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Paul Zimmerman

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New Hurdles for Insurers Offering Good Driver Discounts

It is no newsflash that qualified good drivers must be offered premium discounts for automobile insurance under Proposition 103. That being said, the mechanics of these offerings have recently become more complicated. An explanation follows, but first, a bit of background. (Read More)

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The Message from Our Legislature: #MeToo Means You Too

The #MeToo movement has brought sexual misconduct front and center in the minds of Californians, including those serving in the state’s legislature. Combined, there are more than one-half dozen bills currently pending in the California Assembly and Senate that address sexual assault and harassment, all of which should be of interest to employers. That being said, here’s a brief overview: (Read More)

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: What Investors Need to Know

Once upon a time investors had fairly straightforward choices when it came to investing in business. There were C corporations, (“C Corps”) as well as S corporations (“S Corps”), limited liability companies (“LLCs”), partnerships and sole proprietorships. Of course, all of these business organizations still exist, but in the wake of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), the decision as to which type of entity to use as an investment vehicle has become much more complex. (Read More)

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Cybersecurity Rules May Be Coming to a State Near You: South Carolina Enacts NAIC’s Model Law

In the wake of cybersecurity requirements for financial services companies that were issued by the New York Department of Financial Services and went into effect on March 1, 2017 (codified at 23 NYCRR §500), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted a similar Insurance Data Security Model Law.

Because the NAIC rules are simply a template for legislation, for now only insurance and insurance-related companies as well as brokers, agents and adjusters licensed to transact business in New York are bound by cyber regulations earmarked for the insurance industry – regulations that require the assessment of specific cyber risk profiles and design of cybersecurity programs that address such risk in a robust fashion. But New York’s membership in this exclusive club will be short-lived. And that is because on May 14, 2018, South Carolina became the first state in the nation to enact the model law promulgated by the NAIC. (Read More)

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Digital Switzerland

Microsoft President Brad Smith is the force behind an admirable initiative – the Cybersecurity Tech Accord. By way of the Accord, participants seek to create a “digital Switzerland” made up of some of the leading tech companies in the world. Signatories to the Accord – to date, there are 34 in all, including ABB Group, Arm, Cisco, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and Trend Micro – promise, among other things, not to aid or abet any government in committing cyberattacks against innocent civilians or enterprises and, at the same time, to protect victims of cyber crime. (Read More)

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Yet Another Threat to Arbitration

Given the choice, most California employers facing a lawsuit filed by an employee or, in the case of sexual harassment, a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), would pick arbitration as the favored forum for dispute resolution. Why? Because arbitration is typically a faster, more cost-effective and confidential process for litigants. Likewise, it allows for more streamlined discovery, and imposes simplified rules of civil procedure and evidence. But perhaps the most significant reason employers lean toward arbitration is that an unreasonable damage award is less likely to be levied by an arbitrator, as opposed to a jury. No wonder, then, that mandatory arbitration clauses are a fixture in employment agreements. (Read More)

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Attention Employers: The Supreme Court Has Spoken On Class Action Waivers

The U.S. Supreme Court finally issued its long-awaited 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. To the delight of employers across a range of industries nationwide, the Court’s 5-4 decision means that companies can use arbitration agreements to prohibit workers from bringing or participating in class or collective actions over workplace issues (e.g., wage/hour claims). (Read More)

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And Then There Were Three

Attention insurers that issue policies of automobile insurance in the Golden State, there’s a third gender choice soon to be available on California driver’s licenses – non-binary – and you may have to adjust your rate plans accordingly. (Read More)

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Flat Rate Bonuses and Overtime Pay: Another Win for California Employees

The California Supreme Court has continued its employee-friendly ways. This time in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 1123 (Cal. Mar. 5, 2018), a case dealing with flat rate bonuses.

It’s not unusual for employers to pay such bonuses to employees – for instance, attendance bonuses for those scheduled to work undesirable shifts – in the same pay period in which an employee works overtime. But when they do, questions arise as to exactly how overtime is calculated. (Read More)

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Forecast for Overseas Data: Partly Cloudy

The CLOUD Act was passed as part of the omnibus budget bill signed into law on March 23, 2018, in an attempt to resolve an impediment to law enforcement’s ability to enforce warrants against tech companies based in the U.S. but storing data overseas. (Read More)