Welcome to the Weintraub Resources section. Here, you can find our Blogs, Videos, and Podcasts, in which Weintraub attorneys regularly provide insights and updates on legal developments. You can also find upcoming Weintraub Events, as well as firm and client News.

The CA Legislature Passes Another Law Requiring that Employers Advise Employees that They Have the Right to Seek Legal Counsel

In recent years, California employers have seen legislation requiring that they advise their employees in certain situations about their right to consult with legal counsel. For example, in 2021 Senate Bill 331 (“Silenced No More Act”) amended section 1001 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to require, among other things, that a severance and release agreement contain a provision notifying the employee or former employee that they have the right to consult an attorney regarding the agreement. This notification under California law is separate and apart from the requirements under the federal Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (as part of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act) which also provides for such notice for employees over the age of 40.

PAGA Reform: Key Takeaways for California Employers

On July 1, 2024 Governor Newsom signed SB-92 and AB-2288 into law, which instituted sweeping reforms to California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”). PAGA was passed 20 years ago to provide a private mechanism for employees to pursue claims on behalf of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) against employers for alleged Labor Code violations. PAGA was meant to improve compensation for and benefit workers in California, but in practice has largely benefitted plaintiffs’ attorneys, which was why reforms were necessary.

A California Workplace Checklist for Pride Month

It’s Pride month: rainbow flags are flying, social media avatars are changing, and parade planning is in full swing. In addition to celebrations, California businesses can use this important month to review their practices and policies to ensure an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees. Although creating a supportive work environment is a kind and empathetic thing to do, it’s also the law. More about that later, but first: a checklist. Not all of the following are mandatory requirements; some suggestions may be aspirational. However, reviewing these options is an excellent place to start to ensure that we all respect the rights of our LGBTQ+ employees and comply with the law.

California’s Minimum Wage Law for Healthcare Workers May Be Delayed

In October 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 525 (“SB 525”), which establishes minimum wage schedules for “covered health care employees” depending on the type of facilities in which they work, and raises the minimum wage for many healthcare facilities to $21 per hour. SB 525 would have raised the minimum wage on June 1, 2024 for many of these facilities. However, on Monday, May 20, 2024, State Senator Mara Elana Durazo, the bill’s author, submitted paperwork for legislation that would delay the increase.  Senate Bill No. 828 (“SB 828”) moves the start date of the health care minimum wage law by one month to July 1, 2024.

Ninth Circuit Holds that Non-Individual PAGA Claims Cannot be Compelled to Arbitration Even When the Agreement Only Waives Class or Collective Actions

On May 10, 2024, the Ninth Circuit decided Yuriria Diaz v. Macys West Stores, Inc.  In that case, Diaz brought California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims against her former employer.  The district court compelled both Plaintiff’s individual and non-individual PAGA claims to arbitration, reasoning that the arbitration agreement’s broad language must be interpreted to encompass both types of claims.  Macy’s appealed.

Highlights from the 2024 ULI Technical Advisory Panel’s Recommendations for Downtown Sacramento

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently convened a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) of distinguished third-party analysts from around the country to analyze and recommend growth opportunities for downtown Sacramento. The TAP’s recommendations were made public this month. As a member of ULI Sacramento’s Executive Committee, I believe in downtown Sacramento’s potential and the power of the built environment to transform the community. In case you missed it, I wanted to share a few highlights of the TAP’s findings and recommendations with the hope that its vision for downtown Sacramento will inspire us in the commercial real estate sector to embrace the opportunities ahead.

The California Supreme Court Further Clarifies the Definition of “Hours Worked”

At the request of the 9th Circuit, the California Supreme Court recently clarified the definition of “hours worked” under the Labor Code. In Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors, the employees worked at a solar power facility, which was located on privately-owned land. To reach the actual worksite, employees had to enter onto private land, present a badge at a security gate (at which point a security guard might “peer” into their car or truck), and then drive an additional 10–15 minutes to access the employee parking lot. It was estimated that the security check could take between 5-30 minutes. This would happen again at the end of the day. Also, because there were endangered species present on the privately-owned land, there were restrictions employees were expected to follow while driving on the road, including not exceeding a certain speed limit, and refraining from honking horns or playing loud music. The Court was asked to answer two questions with respect to the definition of “hours worked” as discussed below.

California Legislature Considers Employee’s “Right to Disconnect”

In late March 2024, California Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill, AB 2751, that would recognize a right for employees in California to “disconnect” or ignore communications from their employer during certain non-work hours.  The Bill, in its current form, requires an employer to establish a workplace policy that will allow employees “the right to disconnect” from communications from their employer during non-working hours, except for emergencies and/or scheduling purposes.  The policy must define working vs. non-working hours and make clear that employees have the right to ignore communications from the employer during the policy’s specified non-working hours.  The proposed law also provides employees the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner if the employer engages in a pattern of violations of this new law. Finally, the proposed new law states that while violations may not be punished as a misdemeanor, the employer could be subject to a fine of not less than $100 as a result of a pattern of violation of the proposed new law.

Unraveling the Statute of Limitations in Copyright Infringement Cases

In the realm of copyright law, determining the scope of damages and the applicability of the statute of limitations remains a contentious issue. The Supreme Court case of Nealy v. Warner Chappell Music (argued before the Court in February of this year) promises to shed light on this matter, grappling with the question of how far back a plaintiff can seek damages in a copyright infringement case. This pivotal legal battle has significant implications for copyright holders, defendants, and the broader creative industry landscape.