Posts from November 2021.
Ruling is Instructive of Biometric-Related Claims and Insurance 

As part of the larger trend of invasion of privacy claims asserted by employees or consumers against businesses, several states have recently passed legislation that sets forth requirements for the collection, storing and dissemination of biometric information such as fingerprints, voice recordings and even keystroke patterns. See, e.g., California Civil Code Sections 1798.100, 1798.140(b). Similar statutes have been enacted in Illinois, Washington and New York.

As claims arising from the collection and disclosure of biometric information proliferate, businesses faced ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Changes To Statutory Covid-19 Exposure Notice and Reporting Requirements 

COVID-19 has had a unique and continued impact on health and safety requirements in the workplace.  As a result, laws are being revised to catch up to the current work climate. Assembly Bill 654, which amends California Labor Code sections 6325 and 6409.6, is one such law. The amendments to these two statutes which initially established California’s COVID-19 notice and reporting requirements went into effect on October 5, 2021 and the statutes themselves shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023.

What Does AB 654 Do?

Amendment to Labor Code § 6325

As a minor amendment to this ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Court Rejects False Advertising Lawsuit For “All Butter” Loaf Cake

A federal judge in the Southern District of New York dismissed a fraud and misrepresentation action against Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc., a food company whose brands include Sara Lee, Brownberry, and Entenmann's. Plaintiff Monica Boswell brought an action against Bimbo, alleging that the company violated several New York consumer protection statutes by fraudulently advertising one of its products as an “All Butter Loaf Cake” when, in reality, the cake includes other ingredients in addition to butter, such as soybean oil and artificial flavors. 

Bimbo filed a motion to dismiss ...

Malls and Shopping Centers Exempt From SafePass Requirements

Less than one week into LA’s SafePass proof of vaccine requirements for businesses went into effect, the Los Angeles City Council (the “Council”) voted 10-0 to remove malls and shopping centers as covered businesses. Mall operators have pointed to the difficult of enforcing the ordinance because malls and shopping centers have so many different points of entry. It remains unclear when the revisions to the ordinance will go into effect. Malls and shopping centers remain covered businesses under the ordinance until the language is formally changed, but the ordinance is not ...

SB 639: The Hidden Cost of Phasing Out Certificate Programs for Workers With Disabilities

“It is the intent of the Legislature to afford all Californians, regardless of whether they have disabilities, with protections to ensure equal pay and equal treatment in the workplace.” These are the closing words of the preface to Senate Bill 639; a noble goal. However, the good intentions paving the way for this new law – equalizing the monetary playing field for employees with disabilities – may result in more harm than good for some of those very workers.

Before SB 639 was passed, employers could apply to the Industrial Welfare Commission for a special license, renewable ...

SafePassLA Now In Effect 

On November 8, 2021, SafePassLA officially went into effect. The Los Angeles City ordinance requires patrons of covered locations to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor spaces. Specifically, covered locations include:

  • The indoor portions of all establishments where food or beverages are served, including but not limited to, restaurants, bars, fast-food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, breweries, wineries, distilleries, banquet halls, and hotel ballrooms;
  •  Gyms and fitness venues ...
New Law Enhances Labor Commissioner’s Ability to Lien Employer Real Property

In 2013 the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1386, which amended Labor Code section 98.2, giving the Labor Commissioner additional means to collect wages and penalties on behalf of workers. Labor Code section 98.2 was modified so that any amount due under a final order by the Labor Commissioner permits the Labor Commissioner to record a Certificate of Lien against the employer’s real property.

Fast forward to September 2021 and the passage of Senate Bill 572.  This bill adds section 90.8 to the Labor Code, which becomes effective January 1, 2022.  This statute will allow ...

Update: Federal Court Halts OSHA Vaccine Requirement 

This weekend a federal court in Louisiana issued a temporary stay effectively stopping enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard requiring vaccination or weekly testing for all employers with 100 or more employees except for certain healthcare facilities and federal contractors. Following the announcement of the ETS by OSHA last week, at least 27 states filed lawsuits to challenge the rules. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in New Orleans issued the stay on the basis that there are “grave statutory and ...

West Hollywood Establishes Highest Minimum Wage In The Nation 

At a city council meeting which began on November 3, 2021, and ended on November 4, 2021, the West Hollywood City Council voted to increase the minimum wage for hourly workers in West Hollywood.  In response to significant pressure from local businesses, the council made last minute changes to the ordinance to require a phased-in approach for some businesses.  Specifically, large businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to raise the minimum wage from the current $14.00 per hour to $15.50 on January 1, 2022, with further increases scheduled for July 1, 2022 at $16.50, January ...

OSHA Issues Vaccine and Testing Requirements For Large Employers

On November 4, 2021, President Biden announced rules requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for companies with 100 or more employees.  These requirements will reach two-thirds of all private-sector workers in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA’s”) Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) will be officially published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021, but an unpublished version of the 490-page document is available now. The ETS applies to all employers with a total of 100 or ...

FTC Continues Ramp Up of Enforcement Actions

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) continued a flurry of activity to put companies on notice of future enforcement activities and safeguard consumer financial information. All businesses that advertise to consumers and that have an online presence should be aware of the FTC’s initiatives.

False Money-Making Claims

On October 26, 2021, the FTC sent a Notice of Penalty Offenses Containing Money-Making Opportunities and Endorsements and Testimonials (the “Notice”) to over 1,100 companies. These companies encompass a wide variety of industries and cover ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit Rejects Arrowhead Water Lawsuit

On October 22, 2021, the Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished opinion affirming dismissal of consumer false advertising claims against Nestlé’s Arrowhead brand water based on the mountain image at the front of the Arrowhead label. 

 The plaintiff argued that she believed the mountain printed on the front of the Arrowhead label to be "Arrowhead Mountain," and on the basis of that belief, determined that "NESTLÉ Product was [sourced exclusively] from the springs in the arrowhead mountain."

The Court rejected this agreement and found that there was not ...


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