Labor & Employment Law Blog

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel that originally decided Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta last fall recently issued an order withdrawing its prior opinion and granting a panel rehearing. The divided panel’s original decision upheld portions of Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”), a California law that prohibits employers from requiring that employees sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. The panel’s decision to rehear the appeal is notable because it suggests that the panel may rule that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts AB 51 in its entirety following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Viking
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Grants Rehearing on California Law Banning Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements

In a last minute whirlwind of activity by California’s Legislature, a significant number of employment-related bills have now made their way to Governor Newsom’s desk and await their fate. Below are highlights of some of the bills that may affect California employers, should Governor Newsom sign them into law.
Continue Reading What’s on Deck With Governor Newsom? Employment-Related Bills That May Soon Impact California Employers

On the heels of the Labor Day weekend, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and request for comments (NPRM) that would once again change the joint employer legal standard. The proposed regulations roll back the employer-friendly rule the NLRB finalized during the Trump administration.
Continue Reading NLRB Releases Proposed Joint Employer Rule Rolling Back Trump-Era Standard

As more employees return to the workplace after the Labor Day holiday, employers should be aware of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission’s updated COVID-19 Guidance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO Laws.” The updated guidance follows its Vaccination Policy Update and primarily addresses workplace safety questions, including when employees and applicants may be required to undergo viral and antibody testing and other types of screening.
Continue Reading EEOC Updates Guidance Concerning COVID-19 Testing

A recent decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights some of the pitfalls of entering into commercial transactions without conducting thorough employment diligence – even in the asset purchase context.
Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Tenth Circuit Issues Decision Emphasizing Critical Need for Employment Diligence

On August 10, 2022, Colorado House Bill 22-1317 became law. Following the national trend of limiting employer use of non-compete and non-solicit covenants, Colorado now prohibits the use of non-competes and non-solicits except in the sale of business context and with “highly compensated” workers. The law also provides specific notice requirements and imposes costly penalties for non-compliance. The law’s requirements and penalties are not retroactive. The key requirements of the new law are as follows:
Continue Reading Colorado’s New Restrictive Covenant Law Now Effective

On September 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Board”) will hold a public hearing to address its draft proposed COVID-19 Permanent Standard (“Permanent Standard”).[1] At the hearing, the Board will hear comments from the public in favor of adopting, amending, or repealing the Permanent Standard. The good news for employers who are tired of revising their COVID-19 policies is that the Permanent Standard largely tracks with the protocols already required under the current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). Additionally, the Permanent Standard eliminates or reduces some of the costly requirements under the current ETS. The bad
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Announces Public Hearing on Proposed COVID-19 Permanent Standard

An employee in California has two primary options to pursue a claim for the enforcement of minimum wage and overtime pay rights. The employee may seek judicial relief by filing an ordinary civil action. Alternatively, the employee can initiate an administrative action with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). In Elsie Seviour-Iloff v. LaPaille, the California Court of Appeal set forth multiple important holdings expanding the scope and potential liability available to employees pursuing administrative relief for wage claims with the DLSE.
Continue Reading Expanded Limitations Period and Individual Liability for Employers Facing Labor Commissioner Hearings

On June 24, 2022, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the United States Supreme Court overturned both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and held the access to abortion is not a right protected by the United States Constitution. This article analyzes several employment law issues employers may face following the Dobbs decision.
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know in a Post-Dobbs Landscape

The California Court of Appeal in Meda v. AutoZone, Inc. recently reversed a trial court’s finding that an employer demonstrated it “provided” seats to its employees as a matter of law under California’s suitable seating requirement. This rule stems from subdivision 14(A) of the Wage Orders,[1] which provides that California employers must provide suitable seats to employees “when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” In Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 63 Cal. 4th 1 (2016), the California Supreme Court set forth the fact-intensive framework and multiple factors in analyzing whether the “nature of the
Continue Reading Are You Sitting Down for This? California Court of Appeal Provides Further Guidance on Suitable Seating Claims

On July 13, 2022 the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) announced that by May 25th, 2022 the number of union representation petitions filed with the Board surpassed the total number of petitions filed in all of Fiscal Year 2021. Representation petitions are requests to have the NLRB conduct an election to determine if employees wish to be represented by a union. During the first nine months of Fiscal Year 2022 (October 1-June 30), 1,935 representation petitions were filed with the Board. This represents a 56% increase from the 1,240 filed in the first three quarters of FY2021. The Board
Continue Reading Union Election Petitions on the Rise, Total Number of FY21 Petitions Eclipses in First Three Quarters of FY22

San Francisco employers will soon be required to comply with an additional Ordinance providing San Francisco-based employees with paid leave during future public health emergencies. In the June 7, 2022 election, San Francisco voters passed Proposition G. It requires employers with 100 or more employees worldwide to provide up to 80 hours of paid public health emergency leave to San Francisco-based employees. The Ordinance will become operative on October 1, 2022. 
Continue Reading San Francisco Ordinance Requires Employers to Provide Paid Public Health Emergency Leave

On June 13, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Johnson v. WinCo Foods Holdings, Inc, et al. that class members who were not yet employed by WinCo were not entitled to compensation for the time required to take a pre-employment drug test, nor was WinCo required to cover the travel expenses associated with undergoing the test.
Continue Reading Time Is Not Always Money: Ninth Circuit Holds That Pre-Employment Drug Testing Is Not Compensable Under California Law

Since President Biden’s July 2021 direction to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to “curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility,” the FTC has ratcheted up its scrutiny of and investigations into non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants. Now, the FTC has expanded beyond post-employment restrictive covenants to tackle “sale of business” non-competes. Most recently, the FTC voted in favor of a deal-changing proposed order against ARKO Corp. related to its 2021 acquisition of sixty fuel outlets from Corrigan Oil Company.
Continue Reading Buyer (and Seller) Beware: The FTC Is Coming for Your M&A Non-Competes

On June 6, 2022, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued another key decision interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) that will have a significant impact on certain employers going forward. In Southwest Airlines Co. v Saxon, the Court held that the airline’s cargo ramp supervisors were exempt from the FAA as they were a “class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.”

Background

The FAA exempts “contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” from coverage. 9 U.S.C. § 1. The Supreme Court previously held that the
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court Rules Certain Airline Employees Exempt From Federal Arbitration Act