Posts from November 2023.
NLRB Issues Rule Expanding Definition of Joint Employer

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a final rule broadening who may be considered a joint employer of another employer’s employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

Under the former rule, passed in February 2020 during the Trump administration, an entity is considered a joint employer of a separate’s employer’s employees only if the two employers “share or codetermine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, which are exclusively defined as wages, benefits, hours of work, hiring, discharge, discipline, supervision, and ...

Opportunities for insisting on independent counsel

Civil Code section 2860 authorizes the retention of independent counsel in the event a conflict of interest arises between the insurer and its insured. Under the statute a conflict of interest is deemed to arise “when an insurer reserves it rights on a given issue and the outcome of that coverage issue can be controlled by counsel first retained by the insurer for the defense of the claim”. Section 2860(b).

But what happens if, in the absence of insurer appointed counsel, the insured selects counsel to defend the claim, with the insurer’s acquiescence? In that circumstance, is the ...

Privacy vs. Innovation: California's Proposed Regulations on AI and Automated Decision-Making

The California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) has unveiled draft regulations regarding AI and automated decision-making technologies.  AI and automated decision-making encompasses systems leveraging machine learning, statistics, and data processing to evaluate personal information.  Such technologies not only aid in human decision-making, they also involve individual profiling capabilities, which triggers a potential need to safeguard privacy rights.  The draft regulations include, among other things, provisions for providing notice of AI technology use ...

California Expands Protections for Employee Conduct

        Employee claims of retaliation in the workplace have been on an upward trend since the California Legislature amended Labor Code section 1102.5 to include protections for whistleblower complaints made directly to a person with authority over the complaining employee or to another employee with authority to investigate the claims alleged.  Senate Bill 497, which goes into effect on January 1, 2024, will serve to permit claims for employees alleging retaliation in the workplace under not only Labor Code section 1102.5, but also sections 98.6 (engaging in protected activity related ...

Appealing A Petition to Compel Arbitration Ruling No Longer Automatically Stays Superior Court Proceedings

            Over the past few years, this blog has followed the California Legislature’s concerted efforts to vitiate employment arbitrations in the state.  Senate Bill 365 is the next in line.  This bill amends Code of Civil Procedure section 1294(a) to state that, while an aggrieved party may appeal from an order dismissing or denying a petition to compel arbitration, “the perfecting of such an appeal shall not automatically stay any proceedings in the trial court during the pendency of the appeal.” (Emphasis added). 

            Although a small change to a short statute, the effects may be ...

California Enacts Further Protections for Marijuana-Using Workers and Job Applicants

Passed in 2022 and effective January 1, 2024, Assembly Bill 2188 creates Government Code section 12954 to make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalizing a person, for either:

(1) The person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace; or

(2) An employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids.

Now Senate Bill 700, which will also become effective ...

California Employers Must Pay for Food Handler Card and Training

On October 8, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 476. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

Employees of retail food facilities are already required to obtain a food handler card and maintain that card for the duration of their employment. SB 476 requires employees to compensate the training and food handler examination time as “hours worked” for which the employer would pay. Employers must also reimburse the employee for all costs associated with obtaining a food handler card. Lastly, employers must relieve the employee of all other ...

California Creates Employee Right to Reproductive Loss Leave

California Senate Bill (“SB”) 848, which becomes effective on January 1, 2024, entitles employees to five days of leave following a reproductive loss event. SB 848 adds section 12945.6 to the Government Code and applies to employers with five or more employees. Employees are eligible for the leave if they have worked for the employer for at least 30 days before suffering the reproductive loss.

SB 848 defines “reproductive loss event” as “the day or, for a multiple-day event, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful ...

California Enacts Additional Restrictions on Employer Noncompete Agreements

          The California Legislature has sought in recent years to expand the rights of employees in nearly every facet of business in California.  Employer restrictions on an employee’s ability to work in the same industry after employment ends have been no exception.  As a result of the 2023 legislative term, two bills limiting post-employment restrictions on employees. In addition to Senate Bill 699, which voids noncompete agreements of out-of-state employee seeking work in California, Assembly Bill 1076 was signed into law. 

            AB 1076 amends Business Code Section 16600 and creates ...


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