Hollywood Extends “Return to Work” COVID-19 Protocol Agreement Through September

Written by Jeremy Mittman Hollywood’s unions and producers extended their Return-to-Work agreement through September 30, 2022 amidst surging COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles.  The initial agreement between the AMPTP, DGA, IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, and Teamsters/Basic Crafts was signed in September 2020 and established COVID-19 safety protocols for guild productions. Since then, it has been extended eight times.  In May of 2022, the agreement was updated to … Continue reading Hollywood Extends “Return to Work” COVID-19 Protocol Agreement Through September

Take a Seat: Summary Judgement Reversed in Suitable Seating Suit 

Written by Jeremy Mittman Last week, a California appeals court reversed a summary judgement in favor of AutoZoners, who was sued by an ex-employee for failing to provide her with suitable seating, ruling that triable issues of material fact exist. Background The plaintiff worked as a sales associate at an AutoZone parts store operated by AutoZoners, assisting customers at cashier counter and parts counter workstations. … Continue reading Take a Seat: Summary Judgement Reversed in Suitable Seating Suit 

West Hollywood Ordinance Significantly Expands Guaranteed Leave

Written by Gary McLaughlin As of July 1, 2022, West Hollywood employers are subject to a new ordinance that establishes significant changes to citywide guaranteed leave provisions. The new ordinance provides West Hollywood employees with up to 96 hours of compensated time off (CTO) per year (for vacation, sick leave, or “personnel necessity” time), and also up to 80 hours of uncompensated time off per … Continue reading West Hollywood Ordinance Significantly Expands Guaranteed Leave

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Individual PAGA Claims May Be Compelled to Arbitration in Favorable Decision for California Employers

Written by Gary McLaughlin Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, ruling that California authority prohibiting mandatory arbitration of claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and that such claims can be compelled to arbitration – a welcome victory for California employers.  Background California’s Private Attorneys … Continue reading U.S. Supreme Court Rules Individual PAGA Claims May Be Compelled to Arbitration in Favorable Decision for California Employers

California Court Rules that Employers May Be On The Hook For Unreimbursed Remote Work Expenses

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Kyle DeCamp Last week, in a decision of interest to California employers, a California judge denied Amazon’s request to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the company had no policy in place to reimburse employees for expenses incurred while working from home, in violation of state law. Background A senior software development engineer sued Amazon for reimbursement of expenses he alleged … Continue reading California Court Rules that Employers May Be On The Hook For Unreimbursed Remote Work Expenses

Walmart Dodges Claim for “Waiting Time Penalties” Under California Law In Helpful Independent Contractor Law Decision

Written by Jeremy Mittman In a case that may be helpful to California companies who engage models or actors for photoshoots, commercials, or advertisements, Walmart prevailed over a model’s California wage claims last week when the Ninth Circuit found in Hill v. Walmart, Inc. that the retailer had a “good faith belief”—and therefore a defense— that it appropriately classified her as an independent contractor. Background … Continue reading Walmart Dodges Claim for “Waiting Time Penalties” Under California Law In Helpful Independent Contractor Law Decision

Cal/OSHA Approves Third Adoption of COVID-19 ETS

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Gary McLaughlin On April 21, Cal/OSHA voted to approve the third adoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which will be effective May, 6, 2022 until December 31, 2022. Our blog posts on the previous versions of the ETS can be found here and here. Significant changes in the third adoption include:  Vaccination status definition removed. In the new … Continue reading Cal/OSHA Approves Third Adoption of COVID-19 ETS

President Biden Signs Law Weakening Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Allowing Employees to Opt Out of Arbitration of Claims Relating to Sexual Assault and Harassment

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Rossi On March 3, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (“EFA SASHA”) which amends the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to effectively ban employers from enforcing pre-dispute agreements that require employees to arbitrate sexual assault or harassment claims. Effective immediately, the law allows employees alleging sexual assault or harassment to … Continue reading President Biden Signs Law Weakening Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Allowing Employees to Opt Out of Arbitration of Claims Relating to Sexual Assault and Harassment

Update: California Publishes COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs

Written by Jeremy Mittman Last week, California’s Department of Industrial Relations released FAQs for the state’s recently enacted 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law. Highlighted below are several clarifying points from the FAQs. Read our general breakdown of the new law here. Definition of Quarantine or Isolation Period  The FAQs clarify that the guidelines that would apply to determine whether and for how long … Continue reading Update: California Publishes COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs

Employee Whistleblowing Claims under the California Labor Code just got Harder to Defeat 

Written by Jeremy Mittman Last week, the California Supreme Court clarified the evidentiary standard for whistleblower retaliation claims brought under California Labor Code section 1102.5. In its decision, the high court clarified that such claims should not be evaluated under the McDonnell Douglas test, but that the standard set forth in the more employee-friendly California Labor Code section 1102.6 should apply instead. Background In Lawson … Continue reading Employee Whistleblowing Claims under the California Labor Code just got Harder to Defeat