California’s Bathroom Bill

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

Class Action Update: Arbitration Clauses Cannot Bar Claims for Public Injunctive Relief

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.

PAGA Claims: Arbitration Not Allowed

The California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for alleged Labor Code violations. In other words, PAGA gives a private citizen the right to pursue fines that would normally only be available to the State of California, thereby allowing a private citizen to act as an “attorney general”. Defending these claims can be time consuming and costly for employers, and a California appellate court recently made things even more challenging for business owners across the state when it affirmed that arbitration is not permitted for PAGA claims. Indeed, arbitration clauses are undergoing a change up in employment agreements across the state, read more here.

Tracking Employees Offline

Thanks to technology, employers are essentially now able to track an employee’s every move. Whether it be on the internet, on sales routes, or in a production center, technological advancements have made it easy to monitor an employee’s movements in ways that could only be imagined a couple of decades ago. As we have discussed in the past, there are benefits and risks to tracking an employee through GPS software.

Benefits of Employee Monitoring

President Trump and Employment Policies to Watch

Since Election Day, speculation about the impact the Trump Administration will have on existing business and employment laws and regulations has abounded. Now that President Trump has taken office, what can we expect? Read on for my thoughts on how the Department of Labor, the EEOC, and the President’s own executive actions may have bearing in the areas of workplace disability and leave law.

Wage and Hour Class Actions and Smartphones

In today’s digitally-driven age, it seems that it would be surprising to have an employee who did not have a smartphone, tablet, or other similar device that allowed him to instantly ‘connect’. In fact, many California employers assume that it is a given that their employees own a smartphone and encourage them to also use it for work-related purposes. Unfortunately, doing so can land a business in legal hot water.