Nov 23 Federal Court Issues Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Blocking DOL's Final Overtime Rule

A federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the U.S. Department of Labor DOL from enforcing its Final Rule implementing higher salary requirements to qualify for an overtime exemption.

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Jun 20 City of San Diego Enacts Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

Another city has added to the burdens of doing business in California by passing its own paid sick leave and minimum wage requirements not always consistent with state law. On June 7, 2016, voters approved an ordinance mandating paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage for employees working within the City of San Diego. San Diego employers will have to act quickly to comply with the new Ordinance as it is expected to take effect in late July. The following are the key takeaways:

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Jun 10 City of Los Angeles Enacts New Paid Sick Time and Minimum Wage Ordinance

Exceeding even the newly expanded requirements of state law, on June 2, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council increased the city-wide minimum wage to $10.50 per hour and doubled employee paid sick time to 48 hours per year. Los Angeles employers will have to act quickly to comply with the new Ordinance. Despite being enacted only recently, many of the provisions go into effect on July 1, 2016. Failure to comply can lead to potentially confiscatory sanctions. The Ordinance is to be enforced by a new agency, the Office of Wage Standards, created specifically for this purpose.

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May 12 President Obama Signs Federal Trade Secrets Bill Into Law

Almost all companies have information that they consider trade secrets. On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act creating a new federal civil cause of action which companies may use to defend their trade secrets from misappropriation. The law also adds the potentially-attractive new provisional remedy of a civil seizure of the offender’s property where the victim’s trade secrets are stored. All persons facing or potentially facing trade secret misappropriation should be aware of this development. Companies should also consider updating their employment and confidentiality agreements in light of this development.

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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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