Posted in Staff Infection

Assembly Bill 749 is an unnecessary law that will only serve to incentivize more lawsuits between former employees and employers.  Effective on January 1, 2020, AB 749 will prohibit an agreement to settle an employment dispute from containing a provision that prohibits a settling party from working for the employer against which he or she filed a claim, or any parent company, subsidiary, division, affiliate, or contractor of the employer. The law states that provisions in settlements signed after January 1, 2020 will be void as a matter of law and against public policy.

AB 749 seems ...

Posted in Staff Infection

I am frequently asked about the pros and cons of having an unlimited vacation policy. To begin, I do not think it works for every category of worker, nor does it work for every type of company. When it does work, it usually is applied only to executive or professional types of workers, and only then in an atmosphere where such workers are employed in situations where co-workers or clients depend on consistent performance, such that there is always pressure to perform and deliver services in a timely fashion. Workers who work autonomously for extended periods of time may not be as ...

Q: I am a health and safety receiver appointed over property that had numerous code violations and was rat infested. The court ordered me to bring the property into the code compliance and, eventually, to sell the property to pay for the repairs and my fees. The owner has now sued the city and me in federal court alleging her civil rights were violated and to prevent me from selling the property. What is the best way to get rid of her federal lawsuit?

A: This seems to happen often in health and safety receivership cases. The defendants must be reading the same online posts. The normal method ...

Posted in Staff Infection

In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the California Court of Appeal considered the method for determining the amount of the one hour of pay at the employee’s “regular rate of compensation” for each workday in which an employer fails to provide a meal, rest or recovery period as required by Labor Code Section 226.7. In recent years, plaintiffs have argued in class actions that the method for determining the “regular rate of compensation” under 226.7 must be the same as that used for calculating the “regular rate of pay” for overtime purposes under Labor Code Section 510 ...

Posted in Staff Infection

Effective January 1, 2020, Assembly Bill 51 will prohibit employers from requiring employees to waive forum or procedure rights under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or the Labor Code in favor of arbitration as a condition of employment, continued employment or the receipt of any employment-related benefit. AB 51 also prohibits an employer from retaliating against any employee who refuses to consent to the waiver of such rights. For the sake of clarity, the new law states that an agreement that permits an opt-out of a waiver or which requires any affirmative action on the part of the ...

Q: I am a partner in a partnership. Because of what I contend were misdeeds and mismanagement by the managing partner, I filed suit to dissolve the partnership and for damages. I immediately filed a motion to have a receiver appointed to run the partnership business and safeguard the partnership assets during litigation. Unfortunately, the judge denied my motion because she stated receiverships are harsh and costly remedies and that at such an early stage in the proceeding a receivership was premature. My partner has now filed a motion seeking attorney’s fees based on his ...

Posted in Staff Infection

On August 30, 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1804, which requires employers to immediately report any serious occupational illness, injury or death to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, by telephone or by an online mechanism to be established for this purpose.  Until the online mechanism is available, employers may report by telephone or email.  Failure to report is subject to a $5,000 civil penalty.  This new law becomes effective January 1, 2020.

This requirement is in addition to the existing employer requirement to report any workplace injury or ...

Posted in Staff Infection

On August 30, 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law SB 778, which delays by one year the new harassment training requirement imposed by last year’s SB 1343.  As a result, employers with five or more employees or independent contractors will have until January 1, 2021, rather than January 1, 2020, to provide harassment training to all managerial and non-managerial employees within six months of hire or promotion.  In addition, harassment training must be provided to temporary or seasonal employees, employees hired for less than six months, independent contractors, volunteers ...

Posted in Staff Infection

Kelly O. Scott, Partner and head of Ervin Cohen & Jessup’s Employment Law Department, was recently quoted in the Law360 article entitled, “Hair Bias Bans Mean Employer Grooming Rules Need Review.” The article takes a closer look at the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), which was signed into California law on July 3, 2019, by Governor Gavin Newsom. California and New York, which enacted a similar law, became the first two states to recognize the connection between racial discrimination and policies that limit appearances, including natural ...

Posted in Staff Infection

Krista Townley was a server at BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. As a server, Townley was required to wear black, slip-resistant close-toed shoes pursuant to company policy.  Townley purchased a pair of canvas shoes that complied with the policy.  She was not reimbursed by BJ’s. What happened next?  You guessed it: Townley filed a class and representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.) which sought civil penalties on behalf of herself and other "aggrieved employees" for Labor Code violations.

In her lawsuit, Townley claimed that an ...

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