California Developments

Governor Newsom has signed SB 331 (the “Silenced No More Act”) into law.  As discussed in our prior blog post, SB 331 will expand the existing restrictions on the confidentiality provisions recently put into place by SB 820 (which restricts the usage of confidentiality provisions in agreements related to sexual assault, harassment, or harassment) to also restrict the usage of confidentiality provisions related to all claims of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation under the FEHA. 
Continue Reading California Enacts Expanded Restrictions on Confidentiality Provisions

In a huge win for California employers, the California Court of Appeals recently confirmed that courts have discretion to strike claims for penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) if the claims will be unmanageable at trial.  This decision will help employers defeat—or significantly pare down—the broad and unwieldy claims for PAGA penalties that have become popular with the plaintiffs’ bar.
Continue Reading Courts Have Authority to Strike Unmanageable PAGA Claims, Says CA Court of Appeals

Employers operating in California often ask employees to agree to arbitrate employment-related disputes as a term and condition of employment.  In its recent Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta decision, the Ninth Circuit took a significant step toward prohibiting such mandatory employment arbitration agreements.  However, the combination of a 2-1 panel decision (authored by a visiting judge from the Tenth Circuit), a scathing dissenting opinion, and a holding that splits with decisions from the First and Fourth Circuits all but ensures more litigation.  As a result, the case is far from over, so while employers eventually may have to consider changing their arbitration agreement practices, they very likely have some time to let the dust settle before doing so. 
Continue Reading The Ninth Circuit, Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, and “Clown Bop Bags”

Last month, a judge out of the Alameda County Superior Court ruled California’s Proposition 22 unconstitutional, constituting a significant legal obstacle to this young statute.

Proposition 22 (formally the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 7448, et seq.) was a ballot initiative passed by a majority of California voters in the November 2020 election, which primarily aimed to classify application-based transportation and delivery companies’ drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Proposition 22 arose in response to Assembly Bill 5, 2019 legislation codifying the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, which created a new “ABC” test for determining whether workers are properly classified as independent contractors.
Continue Reading Alameda Superior Court Judge Rules Proposition 22 Unconstitutional

California already has prohibitions on including non-disclosure provisions in certain settlement agreements related to sexual harassment.  Now California seeks to expand these prohibitions by enacting the Proposed California SB-331 (“Silenced No More Act”).  The new Act aims to prohibit provisions within any agreement that prevent or restrict the disclosure of factual information of claims related to harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.  The proposed bill recently passed senate and assembly, and if approved by governor, will become effective January 1, 2022. 
Continue Reading California Proposed Legislation – “Silenced No More Act” (SB-331)

Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) recently issued new public health requirements in response to the increasing number of hospitalizations and ICU patients in California caused by the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant. 
Continue Reading New COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for California State Employees and Health Care Workers

California employers will need to reconsider the way they calculate premium payments for meal and rest break violations following a recent decision of the California Supreme Court.  
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Adopts New Premium Pay Calculation for Meal and Rest Break Violations

Over the past six months, the California Supreme Court as well as the State’s appellate courts have published a number of important decisions in the area of California labor and employment law. The California Supreme Court’s decisions published earlier this year in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC (2021) 11 Cal.5th 58 and Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. (2021) 10 Cal.5th 944 were previously covered in Hunton Labor & Employment perspectives.
Continue Reading Mid-Year California Case Law Update

Beginning June 15, 2021, Governor Newsom moved forward with his plan to lift public health restrictions on businesses, including capacity limitations, physical distancing, and face coverings.  In response, Cal/OSHA also has issued new workplace standards for COVID-19 prevention
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Standards Board Votes to Adopt Revisions to COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)

While California inches closer to the state’s June 15 target to lift restrictions and reopen the economy, California employers will have to wait for guidance from CalOSHA on the standards that will govern COVID-19 workplace safety.  For now, CalOSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards released in November 2020 will remain in place and employers will need to continue to be mindful of these more restrictive guidelines, despite loosening of other state restrictions.
Continue Reading CalOSHA Withdraws Recently Proposed Revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)