Companies sometimes dismiss trade secrets as a significant form of intellectual property because unlike patents, copyrights or trademarks, trade secrets are not publicly recognized or registered with the government. Indeed, every aspect of the trade secret depends on just that, secrecy. Once a trade secret becomes known, the value is lost (and a business generally suffers). Fortunately, California has laws in place to protect trade secrets.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of liability insurance where the employer assumes complete liability for all worker injuries and in California, all businesses with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees (California Labor Code Section 3700). Since the purpose of worker’s compensation is to help workers if they are…
Terminating and/or firing employees is an often dreaded task faced by employers in all industries and lay offs are no different. Unfortunately, at some point in the business life cycle, financial difficulties may mean a business owner needs to lay off employees – and do so in a manner that does not result in legal action by the disgruntled employee.
Generally speaking, joint employment, or co-employment, is the sharing of control and supervision of an employee’s activity among two or more business entities. A benefit of the increasingly popular employment practice is the ease with which joint employers are often able to hire experts in niche industries, individuals with specialist skills, and/or even replace their regular workforce. Currently, however, no single legal definition of joint employment exists and Congress is out to change that.
Are non-compete agreements truly a thing of the past in California? It seems that the California Supreme Court would like employers to think so. After all, in 2008 the Court brought down the hammer on these covenants not to compete (a clause under which one party (usually an employee) agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against another party (usually the employer)), holding that California Business Code §16600 prohibits all restraints on trade, including non-solicitation provisions (Edwards v. Arthur Anderson, 44 Cal. 4th 937(2008)).
These days, it seems that Uber can’t stay out of the news. From wage and hour claims (were drivers being misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees? Read more on the distinction between the two here) to vicious assaults (by both drivers and passengers), the ride-sharing app has had its time in the limelight.
In 2016, Assembly Bill No. 1732, also known as the “All-Gender” Bathroom Bill (Bathroom Bill), was introduced to the California legislature and subsequently signed into law by Governor Brown. The Bathroom Bill was sponsored by California NOW, Equality California, and the Transgender Law Center because “restrict[ing] access to single-occupancy restrooms by gender create problems of safety, fairness, and convenience.” And recently, the bill went into effect.
Before the Bathroom Bill
Various types of insurance policies have a provision within them that gives the policyholder the right to have an attorney (who is appointed and paid for by the insurance company) represent them in the event that they are named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Read on for 4 ways to improve the odds of the case being settled or decided in your favor.
Today, many businesses use arbitration as a means of resolving claims that arise. Indeed, many California consumer agreements contain arbitration clauses.
However, the California Supreme Court recently narrowed the protection of arbitration agreements with class action waivers. Financial services entities and other businesses will be required to review their current contractual provisions to ensure compliance in the Golden State.
California Supreme Court: Public Employees’ Work-Related Texts and Emails on Private Devices are “Public Records”
According to the California Supreme Court, public employees’ communications about official agency business may be subject to California Public Records Act (CPRA). This extends to communications on personal computers, smartphones, tablets, etc…
While this is a case involving a public sector employer and the CPRA, I foresee that it may – and sooner than later — be relevant to private sector employers and “bring your own device” policies (more on those here), as well as private sector employees’ privacy interests.