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Paul Zimmerman
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Suitable Seating Laws in California: Do Not Read While Standing

Picture this: a grand and bustling hotel lobby bathed in light, impeccably designed, and furnished with beautiful seating areas where guests lounge and enjoy. Adjacent to the stunning lobby, and just steps from the hotel’s entrance, is the busy front desk, staffed by attentive, smartly dressed employees answering questions, checking guests into rooms, and otherwise accommodating all those who approach them.

Noticeably absent from anywhere behind the front desk, however, is a place for these employees to sit. And while it is no surprise that hotel staff is not provided with plush chairs and couches like those adorning the lobby, the lack of suitable seating could raise red flags given the California Supreme Court’s relatively recent clarification of the issue in Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., a class action suit brought on behalf of pharmacy cashiers and bank tellers for violation of certain California Wage Orders issued by the California Industrial Welfare Commission (“Wage Orders”). (Read More)

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Buying Insurance? There's an App for That

Lemonade, an insurance startup offering renters, condominium, and homeowners insurance, has recently expanded to offer policies in California and Illinois, after launching in New York last year. The company hopes to market insurance to millennials by borrowing marketing strategies that have served other industries well in reaching that demographic: a charitable element, along with app-based service and purchasing. (Read More)

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Surplus Line Insurance in California: Watch Out

To companies and their employees engaged in surplus line activities in California - beware. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) recently reached a $12M settlement with an insurance holding company and certain of its insurer and producer subsidiaries related to the activities of unlicensed personnel and entities within the state of California, a resolution that illustrates the Department’s focus on and commitment to compliance with California laws governing nonadmitted insurance, which differ in significant aspects from those of other states. (Read More)

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Transgender Bathroom Laws in California: What Employers Need to Know

The rights and civil liberties of transgender people have become an important topic openly discussed and debated nationwide. Clearly, the issues confronting the transgender community are many, but it seems press coverage has boiled its plight down to a rather narrow question: which public restroom should transgender men, women, boys and girls use? (Read More)

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Hoteliers Taking Aim at Airbnb

No doubt, Airbnb has found its way prominently onto the radar screens of those occupying the hospitality space. But the question remains: how much of a threat is the short-term rental platform to hotels and resorts? (Read More)

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Early Halloween Scare For New York City Employers: Salary Inquiries Will Be A Thing Of The Past

New York City employers must be on the lookout for more than just ghosts and goblins this coming Halloween. According to a new law signed by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio on May 4, 2017, which goes into effect on October 31, companies in New York City will be prohibited from inquiring about or relying upon the salary history of job applicants – including prior wages, benefits or other compensation – during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract. (Read More)

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Arbitration Agreements: Do Yours Include All Necessary Carve Outs?

Attention employers, including those of you in the hospitality space. The California Supreme Court issued a ruling within the last week significantly impacting your ability to arbitrate certain disputes with employees. Consequently, if you have entered into any stand-alone arbitration agreements with employees or employment contracts with arbitration provisions – or should you plan on doing so going forward – read on. (Read More)

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Direct Response Marketers Beware

A word of caution to the direct response marketing industry: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remains on high alert for deceptive sales practices. Exhibit A: a lawsuit initiated late last month against a group of online marketers stemming from purported violations of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“Confidence Act”). (Read More)

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Jump Ball: The Surprising Impact of College Basketball on Company Social Media Policies

This time of year, our collective attention turns College basketball to be exact. That’s because the annual rite of passage known as March Madness – which culminates on the first Monday in April with “one shining moment” for the NCAA champion – has begun. With it comes office pools; games streaming from noon to midnight; internet searches to check scores or glean intel about that obscure school from Northern Iowa; and social media postings to brag about bracket successes (or admit dreaded defeat). (Read More)

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Paul McCartney Sues Sony/ATV to Reclaim Copyrights to Beatles Songs

Sir Paul McCartney has filed suit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing in New York Federal Court, seeking a declaration that he can exercise his termination rights under the Copyright Act of 1976 in order to reclaim the rights to many of his musical compositions for The Beatles. The songs, which McCartney either wrote, or co-wrote with John Lennon, and which were once owned by pop music star Michael Jackson, are immensely valuable. It is anticipated that Sony/ATV may challenge the former Beatle’s termination notices in order to preserve its rights. (Read More)