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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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Showing 10 posts from November 2014.

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Leonid Dorfman © 123RF.com

What Does 2015 Have in Store for You?

As 2014 nears its conclusion, we thought it would be prudent to take out our trusty “crystal ball” to see what’s in store for employers in 2015. (Read More)

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Ivan Dzyuba  © 123RF.com

Is Mayonnaise Without Eggs Really Mayo?

A San Francisco startup, Hampton Creek Inc., says yes.  At the very least, the company feels it should be able to market Just Mayo, its plant-based, egg-free product, as mayo. Just Mayo is currently sold in 20,000 stores including Whole Foods, Costco, Walmart, Safeway and Kroger. (Read more)

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Insurance Regulatory Update

The information below is current as of the date of the report. Additional information about any of these proposals may be obtained from the California Department of Insurance (CDI) web site here.  (Read more)

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© philipus /123RF.COM

No Bling with that Latte

While tattoos on Starbucks employees are fine (except on the face or throat), the coffee giant has banned employees from wearing traditional engagement rings, and other gems worn on their hands and wrists. Starbucks implemented the new dress code, citing the need for food safety standards that comply with the FDA’s Food Code, which states: Except for a plain ring such as a wedding band, while preparing food, food employees may not wear jewelry including medical information on their arms and hands. (Read more)


To Outsource or Not to Outsource: That is the Question

Lara Shortz spoke to members of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) via webinar on November 12, 2014. Lara's presentation, titled “To Outsource or Not to Outsource: That is the Question,” covered the outsourcing of entire departments by hotel properties and the potential liabilities involved from a risk management and employment law perspective including, but not limited to, indemnification, correct classification of employees vs. independent contractors, pros and cons of the practice and other considerations. In this video excerpt, Lara discusses joint employer liability as it relates to professional employment organizations (PEOs).

Jordan Bernstein Moderates Panel on "Multi-Concept, Multi-Unit Independents: Issues for Organization, Financing and Profitable Exit"

Jordan Bernstein moderated a panel discussion on "Multi-Concept, Multi-Unit Independents: Issues for Organization, Financing and Profitable Exit" at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference (RFDC) in Las Vegas on November 12, 2014. This engaging panel discussed the primary obstacles and benefits of conducting a multi-concept, multi-unit restaurant business, in contrast to a single concept, multi-unit restaurant venture. In this video segment, Jordan provides a brief introduction explaining why he chose to address this topic at the RFDC.

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Dmytro Zinkevych © 123RF.com

Idioms and Employment Law

No doubt we’ve all been admonished at some point in our lives to “never judge a book by its cover.” This idiom provides good counsel in the employment arena.

Exhibit A, if you will, is the recent case of Ellis v Century 21 Dept. Stores, 975 F Supp 2d 244, 273 [EDNY 2013], where Plaintiff claimed she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex when she was passed over for a promotion. The Court refused to dismiss the case and instead ordered a jury trial, based in part on the following statement made to the plaintiff by a superior at the time the decision was being made: “[Y]ou are young, you have young children. It’s a lot of hours. You don’t want the position. You are the mom.” According to the Court, this statement was evidence of an impermissible, sex-based motive for passing over Ellis. (Read More)

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Jakub Gojda  © 123RF.com

The Taste of Failure

New York Pizzeria, Inc., a Texas-based pizza chain, attempted to register a truly unconventional trademark: the taste of its pizza. Predictably, a U.S. District Court rejected the bid as “half-baked” concluding that taste is a “functional” element of the offered pizza product (i.e., the essential element of its use), and hence, cannot be monopolized through trademark protection.  (Read more)

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V Goretsky  © 123RF.com 

San Francisco and Oakland Voters Approve Minimum Wage Hike

San Francisco voters approved Proposition J, a measure to gradually increase the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2017.  At $10.74, San Francisco already has the highest hourly wage of any U.S. city.  Nearby Oakland also approved a similar initiative, with hourly base pay being raised to $12.25 beginning in March of 2015. Oakland’s initiative is set to grow each year based on cost of living increases. (Read more)

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Hotel Groups in the Hot Seat for Failing to Obtain "Caller Consent"

An InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC unit sued its insurance company, Zurich, last  week in California federal court, alleging their insurer had failed to cover the group for potential losses stemming from a pending class action lawsuit alleging the hotel illegally recorded customer service phone calls in California. (Read more)