California & the Federal Government Expand Laws to Eliminate Wage Disparity

California state legislature amended the Fair Pay Act to prohibit race and ethnicity-based wage differentials and to preclude employers from relying on salary history to justify the wage gaps. In addition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) finalized Regulations to require employers to collect and include wage data in EEO-1 Reports.

Continue reading

Paid Sick Leave: Coming to a Town Near You

You are likely familiar with the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (“AB 1522”), which entitles California employees to use at least 24 hours of paid sick leave per year and caps accruals at 48 hours.  However, you may not appreciate that, since then, at least seven California cities have enacted their own paid sick leave ordinances, offering employees in those cities even more paid sick leave than the State statute.  Those cities include:  San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Monica, and Berkeley.  Indeed, you should not assume that because you’re complying with the California statute that you’re out of the woods.

Continue reading

Dole’s “All Natural” Description On Certain Fruit Products Could Mislead Reasonable Consumers

A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit has highlighted the uncertainty that exists in the food product market about the use and definition of “All Natural” in labeling and advertising.  In Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17733 (9th Cir. Sept. 30, 2016), the Ninth Circuit held that District Judge Lucy H. Koh erred in granting Dole’s summary judgment motion on claims arising from the purported deceptive labeling of Dole’s fruit products.

Continue reading

CFPA’s Anticipated Effect on Litigation

In our Winter 2015 E-Newsletter, we discussed the California Fair Pay Act (“CFPA”), which became effective January 1 of this year.  That article summarized the CFPA and how it amends section 1197.5 of the California Labor Code.  Section 1197.5, which was enacted in 1949, prohibits employers from paying employees  “less than employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.”  In this article we discuss the CFPA’s anticipated effect on litigation.

Continue reading

Update regarding Uber Drivers – Litigation over Employment Status averted by Settlement

In the Fall 2015 issue of our newsletter included an article about Uber, and how it classifies drivers providing services using its online “service on demand” platform. As reported in that article, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, following an administrative hearing in Berwick v. Uber Technologies, Inc., rejected Uber’s position that the drivers were independent contractors, and found instead that they are employees. Although Uber appealed the case to the California Superior Court, the question argued before the court was not whether the plaintiff was an employee but whether an agreement she signed with Uber required her to submit her dispute to arbitration. The trial court decided that question against Uber, and the matter is now pending before a First District Appellate Court.

Continue reading

Using the New Defend Trade Secrets Act to Protect Confidential Business Information

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the first federal trade secret law, the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” (DTSA), which is similar to the Uniform Trade Secret Act that many states have adopted, but also broadens available venue and remedies to protect trade secrets. (See “The New Federal Trade Secret Act and What It Means to Your Business,” published by NAMWOLF).

With this expansion, now is a good time to reassess what you can do to protect your company’s trade secrets. Implementing the following best practices will help to safeguard against trade secret misappropriation, as well as ensure you have the most available remedies available in the unfortunate event of misappropriation.

Continue reading

California’s No Aid Clause and Religious Endorsement: Davies v. County of Los Angeles

On April 6, 2016, several local religious leaders and scholars obtained a permanent injunction against the County of Los Angeles, which had approved a measure in 2014 altering the official County Seal to include a Christian cross. Davies, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-00907-CAS-FFM (C.D. Cal. Apr. 6, 2016).  The arguments presented in this widely-publicized case concerned a fundamental principle upon which both our federal and state constitutions are based: the separation of church and state, and when the actions of state or local government fail to respect that barrier.

Continue reading