Independent Contractor or Employee? With Recent Amendments to California’s AB 5 Law, The Battle Continues

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Adé Jackson  Earlier this month Governor Newsom signed AB 2257, which was the culmination of a furious lobbying effort by specific industries (only some of which were successful) to amend California’s new independent contractor law (also known as “AB 5”). It was also considered a “cleanup” bill to tinker around the edges of the law’s requirements.  Much of the controversy … Continue reading Independent Contractor or Employee? With Recent Amendments to California’s AB 5 Law, The Battle Continues

COVID Continuation: California Expands Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Coverage for Employers With Over 500 Employees

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz On September 9, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1867.  AB 1867 amends the Labor Code and requires, among other things, that private employers with 500 or more workers (i.e. those that are excluded from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave beginning September 19, 2020.  The Purpose of AB 1867: … Continue reading COVID Continuation: California Expands Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Coverage for Employers With Over 500 Employees

MSK Minute: California Reopening Stalls Under New Order

On Monday, July 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a halt to all indoor activities & operations at certain businesses statewide, as cases of COVID-19/coronavirus surge here in the country’s most populated state. What does this new order mean for your business? In this video, MSK attorneys Su Ross and Travis Jeffries examine a number of the issues and questions that employers should consider while … Continue reading MSK Minute: California Reopening Stalls Under New Order

Workers Comp For COVID-19

Contracting COVID-19 Through Work Is Now Presumed Under California Workers Compensation

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Louise Truong 

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which provides that any COVID-19 related illness that an employee contracts between March 19, 2020 and July 5, 2020 shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment for workers’ compensation purposes.  This presumption will only apply if all of the following conditions are met: Continue reading “Workers Comp For COVID-19”

Order Up!

California Provides Supplemental Paid Sick Leave For Food Sector Workers

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz

On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave related to COVID-19.  The Order, effective April 16, 2020, is the second recent law in California providing paid sick leave to workers not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)(which requires employers with  fewer than  500 employees provide paid sick leave).  We previously reported on the Los Angeles emergency ordinance providing similar paid sick leave provisions for employees of larger employers not covered by the FFCRA.

Although the Order explicitly addresses “food sector workers”,  it is not necessarily limited to workers in the food industry.  The Order may apply to employers across all industries, if those employers have workers engaged in food services.  Consequently, all employers should carefully scrutinize the provisions of the Order to determine if they apply.  Here is what employers need to know about the Order: Continue reading “Order Up!”

Hague Service Convention Out of Reach for Foreign Parties Who Select California Arbitration Forum and Agree to Informal Notice of Suit Methods

Written by Tiana A. Bey and Theresa B. Bowman

Last week, in Rockefeller Technology Investments (Asia) VII v. Changzhou Sinotype Technology Co., Case No. S249923 (Cal. April 2, 2020), the California Supreme Court held that the Hague Service Convention does not apply to the state’s arbitration enforcement proceedings where transnational parties agree to informal notice of suit methods.  The Court concluded that when these parties agree to submit to California arbitration, the California Arbitration Act ultimately governs service of process.  And because the Act allows parties to enter into informal service arrangements, formal service of process procedures – including the Convention’s service mechanisms – are waived.  This result should prompt foreign parties to re-evaluate the pros and cons of submitting to arbitration in California and agreeing to include informal notice of suit provisions in their underlying contracts.

The outcome presents a notable exception to the norms that foreign entities typically rely on in the Hague Convention.  Generally, the Convention requires parties to serve notice of suit through each signatory’s Central Authority, which in turn carries out service consistent with their respective country’s domestic laws.  As the U.S. Supreme Court held in Water Splash v. Menon, 137 S. Ct. 1504 (2017), additional methods of service are also allowable if the receiving country does not expressly prohibit it and if the domestic law of the forum country provides for it.  One benefit of the Convention is that it protects international litigants from being hauled into a foreign court based on application of inconsistent and unfamiliar rules for providing them with notice of suit.

Continue reading “Hague Service Convention Out of Reach for Foreign Parties Who Select California Arbitration Forum and Agree to Informal Notice of Suit Methods”

Bay Area Narrows SIP Orders

Written by Susan Kohn Ross and Matthew S. Beasley

On March 31, 2020, six Bay Area counties in Northern California adopted amended “shelter in place” orders in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). These orders are important to all businesses in the Bay Area, but also to everyone else as they could be a preview of what is to come.

Like the prior orders adopted during the week of March 16, 2020, the March 31, 2020 orders each generally require that residents stay home unless they are engaged in work which the orders define as “essential.” Importantly, the March 31, 2020 orders significantly restrict and reduce the definitions of “essential” work. For instance, under the San Francisco order, most construction is now prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response, affordable housing; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency, shelters and temporary housing, projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals, construction necessary to secure an existing construction site, and limited essential residential or business repairs. In other words, the March 31, 2020 orders ban most residential and commercial construction. As another example, businesses that supply products needed to work from home are no longer “essential,” and must cease operations. Continue reading “Bay Area Narrows SIP Orders”

Furthering the Fight Against COVID-19

Written By Susan Kohn Ross 

If you or your organization are interested in helping to fight the spread of COVID-19, please see this page on FEMA’s website for more information. Examples for the private sector include the following as stated by FEMA:

  • To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011).
    • This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines. Registration information can be found at  Registration must be “ACTIVE” at the time of award.
  • If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide us details on what you are offering.
  • If you are a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID response – email
  • If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.
  • If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID- 19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) team at

Continue reading “Furthering the Fight Against COVID-19”

Freedom Of (All) The Press?

Impact of “Shelter in Place” Orders on Media Companies Written by Aaron M. Wais and Craig C. Bradley In today’s age, people consume their news in myriad ways: from more traditional means such as watching the nightly news to reading a wide variety of media websites.  Many of these organizations require people on the ground to report and deliver the news, and also thrive on … Continue reading Freedom Of (All) The Press?