As we predicted (here), employees can be compelled to individually arbitrate their Labor Code claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), but an arbitration agreement that prohibits employees from bringing a representative action on behalf of other employees in court violates California public policy.  In Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc., S274671 (July 17, 2023) (“Adolph”), the California Supreme Court analyzed whether an employee retained standing to bring a PAGA action on behalf of other aggrieved employees despite the existence of a valid arbitration agreement requiring arbitration of the employee’s individual PAGA claims.  The Court answered with an unequivocal and unanimous “yes.”  

Continue Reading The California Supreme Court Sets Viking River Cruise Decision Adrift

Companies that have been wrestling with exactly how to comply with the latest regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) can breathe a sigh of relief after a California state court judge ruled last week that the newest regulations cannot be enforced until March 2024.  If you’re familiar with the changes to the CCPA, you know that regulators were supposed to have the accompanying regulations in place by July 2022, but failed to do so – in fact, the regulations were not final until March 29, 2023, nearly three months after the statutory effective date of January 1, 2023.  The California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) voluntarily extended the enforcement deadline to July 1, 2023, but even then, many companies were left scrambling until last Friday, when Judge James Arguelles of the Superior Court of California in Sacramento County entered an injunction barring enforcement of the regulations until March 2024.

The ruling is the result of a lawsuit by the California Chamber of Commerce against the CPPA, asking the Court to order the CPPA to promulgate final regulations on all topics (notably, the March 29 regulations are incomplete) and delay enforcement until a year after all regulations are finalized.  Judge Arguelles found that the CPPA cannot enforce the new regulations until March 29, 2024, one year after the new regulations are final, but the order does not delay enforcement until a year after a complete set of regulations are prepared. 

Importantly, however, the Court’s order does not prevent the CPPA from enforcing the language of the statute itself, which went into effect on January 1, 2023, nor does it prevent private plaintiffs from using the CCPA’s private right of action to bring civil claims.  Thus, while companies now have a reprieve from interpreting the CPPA’s regulations, they need to ensure that they are complying with the statutory requirements.

Whether your business has been CCPA compliant for years and you just need some help getting up to speed on the latest regulations, or you have no idea what the confusingly similar CCPA, CPRA, and CPPA acronyms mean, our team is available to help you improve your privacy posture.

Illinois is expected to join a number of other states, including California, Colorado and Washington, in requiring the disclosure of salary information in job postings.  House Bill 3129 amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA), making it unlawful for an employer to fail to include in any job posting the pay scale and benefits for a position that will be (i) physically performed, in whole or in part, in Illinois or (ii) physically performed outside of Illinois where the employee reports to a supervisor, office or other work site in Illinois. 

Continue Reading Illinois Governor Expected to Sign Pay Transparency Bill into Law

In filing a lawsuit many have dubbed “the first of its kind,” a radio host in Georgia is claiming that OpenAI, the company behind the artificial intelligence chat platform “ChatGPT,” is liable for defamation.

The plaintiff, Mark Walters, filed a complaint last week in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia, alleging that ChatGPT published “false,” “malicious” and “libelous matter” about Walters to a third-party journalist, Fred Riehl.

Continue Reading AI “Hallucinations” Can Inflict Real-World Pain

On May 24, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed SF 3035, a sweeping omnibus bill that addresses a laundry list of employment topics (the “Law”).  Among the new restrictions, the Law contains a near-total ban on non-compete agreements, which goes into effect July 1, 2023.

Continue Reading Minnesota Enacts Ban on Non-Competition Agreements

On June 13, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its decision in The Atlanta Opera, Inc., 372 NLRB No. 95 (2023), overturning the current standard for determining independent contractor status and returning to a previous test.  Because section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) excludes independent contractors from the broad group of workers covered by the statute, whether workers are considered employees or independent contractors determines whether workers can exercise rights guaranteed by the NLRA, such as forming unions and engaging in protected concerted activities.

Continue Reading NLRB Refashions Independent Contractor Test

On May 30, 2023, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“USDOL”) issued an opinion letter offering clarification as to whether holidays that occur during a period of leave covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) count against the employee’s FMLA entitlement and determination of the amount of leave taken.

Continue Reading Calculating FMLA Leave:  What Happens on Holidays?

Although many cities in the Golden State increased their minimum wage on January 1, 2023, various localities in California will increase their minimum wage on July 1, 2023.  Below is a list of the cities and counties that require an increase in the minimum wage for hourly employees:

Continue Reading Employers Face Minimum Wage Increases in Certain Cities and Local Areas

The headlines this week have provided striking images of smoke from Canadian wildfires descending on New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities in the United States.  The poor air quality associated with wildfires means more than cancelled sporting events, spoiled beach days, and cancelled flights.  Wildfire smoke can be extremely harmful to the lungs, especially for children, older adults and those with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, chronic heart disease, or diabetes.  According to the American Lung Association, wildfire particle pollution can cause bronchitis, asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.

Continue Reading Canada’s Wildfires Are a Good Reminder of an Employer’s Duty to Provide a Workplace Free of Known Safety and Health Hazards