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Supreme Court’s Decision Not To Review California’s Arbitration Framework Means We Have A Roadmap For Compliance

The U.S. Supreme Court just did something that was more than just a bit out of character—it rejected the opportunity to find that California had once again overstepped its bounds by creating judicial rules disfavoring arbitration. It did so by rejecting the highly watched petition for certiorari that arose from Ramos v. Winston & Strawn. The October 7 determination not to take up the case for review means that we will have to live with the current state of affairs for the time being, but we now have a solid game plan for crafting arbitration agreements that comply with state law.

California AB 51 Bans Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements

On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 51 into law, banning most employment arbitration agreements in California starting January 1, 2020. This new law is expansive in scope but short on certainty, as it raises several questions and will likely face legal challenges.

California Appellate Court Applies Dynamex Retroactively

Introduction: For a little over a year, California employers and courts have been wrestling with the impact of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th 903 (2018), which dramatically altered the independent contractor landscape in the Golden State last year. Dynamex upended a long-standing multi-factor test which had been applied to determine if a worker was an employee or an independent contractor, ushering in the new “ABC test.” One of the main unresolved questions left in the wake of Dynamex was whether the new “ABC test” applies retroactively.

New California Law Prohibits Most Mandatory Arbitration Agreements—For Now

Under a new law just signed into effect by the California Governor and set to take effect on January 1, 2020, employers will no longer be able to compel workers into arbitration for state discrimination claims or those brought under the Labor Code.

Ground Shifts Under California Employers As Governor Signs Flurry Of Significant Legislation

First-year Governor Gavin Newsom signed some significant pieces of legislation in recent days that will impact employers across California – ranging from a ban on mandatory arbitration agreements, to a complete rewrite to the rules for the use of independent contractors, to a general prohibition on “no-rehire” clauses in settlement agreements. This legal alert highlights the top employment legislation signed into law, including several signed in the last few days leading up to yesterday’s deadline for bills to be signed or vetoed. It also includes links to much deeper dives into these specific measures. California employers will want to read each of these articles closely.

California Amends CCPA, Imposing Fewer Requirements on Employee Data Prior to January 1, 2020

On October 11, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 25, which amends the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). AB 25 seeks to ease the pain for employers struggling to comply with the CCPA, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

New California Law Attacks Mandatory Arbitration Again ... But Is It More Bark Than Bite?

California has joined a number of states in passing legislation purporting to prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and other claims. Such laws have gained popularity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but are subject to challenge under Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preemption principles.

California Expands “Red Flag” Law To Permit Gun Violence Restraining Orders In Workplaces And Schools

Mass shootings have become a tragic reality in the United States. Recent years have witnessed a number of high-profile incidents at schools, workplaces, churches, and other public places. While the country remains deeply divided about the cause of such incidents and how to prevent them, there has been significant bipartisan discussion, at both the national and state levels, about so-called “red flag” laws as a potential tool to combat gun violence.

New California Law Mandates Enhanced Lactation Accommodations and Significant New Penalties for Employer Non-Compliance

A new California law, Senate Bill 142 (“SB 142”), effective January 1, 2020, expands on existing Labor Code requirements for employee lactation accommodations and provides significant new consequences to employers for non-compliance. Under pre-existing law (Cal. Labor Code 1030 et seq.), employers were required to make reasonable efforts to provide a private location, other than a bathroom, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for employees to express milk in private and to provide reasonable break time to express milk.

California Prohibits Most “No Rehire” Provisions in Settlement Agreements

Employment litigation settlement agreements often include a mutually negotiated “no-rehire” provision by which the departing employee agrees not to seek employment with the company in the future. A recently enacted California law will require companies to refrain from including such provisions in most instances.
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