As website accessibility lawsuits continue to surge, places of public accommodation oftentimes battle multiple lawsuits filed by different plaintiffs represented by different attorneys.  Even after entering into private settlements, which include detailed website remediation plans, defendants may continue to be the target of these lawsuits by copycat plaintiffs. 
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New regulations addressing national origin discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act go into effect on July 1, 2018 – are you ready?  The regulations expand the definition of “national origin,” make language restrictions presumptively unlawful, and limit an employer’s ability to verify immigration status, among other significant changes.
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On February 15, 2018, by a vote of 225 to 192, the House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act (HR 620).  Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to ensure access for persons with disabilities to public accommodations.  Too often however, serial litigants have abused Title III to shake down businesses for quick settlements over minor, technical violations without actually seeking to improve access.  By amending the ADA to include a notice and cure provision, proponents of HR 620 say this bill will curb predatory public accommodations lawsuits brought by serial plaintiffs and their lawyers against businesses.
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The new year brings new laws for California employers to grapple with. We highlight the most significant new employment laws affecting California employers as of January 1, 2018.  Companies based in California or with operations in California are encouraged to review their policies and procedures in light of these developments.
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On Friday, January 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) posted a brief statement and updated its Fact Sheet on Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that going forward, it will use the “primary beneficiary” seven factor test for distinguishing bona fide interns from employees under the FLSA. 
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The Department of Justice’s (“DOJ’s”) often criticized rulemaking delays have resulted in no new website accessibility rules for places of public accommodation to receive notice of and implement. Notwithstanding the obvious due process concerns raised by these delays, more and more website accessibility cases are being threatened and filed every day. Most, not unexpectedly, settle. Winn-Dixie did not, and what happened next is worth a closer look.
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Beginning next week, on March 13, 2017, San Jose employers must offer existing part-time employees additional work hours before hiring any temporary, part-time, or new worker. This is a result of a vote last fall by voters in San Jose, California who approved “The Opportunity to Work Ordinance” (Ordinance No. 2016.1, codified at Chapter 4.101 of the San Jose Municipal Code) – a local measure that directs employee hours and hiring practices.
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With its May 26 Lewis v. Epic-Systems Corp. decision, the Seventh Circuit became the first circuit to back the reasoning in D.R. Horton, Inc., 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), and held that a mandatory arbitration agreement prohibiting employees from bringing class or collective actions against their employer violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision creates a circuit split regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements with class action waivers in the employment context, and the issue is now ripe for potential Supreme Court review.
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