California Developments

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”

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)

California employment laws are constantly evolving, making it a challenge for companies doing business in the Golden State to keep up with recent developments and remain compliant. View this complimentary video discussing five recent developments in California employment law you may have missed.
Continue Reading 5 Recent Developments in California Employment Law

In the recent election, Californians voted to add an employer-friendly provision to the Labor Code that allows emergency ambulance workers to be on-call during breaks.  California is one of 24 states that allow voters to initiate laws through the petition process.
Continue Reading New Provision Added to the California Labor Code Protecting Employers of Emergency Service Workers

When negotiating a settlement agreement in an employment dispute, “no rehire” language is often a standard term.  This language typically bars the litigating employee from seeking re-employment with the former employer.  However, in California, at least one “no rehire” provision was invalidated because it was not narrowly tailored to the employer at issue.
Continue Reading “No Rehire” Language in Settlement Agreement Found Unlawful Where Not Narrowly Tailored

The Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2), confers federal subject matter removal jurisdiction over purported class actions filed in state court when, among other things, there is an amount-in-controversry (“AIC”) exceeding $5,000,000.  Deciding whether a class action can be properly removed under CAFA typically turns on whether this high jurisdictional threshold can be met.
Continue Reading Class Action Fairness Act: Determining the “Amount in Controversy” in California

In a time when workplace violence seems to be on the rise, many companies have adopted a strict no tolerance policy even for conduct outside the workplace.  In California, however, employers need to be cognizant of the protections afforded individuals that may make such terminations riskier than the company may expect.  One employer got just such a reminder last week when a California jury returned an $18M verdict against it for terminating an employee after he was arrested for threatening his girlfriend outside of the workplace. 
Continue Reading Terminating an Employee Arrested for Off-Duty Conduct Could Run Afoul of California Law

There may be some changes coming to how California enforces its antidiscrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  In February 2017, a bill was introduced in the California Senate proposing to allow local government entities to enforce antidiscrimination statutes. 
Continue Reading California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing Will Study Local Enforcement of State Employment Anti-Discrimination Law

Driven by the wave of publicity surrounding sexual harassment allegations against prominent artists, executives, news anchors, filmmakers and legislators, and the ensuing #MeToo movement, legislators in California and several other states recently have introduced bills designed to prevent such harassment.  We summarize four bills introduced in the California Senate and Assembly in January 2018. 
Continue Reading Sexual Harassment Update California – Proposed Legislation