Posted in Legal Bites
Two Restaurant Relief Bills Pass California Legislature and Await Governor’s Signature

Two restaurant relief measures have cleared the California State Senate and Assembly with bi-partisan support. The bills were both enrolled on September 13, 2021, and now await Governor Newsom’s signature.

AB-61: Business Pandemic Relief

AB-61 authorizes the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) to permit restaurants to serve alcohol in an expanded license area. The bill would also authorize the ABC to extend the period of time during which the COVID-19 permit is valid beyond 365 days if the licensee has applied for permanent expansion of their ...

Posted in Legal Bites
USDA Solicits Public Comment on Labeling Meat and Poultry Products Derived from Animal Cells

On September 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comments from the public regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from animals. FSIS stated that it would use those comments to make further regulatory requirements.

FSIS also asked for economic data and consumer research to help increase its understanding of the animal cell culture technology industry and related issues regarding labeling and consumer ...

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements are Unenforceable in California, Again

In a year of tough decisions for California employers, the Ninth Circuit just issued another mixed bag of legal decisions to navigate, this time regarding the enforceability of mandatory arbitration agreements.

CA Labor Code § 432.6 and Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Bonta

In October, 2019, California passed Assembly Bill 51, which became codified as Labor Code § 432.6, effective January 1, 2020. This law provided that employers could not require employees to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. In addition, it created civil and criminal ...

Posted in Legal Bites
SBA Announces Changes to EIDL Program, Including Cap Increase to $2M

On September 9, 2021, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) announced several changes to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) Program. 

The changes include:

  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap to $2M. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment and paying debt.
  • Deferred Payment Period. Small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination. The SBA stated that this change was ...
LA County Announces Proof-of-Vaccine Requirements for Bars and Large Outdoor Events

On September 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced that proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges in Los Angeles County. This requirement will be announced in a Department of Public Health Order.

The order will recommend, but not require, vaccine verification for employees and customers in indoor portions of restaurants.

The Los Angeles County mandate will also apply to employees of covered establishments and require that both employees and customers have at least one vaccine dose by ...

Posted in Legal Bites
FTC Announces Expansion of Compulsory Process Resolutions to Eight Areas

On September 14, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted 3-2 to approve new compulsory process resolutions in eight areas.

Compulsory process refers to the issuance of demands for documents and testimony, through the use of civil investigative demands and subpoenas. The FTC Act authorizes the FTC to use compulsory process in its investigations, which requires the recipient to produce information, and these orders are enforceable by courts.

According to the press release, the “resolutions announced today will broaden the ability for FTC investigators and ...

West Hollywood Imposes Vaccine Verification Requirement

On September 10, 2021, the City of West Hollywood issued an Emergency Executive Order (the “Order”) implementing vaccine verification requirements for some businesses throughout the City. The West Hollywood City Council first discussed vaccine mandates for businesses in a July 21, 2021 meeting.

The Order mandates restaurants, bars, nightclubs, health and fitness facilities, and personal care establishments to require all patrons ages 18 and older to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering any indoor portions of a facility. Additionally, business ...

President Biden Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate on Federal and Private Employers

On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed two Executive Orders imposing sweeping new vaccine mandates on federal workers and contractors. This new mandate represents a shift in the White House’s policy on vaccinations, which had previously offered an alternative to those who wish to remain unvaccinated by allowing those individuals to wear masks while on federal property as long as they submitted to regular screening for COVID-19.

All federal employees, contractors and subcontractors employed by the federal government shall be required to provide proof of vaccination ...

Posted in Legal Bites
California Legislature Passes AB-286 Third-Party Delivery Platform Law

On September 1, 2021, the California State Assembly joined the California State Senate in passing Assembly Bill 286, which will regulate food delivery platforms throughout the state. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers, with a 55-8 vote in the Assembly on September 1, and a 27-8 vote in the Senate on August 23, 2021. The bill was introduced in January 2021 and now awaits Governor Newsom’s signature.

There are three main aspects of the bill: (1) it prohibits third-party platforms from charging more than the price set by the food facility; (2) it makes it unlawful for ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit Decertifies Class in Coca-Cola False Advertising Case

On August 31, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished order revoking class certification of a consumer class in a Coca-Cola labeling case. The plaintiffs alleged that Coke’s advertising slogan of “no artificial flavors, no preservatives added since 1886” was misleading because Coke contains phosphoric acid.

This decision reversed a class certification order from a California federal judge. The court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief because they had failed to demonstrate harm and thus had not adequately ...

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