LA City Council Joins County, Passing “Hero Pay” for Grocery Workers

On February 24, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to pass an ordinance mandating that employers provide $5/hour in additional premium hazard pay for on-site grocery and drug retail workers.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect the week of March 1, after it is signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has already expressed support. The pay increase will go into effect for 120 days and then expire.

The ordinance applies to grocery stores and drug retails stores with more than 300 employees nationwide and more than ten employees on-site in Los Angeles. Approximately 26,000 ...

LA County Mandates “Hero Pay” for Grocery Workers

On February 23, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to institute a $5 per hour “Hero Pay” increase for frontline grocery workers and drug retailers in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The increase is effective immediately and will remain in effect for 120 days. The ordinance will increase pay for approximately 2,500 grocery workers in these unincorporated areas of the County.

The motion was co-sponsored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell. The motion states: “Frontline grocery and drug retail workers have been met with COVID-19 ...

'Notice-Prejudice Rule' Ruling Could Provide New Arguments

The “notice-prejudice rule,” often applied in the context of occurrence-type policies, requires an insurer to prove that the insured’s late notice of a claim has substantially prejudiced its ability to investigate the insured’s claim. This principle has been applied in the context of both first-party policies. Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 8 Cal. 5th 93 (2019), applying the notice-prejudice rule to a consent provision in a first-party policy) and third-party policies written on an “occurrence” basis. See, e.g., Campbell v. Allstate Ins. Co., 60 Cal. 2d ...

Posted in Legal Bites
FDA/USDA: No Transmission of COVID-19 Through Food/Food Packaging

On February 18, 2021, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and Acting USDA Secretary Kevin Shea issued a joint COVID-19 update statement that current epidemiologic and scientific information available to the FDA and USDA indicates no transmission of COVID-19 through food or food packaging.

The press release states: “Our confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply remains steadfast. Consumers should be reassured that we continue to believe, based on our understanding of currently available reliable scientific information, and supported by overwhelming ...

Department of Labor Proposes Delay on Tip Regulations and Independent Contractor Rule

On February 5, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) published two notices of proposed ruling to delay the effective date of two rules finalized by the DOL under the Trump Administration regarding tips and independent contractor rules. The proposed delays are designed to allow the DOL “additional opportunity for review and consideration” of both rules.

The first rule is Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“Tip Regulations”), which was published on December 30, 2020, and set to go into effect on March 1, 2021. The proposed rule would delay the effective date of ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit Revives P.F. Chang’s “Krab Mix” Lawsuit

On February 9, 2021, a divided Ninth Circuit Panel held that consumer claims against the P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain based on the term “Krab Mix” in certain menu items could proceed. The Court reversed a lower court decision that had thrown out these claims.

Plaintiff’s claims arose from his purchase of P.F. Chang’s sushi rolls that are identified on the menu as being made with a “Krab Mix.” Plaintiff claimed that based on the “Krab Mix” name, he believed the items contained a mix of real crab and imitation crab. Plaintiff made claims based on California’s Unfair ...

Employer Alert: New Compensation Threshold for Computer Software Overtime Exemption

Effective January 1, 2021, the California Department of Industrial Relations issued a new compensation threshold for exempt computer software employees, reflecting an increase of 2% from last year. 

To qualify for the overtime exemption, computer software employees must be paid a salary of at least $98,907.70 annually ($8,242.32 monthly) or an hourly wage of at least $47.48.  In addition, a computer software employee must also meet the duties test set forth in California Labor Code Section 515.5, which are also included in all Wage Orders except Orders 14 and 16.

More specifically ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Restaurant Rescue Plan Approved by Senate

On February 4, 2021, the Senate voted 90-10 to approve a Restaurant Rescue Plan as an amendment to a larger budget resolution. Senate Amendment 261 was co-sponsored by Republican Senator Roger Wicker and Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema. The amendment is part of a budget resolution passed by the Senate on February 5 that paves the way for passage of President Joe Biden's pandemic relief package.

The Restaurant Rescue Plan establishes a $25 billion grant program for restaurants hurt by the pandemic and was based on the RESTAURANTS Act. The $25 billion in grants fall short of the $125 ...

Can Receivers Reject Leases For The Benefit of Creditors?

Q: I am a receiver in two different cases, both of which have problems. I was appointed in a partnership dispute case, where the only asset is a marijuana dispensary. I have been running the dispensary, but because of COVID-19 and the lease obligations; it is not making money. I am also receiver for a bar, owned by an LLC, some of whose members filed an action to dissolve and wind-up the LLC, due to allegations of mismanagement. Because of COVID-19, the bar has been closed and I have not been operating it, although I have possession of it. Both the dispensary and the bar have some valuable assets ...

A Reminder: The IRS Mileage Rates Have Changed

The 2021 mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes have decreased from last year, or remained unchanged. Specifically, as of January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:

  • 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down one and one-half cents from the rate for 2020;
  • 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down one cent from the rate for 2019; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, unchanged from ...

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