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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 9 posts from October 2015.

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Governor Brown Vetoes Controversial AB 465

On October 11, 2015, Governor Brown vetoed the controversial AB 465, legislation that attempted to make a sweeping prohibition of all mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of California employment. AB 465 required that any waiver by an employee must be knowing, voluntary and in writing, and could not be an express condition of employment. (Read more)

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California Appellate Court Enforces Homeowners Insurance Policy Exclusions

On October 21, 2015, the California Second Appellate District Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Grebow v. Mercury Insurance, which was modified without a change in judgment on October 26. The opinion offers an in-depth analysis of a coverage exclusion in a homeowners insurance policy.  (Read more)

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Ban the Box Hits Broadway…

The use of conviction records to make hiring decisions has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. In April 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance on the subject.[1] And “Ban the Box” legislation has been creeping its way through the country for several years now, with multiple states and local governments enacting legislation to prohibit employers from inquiring about conviction records on job applications. (Read More)

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Copyrightable-Copywrongable: Cookbook Recipes That Lack Creativity Are Not Protectable Copyrights

On October 20, 2015, the Sixth Circuit found that the recipes in a cookbook were not entitled to copyright protection. Tomaydo-Tomahhdo restaurant owner, Rosemarie I. Carroll, sued her former business partner, Larry Moore, alleging the latter had infringed on recipes contained in her cookbook by offering menu items that were similar in his catering business. The lawsuit specifically alleged violations of a number of Ohio state law claims including unfair competition, and misappropriation of trade secrets. (Read more)

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NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision Could Uproot Hotel Franchise Model

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has likely thrown a mammoth monkey wrench in the traditional hotel franchisor/franchisee model. (Read more)

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Governor Brown Signs Law Allowing Health Care Industry Meal Break Waivers

From 1993 through 2000, Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 4 and 5 contained special meal period waiver rules for employees in the health care industry. Specifically, Section 11(D) of these Wage Orders provided as follows: (Read more)

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Governor Brown Signs Fair Pay Act

SB 358, the Fair Pay Act, was signed into law by Governor Brown yesterday. Existing law generally prohibits an employer from paying an employee at wage rates less than the rates paid to 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. Existing law establishes exceptions to that prohibition where the payment is made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any bona fide factor other than sex. (Read more)

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Governor Brown Vetoes AB 1232

Governor Brown has vetoed AB 1232, a bill sponsored by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) which would have allowed the agency's licensing hearings to be conducted in the CDI Administrative Hearing Bureau instead of in the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Governor’s veto message said:  (Read more)

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Ninth Circuit Holds that Waivers of PAGA Claims Cannot be Enforced

This week, a federal appeals court dealt another blow to California employers. 

In Shukri Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not preempt a California court-created rule that an employee's right to bring representative wage and hour claims under California’s “Private Attorneys General Act” (PAGA) cannot be waived by a private arbitration agreement. In PAGA claims, the employee acts as the “state's representative” to seek redress for alleged California Labor Code violations. PAGA claims and traditional “wage and hour” class action claims are very similar in nature – only the remedy is different. In PAGA claims, the state of California is entitled to 75% of the recovery, and the employees receive the remaining 25%. In class actions, the employees receive 100% of the recovery. (Read More)