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Adam Y. SiegelBlog Posts

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Proposition 22 Passed – What Does It Mean for the Gig Economy in California?

While some of the 2020 election is still undecided, California voters were fairly definitive in their support of Proposition 22, which will now allow app-based rideshare and delivery companies to hire drivers as independent contractors if various conditions are met. A key part of Prop 22 provides workers with minimum compensation levels, health insurance subsidies... Continue Reading
November 6, 2020

Expanded Exemptions for Independent Newspaper Carriers

On September 30, 2020, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 323 (“AB 323”), which is intended to support local journalism. Part of the new law focuses on California’s official advertising, requiring the Department of General Services publish by July 1 each year information relating to payments of placement marketing and outreach advertising material by each state... Continue Reading
October 1, 2020

Governor Signs Legislation Expanding Labor Commissioner Representation to Arbitrations

On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1384, which (1) expands the California Labor Commissioner’s representation to arbitrations for claimants who cannot afford counsel, (2) requires employers to serve petitions to compel arbitration on the Labor Commissioner, and (3) allows the Labor Commissioner to represent claimants in proceedings to determine whether arbitration agreements... Continue Reading
September 29, 2020

State Budget Proposal Seeks to Reduce PAGA Litigation Through Increased State Oversight

On January 7, 2016, Governor Brown’s office submitted a 22-page Budget Change Proposal for 2016-2017 (http://web1a.esd.dof.ca.gov/Documents/bcp/1617/FY1617_ORG7350_BCP474.pdf) in an effort to “stabilize and improve the handling of Private Attorneys General Act cases.” Background Enacted in 2003, the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) enables private parties to recover penalties for certain Labor Code violations that could previously … Continue Reading
February 26, 2016

Public Sector Union Fees Continue to Hang in the Balance With Scalia’s Passing

The recent death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia will give public sector unions a short respite in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al., a case that was likely to limit public sector unions’ ability to require mandatory fees from public workers. Following last month’s oral arguments before the High Court, many legal analysts expected … Continue Reading
February 22, 2016

Arbitration Agreements

Denying an employer’s motion to compel individual arbitration of a wage and hour class action, a California federal court ruled that the employer’s dispute resolution program violated its employees’ right to engage in concerted action under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Totten v. Kellogg Brown & Root, LLC. Notably, this ruling departs from the … Continue Reading
February 8, 2016

Waiting Time Penalties Under California Labor Code Not Wages for Federal Tax Purposes

Waiting time penalties imposed under Section 203 of the California Labor Code are not “wages” for purposes of federal income or employment taxes, according to a Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Although the Memorandum is not precedential, it provides guidance regarding the IRS’s current views on the taxability of such … Continue Reading
November 30, 2015

Worker Misclassification Risk? Top 10 Questions to Ask about Your Independent Contractors

Employers’ risk of liability for the misclassification of workers continues to grow, as employee misclassification remains a top enforcement priority for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), and class actions asserting misclassification claims are filed almost daily in federal and California state courts. Employers regularly using independent contractors should examine those relationships periodically to ensure … Continue Reading
November 20, 2015

Reversing $1 Million Judgment against Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals Ruled Continuing Violation Doctrine did not apply to Firefighter’s Decades-Old Race Discrimination and Harassment Claims

The California Court of Appeal reversed a $1 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles in a racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation case brought by a firefighter under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles. After 12 years of litigation and two jury trials, the Court ruled that … Continue Reading
November 20, 2015

An Employee’s Request for a Disability or Religious Accommodation Is Considered Protected Activity Under Change to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

Effective January 1, 2016, an employee’s request for an accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons is considered to be “protected activity” for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Existing law requires an employer covered by the FEHA to provide reasonable accommodation of, among other things, a person’s disability … Continue Reading
November 9, 2015

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