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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

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Supreme Court Rules a Plaintiff’s Failure to File EEOC Charge Is Not Fatal to Title VII Lawsuit Unless Timely Raised by a Defendant

It’s a given that employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion – this according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state and local governments. It’s also been a given that a court lacked jurisdiction over a court action for discrimination under Title VII until and unless an employee first filed a charge of discrimination on the underlying claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Not anymore. By way of its recent ruling in Fort Bend County v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that this now-familiar administrative filing precondition is a “procedural obligation” and not a jurisdictional prerequisite to a lawsuit. (Read More)

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Attention Employers: Prepare for Reinstated EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting by Summer’s End

Does your company employ 100 people or more? If so, be forewarned – a federal court has lifted the Office of Management and Budget’s stay of the revised EEO-1 form that requires companies to submit a summary of 2018 wage information and hours worked for all employees by race, ethnicity and sex by job category to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (Read More)

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Madelyn M. Polzin ©

Amendments Bring New Clarity to CCPA Scope in Advance of 2020 Deadline

In the rush to pass AB-375 (the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)) before the 2018 deadline to withdraw the looming ballot initiative, it was clear that amendments would be necessary.  Mere months after its passage, SB-1121 was passed to clean up technical and grammatical errors, but the more substantial revisions were anticipated this year.  In tracking those amendments, businesses have gained clarity on their 2020 compliance obligations. (Read More)

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Attention Agents: Fees Charged May Be Unlawful

Brokers and agents take note – an appellate court in California handed down a decision earlier this month that strikes at the legality of “broker fees” charged by agents. (Read More)

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Federal Reserve Seeks to Bar Bankers for Misappropriation

A greater awareness of the need to guard against misappropriation of trade secrets and the need for effective remedies has become a rather hot topic of late. With the passage of the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, Congress federalized the fight against trade secret misappropriation with the effect that there will eventually be a consistent application of trade secret law across the United States. Regulatory bodies are also ramping up their efforts to stem misappropriation. For example, the DOJ has formed the Intellectual Property Task Force. (Read More)

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Blueberry Muffin Beer Not on Tap at the Trademark Office

As seen on www.craftbrewingbusiness.com:

How does a nice frosty Blueberry Muffin sound on a hot summer day? No, not the baked variety, but a blueberry muffin-flavored beer brought to you by the folks at Humboldt Street Collective LLC, dba Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House. If such a brew sounds appealing, that’s great, but you won’t be finding it under the BLUEBERRY MUFFIN trademark. And that’s because the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) refused to register the word mark BLUEBERRY MUFFIN, which Great Notion Brewing recently applied for. The TTAB determined that Blueberry Muffin is a generic term that should be available to describe any beer having a blueberry muffin-like flavor, and not just Great Notion Brewing’s product. But the decision is a questionable one. (Read More)

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Another Class Action-Related Gift to Employers from the U.S. Supreme Court  

Nearly a year after its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, finding that class and collective action waivers contained in employer arbitration agreements are lawful and enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken once more on the topic. This week, in Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela, the high court ruled that arbitration agreements must specifically contemplate class arbitration for that process to be invoked. (Read More)

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Madelyn M. Polzin ©

Oh, Say Can You CCPA


Does your company collect personal information on California residents and meet ANY of the following criteria?

1. Annual gross revenue in excess of $25 million.

2. Individually, or combined with affiliates, buys, sells, or shares the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices.

3. Derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from the sale of consumers’ personal information.

If so, say hello to the California Consumer Privacy Act – considered to be the strictest data privacy law in the United States – which you will be subject to beginning on January 1, 2020. (Read More)

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California's Consumer Privacy Act: The Public Has Spoken

Last June, the California Consumer Privacy Act – which is considered to be the strictest data privacy law in the United States – was signed into law. Among other things, the CCPA gives Californians the right to know what personal information (PI) is being collected about them, whether their PI is being sold and to whom, the right to access their PI, the right to delete PI collected from them, and the right to opt-out to the sale of their PI. (Read More)

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Navigating the Complex Web of the FMLA

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is admittedly complex. Still, covered employers are required to strictly comply with its terms. To assist employers as they navigate the intricacies of the FMLA, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued several opinions concerning some difficult and unresolved issues. (Read More)