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Featured Insights

Payne & Fears provides high quality legal and business insights, and we are committed to delivering practical and timely updates for a diverse range of issues, businesses and industries.

Labor and Employment Law
Jun 14 | Labor and Employment Law
The key California Employment Law Case Summaries from May 2022 include using unpaid meal- and rest-break premiums as basis for waiting-time penalties and inaccurate wage statement claims, FAA requirements for resisting arbitration, and a trial court's discretion to apply the doctrine of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction to stay a later-filed PAGA action involving claims that overlap with an earlier-filed PAGA action.
Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Insurance Coverage
In a decision that further muddies the already murky waters of “occurrence” jurisprudence, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a general liability policy does not cover a homeowner who mistakenly grades the wrong piece of land because the act of grading land is not “accidental.”
Business Litigation
Apr 29 | Business Litigation
The California Court of Appeal recently provided much needed clarification regarding the application of Proposition 65, which prohibits businesses from knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to certain chemicals without first providing a written warning. In Lee v. Amazon.com, Inc., 76 Cal. App. 5th 200 (March 2022), the court addressed two key questions: (1) whether constructive knowledge of hazardous chemicals and potential exposure is sufficient under the statute, or if actual knowledge is required; and (2) what level of specificity is required in a Proposition 65 Notice of Violation. Lee’s ruling is important for every company that sells consumer products because Proposition 65 obligations apply “to any retailer, manufacturer, producer, packager, importer, supplier, or distributor of the product.” Lee, 76 Cal. App 5th at 231. A company found to have violated Proposition 65 can be fined up to $2,500 per violation per day, which can quickly add up, especially if the violator sells multiple offending products on a regular/daily basis.
E.g., 07/02/2022
E.g., 07/02/2022
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Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
Reversing a court of appeal decision that had been welcome news for employers, the California Supreme Court held today in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, S259172, that the term “regular rate of compensation,” used for calculating meal and rest break premium payments, is synonymous with the term “regular rate of pay,” used for calculating overtime premium payments.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
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June's cases include pay rate calculation and labor contract disputes, as well as a ruling on the constitutionality of a California labor regulation.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
2021 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
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Small businesses operating both inside and outside of California may be unaware of Proposition 65 and its implications for their companies. Often a business first becomes aware of Proposition 65 when it receives a Proposition 65 notice threatening legal action and substantial penalties. A company unfamiliar with Proposition 65 or unaccustomed to litigation may find this unnerving. It may be asking what is this? And what should we do? The short answers are: 1) don’t panic; and 2) get in touch with a California Proposition 65 lawyer as soon as you receive the notice.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
2021 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
Company new hires sometimes commit “unforced errors” when departing one company and joining another, leading to trade secrets disputes with the prior employer that could have been prevented by following basic rules and guidelines on departure.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
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On June 17, 2021, California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board passed amended COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order to make the amended ETS effective as soon as filed with the Secretary of State. The Office of Administrative Law filed them, and the Secretary of State posted them, making the ETS effective immediately. These changes attempt to bring the ETS in alignment with recent changes to California Department of Public Health Order and the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
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On June 11, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) published its latest set of proposed revisions to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (Revised ETS). The Standards Board will vote on the Revised ETS at its June 17 Standards Board meeting. The proposed regulation will then be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for approval. Once approved, the Revised ETS will take effect for California employers no later than June 28.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
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Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
On June 3, 2021, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) voted to approve Cal/OSHA’s proposed revised Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Upon Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approval, employers will be able to relax some of the measures required under the current ETS. But employers still will have to enforce several requirements, including mask wearing for vaccinated individuals, that stray from the current relaxed measures recommended by the CDC and the state of California’s plans to end most mask and social distancing requirements for vaccinated individuals on June 15, 2021.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2021 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
On May 28, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Walmart a groundbreaking win in a wage-and-hour class and California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) action. Reversing a nearly $102 million verdict against Walmart, the Ninth Circuit held in Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., No. 19-16184, (1) that an employee does not have standing to bring a PAGA claim in federal court for a Labor Code violation that he or she did not suffer personally, and (2) that employers may true up overtime rates later affected by bonus or incentive payments by making lump sum payments on wage statements without specifying a corresponding hourly rate.

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