United States Supreme Court Imposes Stay on OSHA Vaccine Mandate

Following an expedited hearing on January 7, 2022, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for stay of enforcement of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard that would have been imposed on employers of 100 or more employees.  This stay is, in effect, injunctive relief pending disposition of the numerous businesses, trade groups, and non-profit organizations’ consolidated petitions for review in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court disagreed with the Sixth Circuit’s prior opinion and determined that the applicants’ ...

Los Angeles County Tightens Mask Mandates for Employers

On January 5, 2022, Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health modified its ongoing COVID-19 health order due to drastic increases in cases and resultant hospitalizations related to the Omicron and Delta variants. Among these modifications is an important new requirement which pertains to the wearing of masks by employees. 

Specifically, employers in Los Angeles County must now provide their employees who work indoors and in close contact with other workers or the public with a well-fitting medical-grade mask, surgical mask or higher-level respirator, such as an N95 ...

Can a Discharged Receiver Be Sued Without Court Permission?

Q:  I was discharged as receiver a number of years ago. One of the defendants in the case has now sued me and my former attorney, contending we violated his civil rights when I sold some of his assets and that we conspired with the plaintiff to injure him. The former defendant did not obtain leave from the court that appointed me to sue me and my former attorney. Even though I was discharged and the case is closed, isn’t court permission to sue me still required?

A:  I assume that since you were sued for civil rights violations, the new lawsuit is in federal court. If the case is in First ...

A Reminder: The IRS Mileage Rates Have Changed

The 2022 mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes have increased from last year or remained unchanged. Specifically, as of January 1, 2022, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:

  • 58.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up two and one-half cents from the rate for 2021;
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for active-duty members of the Armed Forces, up two cents from the rate for 2021; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of ...
Posted in Legal Bites
New California Compost Law Goes into Effect

On January 1, 2022, California’s new compost law will officially go into effect. Senate Bill 1383 was passed in September 2016 as part of a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. SB-1383 set the ambitious targets of reducing organic waste disposal 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.

Beginning on January 1, 2022, every jurisdiction in California (i.e., city, county, or special district that provides solid waste collection services) is required to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses. The state’s CalRecycle ...

Isn’t it Grand? New Law Provides That Wage Theft Can Be Charged as Grand Theft

Under Assembly Bill 1003, which becomes effective on January 1, 2022, the intentional theft of wages in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee, or $2,350 in the aggregate from 2 or more employees, by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period can be punishable as grand theft. Violations carry a possible prison sentence of up to three years. This criminal charge would be in addition to any attempt to recover wages, penalties, interest and attorneys’ fees and costs through a civil action.

For purposes of the new law, “wages” include wages, gratuities, benefits or ...

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in California: Down, But Possibly Not Out

Businesses and attorneys alike have kept a close eye on the developments surrounding the challenge to California Assembly Bill 51 (now codified as Labor Code section 432.6). Most recently, in a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) did not preempt the new law which bars California employers from utilizing mandatory arbitration agreements or from requiring an employee to sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment.  One month after this decision came down, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States filed ...

California Restricts Use of Quotas in Warehouses

On January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill 701, which aims to regulate and curb the use of quotas in warehouses, will go into effect. While the bill was specifically intended to target Amazon, all California warehouse employers must pay close attention to its provisions and to accompanying regulations that will likely be issued in 2022.

The bill requires employers of 100 or more nonexempt employees at a single warehouse distribution center, or 1000 or more non-exempt employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state, to provide each employee with a written description of ...

Recent Private Attorneys General Act Reform Efforts

Since being enacted in 2004, the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) has been a proverbial bogeyman for employers in California. Despite having only a one-year look-back period, PAGA claims commonly inflate plaintiff’s demands and judicial decisions to a punitive degree that decimates an employer’s incentive to maintain a business in California. This statute, among other factors, has served to motivate a mass exodus of businesses fleeing to other, more business-friendly states. While PAGA has withstood many challenges and attempted reforms over the years, there is ...

Employer Alert: New Compensation Requirement for Computer Software Overtime Exemption

Effective January 1, 2022, the California Department of Industrial Relations issued a new compensation threshold for exempt computer software employees, reflecting an increase of 5.3% from last year. 

To qualify for the overtime exemption, computer software employees must be paid a salary of at least $104,149.81 annually ($8,679.16 monthly), or an hourly wage of at least $50.00. 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 ...

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