Employers Beware – Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions Face Further Restrictions

by James Kachmar
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

In 2018, in response to the #MeToo movement, California enacted Senate Bill 820 which added section 1001 to the California Code of Civil Procedure and prohibited employers from including provisions into settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of factual information relating to claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, failure to prevent harassment, harassment in a professional relationship, discrimination based on sex, or retaliation that had been made in connection with a civil lawsuit or administrative action. 

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The De Minimis Concept in Copyright Cases – The Ninth Circuit Says What it is and What it Isn’t

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

In a recent case, Bell v. Wilmott Storage Services, LLC, decided September 9, 2021, the Ninth Circuit clarified the role that the de minimis concept plays in copyright infringement cases.  In essence, the Ninth Circuit explained that de minimis goes to the amount of copying of a copyrighted work as opposed to any de minimis use or display of any such a work.

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Recent Fires Serve as Reminder That Casualty Will Always be a Hot Issue

by Mark E. Ellinghouse, Kenneth J. Conlan

Fires have played a major role in the history of California. Not only have these disasters repeatedly left a trail of devastation through the State’s forests and other natural areas, but recent fires have been noteworthy in their damage to developed areas such as Paradise and South Lake Tahoe. The impacts will be felt for years, as families struggle to rebuild their homes and charred trees litter freeways and hiking trails. These effects are a good reminder to make disaster plans,

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Shauna Correia and Zack Thompson in the Sacramento Business Journal: If Asked For a Religious Exemption From A Vaccine Mandate, Be An Optimist

In a contributed article for the Sacramento Business Journal, Zack Thompson and Shauna Correia discuss an extremely challenging issue that many businesses and HR professionals are facing – how to evaluate religious exemption requests from vaccine mandates.  Their October 8, 2021 article explores two important questions that arise:

What sort of religious belief or religious practice qualifies for a religious exemption?

How do employers know whether a proposed accommodation is reasonable or an undue hardship?

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Legislative Update: Cal/OSHA’s Citation Authority Expanded

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 606, which creates two new categories of Cal/OSHA violations: “enterprise-wide” violations and “egregious” violations. The new law expands Cal/OSHA’s citation authority and could have the effect of greatly increasing the fines employers (especially those large employers with multiple worksites) might be subject to. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

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Written Description Remains Critical to Patents

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

There are many requirements for obtaining a patent.  One of those is the written description requirement.  Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §112(a), the patent must describe the invention in writing.  If the written description requirement is not met, the patent won’t be granted.  If the patent has already been issued, it can be invalidated for failure to satisfy the written description requirement.  Recently, in Juno Therapeutics, Inc. v. Kite Pharma, Inc., 2021 U.S.

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Legislative Update: Parents-in-Law Now Covered under the CFRA

by Meagan D. Bainbridge
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

As many will recall, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) was significantly expanded last year. The CFRA requires most employers grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off. On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1033, which provides that leave must now be granted to eligible employees for the purposes of providing care to a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition.

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