On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (Case No. 20-1573) reversing the California Court of Appeal’s decision to affirm the denial of Viking’s motion to compel arbitration Moriana’s “individual” PAGA claim and to dismiss her other PAGA claims.
Continue Reading BREAKING:  Supreme Court Reverses California Court of Appeal in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana

On May 7, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Cal/OSHA”) released guidance, in the form of updated FAQs and fact sheets, concerning the revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) that were adopted on April 21, 2022, and became effective on May 6, 2022.  This ETS applies to non-remote workers in California, except those who work alone and those covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022. 
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Releases Guidance on New COVID-19 ETS Impacting Employers and Workers

Assembly Bill 1651 or the Workplace Technology Accountability Act, a new bill proposed by California Assembly Member Ash Kalra, would regulate employers, and their vendors, regarding the use of employee data.  Under the bill, data is defined as “any information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular worker, regardless of how the information is collected, inferred, or obtained.” 
Continue Reading California Assembly Proposes Data Privacy Law for Workers

On October 4, 2021, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that California’s strict meal and rest period rules do not apply to commercial truck drivers engaged in interstate commerce.  The Court’s denial of the petition leaves in place a decision that came as a welcome sigh of relief for employers in the trucking industry.
Continue Reading Keep On Truckin’: California’s Meal And Rest Break Rules Preempted By FMCSA

The California Supreme Court has clarified that state whistleblower retaliation claims should not be evaluated under the McDonnell Douglas test, but rather under the test adopted by the California legislature in 2003, thus clarifying decades of confusion among the courts.  
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof in Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

SB 606, which took effect January 1, 2022, greatly increases the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA’s”) enforcement powers by creating two new violation categories – “enterprise wide” and “egregious” violations.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Enters the New Year With Expanded Enforcement Authority

On December 16, 2021, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Cal/OSHA”) adopted revisions to the current COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”).  The Cal/OSHA ETS were first approved on November 30, 2020, adopted again with modifications on June 17, 2021, and recently readopted with additional revisions.  The newest version of the ETS will go into effect on January 14, 2022, and will apply to all non-remote workers in California except those covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, such as healthcare workers.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Adopts Newly Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Impacting Employers and Workers

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a closer look at the enforceability of arbitration agreements that bar representative claims brought under PAGA, a California law that allows individual employees to police labor code violations.
Continue Reading SCOTUS Could Deliver Good News to California Employers Looking to Enforce Class Action Waivers Against PAGA Claims

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