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National and State Trade Groups Sue to Strike Down California “Anti-Arbitration” Law

On Friday, December 6, 2019, a coalition of national and state trade associations filed suit in California federal court seeking to strike down the state’s recently enacted “anti-arbitration” law, A.B. 51.1 A.B. 51 effectively prohibits the formation and use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in the employment setting. The California state legislature passed the bill earlier this year, and Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed it into law on October 10, 2019. The law is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020, but the business groups will be asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the law from taking effect.

California’s Continued Reaction to #MeToo Two Years Later – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Helene Wasserman, Los Angeles-based Littler Shareholder and Trial Practice Group Co-Chair, reflects on some good, bad, and ugly impacts of the #MeToo movement since its inception, including recent legislative developments affecting California employers in particular. Discussing training, arbitration agreements, and the extended statute of limitations for FEHA claims with Littler Learning Group’s Marissa Dragoo, Helene provides insights and guidance for California employers as we move into the third year of the cemented #MeToo movement.

The California Supreme Court to Decide Dynamex Retroactivity

The California Supreme Court announced that it would decide whether its April 30, 2018 landmark Dynamex decision is retroactive. The Supreme Court’s determination will have a significant impact on companies utilizing independent contractors in California.

California Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Dynamex Retroactivity Question

On November 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of California announced it would review and decide whether its 2018 Dynamex decision has retroactive effect. The answer to this question could have a profound impact on any company using independent contractors in the Golden State.

California Attempts to Weed Out Unfair Labor Practices at the State Level by Enacting Union-Friendly Regulation on Employers in the Cannabis Industry

As the cannabis industry has rapidly progressed over the years, states such as New York, New Jersey and Illinois have begun to implement legislation that encourages employers to engage in labor peace agreements with unions. On October 12, 2019, California went even further than encouragement when Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1291, which amended California’s Medicinal and Adult Use of Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Distinct from other state legislation, California’s new law mandates that employers with 20 or more employees maintain a labor peace agreement as a condition of obtaining a state cannabis license. For this reason, California’s new bill has raised constitutional concerns.

Truckers Seek To Toss California’s New Gig Economy Law

We’re now just a few weeks away from the nation’s most stringent independent contractor misclassification law taking effect in California. But if a group of truck drivers have their way, the law will stall out before it ever gets on the road. The California Trucking Association filed an amended lawsuit in federal court on November 12 asking the court to block the new statute from taking effect, claiming that it violates federal law and would harm over 70,000 independent truckers who have chosen to be independent workers. It appears to be the first legal challenge to California’s AB 5, and all eyes will be on this litigation over the next month.

Is “Fair Pay to Play” Fair in College Sports? What California’s New Law Means for the Future of Amateur Athletics

On September 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California legislation—Senate Bill (SB) 206—that would permit college student athletes to benefit financially (for example, from endorsement deals) from their names, images, and likenesses while still in school. Governor Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) sponsored, with much fanfare, alongside a high-profile professional basketball player and several former college student athletes. The new law is scheduled to take effect in January 2023.

Newsom Signs Law Increasing Penalties Available to Workers

On October 10, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 673 into law, expanding an employee’s right to collect penalties for an employer’s failure to timely pay wages.

Meal and Rest Break Premiums Payable at Base Rate, Not Regular Rate of Pay

A California state appellate court has ruled that the correct rate for paying meal and rest period premiums is one hour of pay at an employee’s base hourly rate, not the regular rate of pay used for calculating overtime wages. This is the first published California case to make this distinction.

California Court Rules That Food And Beverage Service Charges May Qualify As Gratuities

A California appellate court just held that mandatory service charges added by banquet facilities to their contracts may need to be paid to banquet service employees essentially as a form of a gratuity. The October 31, 2019 decision changes up what some considered to be a settled area of law and may require you to immediately adjust your pay practices in order to get into compliance.
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