more than 50 employees, and all employers with 100 or more employees, to report the number of employees they employ by job category, race, ethnicity, and sex. The proposal would revise the EEO-1 to require employers with 100 or more employees to disclose aggregate data on pay ranges and hours worked in their reports.

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Jan 27 Business Litigation Spotlight: Real Estate

The Payne & Fears business litigation group this month puts the spotlight on real estate litigation. Last week, the California Supreme Court reaffirmed broad protections for borrowers using purchase money loans. In Coker v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., the Court explained that the state limits "a lender's recovery on a standard purchase money loan to the value of the security, no matter how the security has been exhausted...."

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2015 California Broadens Employee Rights to Sue for Gender Wage Differences

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, SB 358, which gives California the most expansive equal pay protections in the nation. While the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and California Labor Code already prohibit gender-based wage discrimination, SB 358 amends Labor Code Section 1197.5 to place additional burdens on employers to show that gender-based wage discrimination has not occurred.

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2015 Nevada Supreme Court Recognizes Right to Independent Counsel

The Nevada Supreme Court recognized for the first time an insured's right to independent counsel. In State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, the Court ruled that Nevada law requires an insurer to pay for independent counsel, chosen by the insured, when an ethical conflict of interest exists between the insurer and the insured. The Court recognized that Nevada, like California, is a dual-representation state where insurer-appointed counsel represents both the insurer and the insured.

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2015 In a Win For Homebuilders, a California Court Strengthens the Scope and Applicability of the Right to Repair Act

In McMillin Albany, LLC, v. Superior Court, __ Cal. App. 4th __ , 2015 WL 5029324 (Aug. 26, 2015), the Court of Appeal held last week that when homeowners allege deficiencies in residential construction, they must comply with the prelitigation procedures of the Right to Repair Act, even if they only assert common law causes of action for construction defects and do not seek any remedies under the Act.

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2015 Uber Drivers in California May Proceed as a Class on Independent Contractor Claim

A federal judge in San Francisco has dealt a huge blow to Uber Technologies, Inc. by certifying a class of Uber drivers who claim the popular ride-hailing company misclassified them as independent contractors and unlawfully withheld tips. Although the order did not determine whether Uber drivers are actually employees, rather than independent contractors, it does mean that the lawsuit may proceed on a class-wide basis, dramatically increasing Uber's potential liability.

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2015 California Supreme Court Rules that Insurers Must Honor Post-Loss Assignment of Rights Under Liability Policies

Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court: In an opinion that will likely have a major impact on mergers and acquisitions, the California Supreme Court ruled that an insurance carrier may not use a "consent-to-assign" clause to deny coverage for injuries or damage that occurred before the insured assigned its rights to coverage under a liability policy.

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2015 California Supreme Court Allows Insurer to Sue Independent Counsel Directly for Reimbursement of Defense Costs in "Unusual" Procedural Setting

In a highly-anticipated decision regarding an insurer's rights against an insured's independent counsel, the California Supreme Court has ruled that an insurer may sue independent counsel for reimbursement of excessive defense costs if those costs were paid involuntarily pursuant to a trial-court order that expressly permitted the insurer to "recover payments of excessive fees." Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, ___ Cal. 4th ___ (Aug. 10, 2015).

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