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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
Feb 03 | Labor and Employment Law
On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued new employer guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This guidance is intended to help employers and workers outside the healthcare setting to identify risks of being exposed to and of contracting COVID-19 and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. While this guidance is largely duplicative of prior OSHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidance and recommendations, it contains a few new and updated recommendations that employers should note.
Insurance Coverage
2020 | Insurance Coverage
This week, in AXIS Reinsurance Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., ____ F.3d ____, 2020 WL 5509743 (9th Cir. Sept. 14, 2020), the Ninth Circuit addressed an important question of first impression: When can an excess insurer second-guess an underlying insurer’s decision to pay a claim? Prior to AXIS Reinsurance, there had been no California or the Ninth Circuit case discussing an excess insurer’s right to make a covered-claims challenge to the exhaustion of underlying insurance, even though policyholders frequently encounter such arguments.
Business Litigation
2020 | Business Litigation
The Ninth Circuit recently reminded companies that they must provide notice to consumers when they change their terms and conditions, even where original terms state that they are subject to change at-will and at any time (i.e. the original contract contains a “change-of-terms” provision). Without express notice to the consumer, any change is unenforceable.
E.g., 04/21/2021
E.g., 04/21/2021
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Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
On July 24, 2020, California released the Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening. The Employer Playbook provides detailed information for employers in an easy-to-read checklist format.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In the past few months, federal, state, and local governments have rapidly and constantly proliferated laws, orders, and guidance for conducting business in light of COVID-19. Unless a business has personnel dedicated to monitoring the ever-changing legal requirements related to the pandemic, it can be terribly confusing and difficult to keep track of this morass of information. The purpose of this article is to identify the California guidance, federal laws and federal agency guidance, and local orders, ordinances, and local public health agency guidance, applicable to businesses and to explain the relationship between them.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
This promises to be the year that requires businesses to be highly adaptable in meeting staffing needs while supporting employees with school-age children. In today’s press conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced schools in counties on the County Data Monitoring list may not physically reopen school campuses for in-person instruction this coming fall until certain criteria are met. This mandate is applicable to private and public schools.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the closure of certain indoor businesses across the entire state of California. He has also placed additional restrictions on 30 counties, including Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The strict shutdowns are being put into place as a response to a surge of COVID-19 cases within the state.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
2020 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In 2015 Congress excluded robocalls to collect government debts from regulation. In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, the Supreme Court deemed that exception unconstitutional because it favored certain types of speech.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
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This month's key employment law cases involve discrimination, wage and mileage reimbursement, and more.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, 591 U.S. ___, 2020 WL 3808420 (2020) (“Morrissey-Berru”), the United States Supreme Court provided further guidance on the application of the “ministerial exception,” which provides religious organizations with a defense against generally applicable employment laws in the selection or retention of employees who perform certain tasks involving preaching, teaching, and counseling.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In David v. Queen of the Valley Medical Center (QVMC), 2020 WL 3529683 (certified for publication Cal. Ct. App. June 30, 2020), the employer’s legally compliant policies were crucial in getting the California Court of Appeal to dismiss a case before trial.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
2020 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
Los Angeles County has been the epicenter of COVID-19 in California, and it is only getting worse. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LA Department of Public Health) recently announced that daily hospitalizations have been significantly higher than in past weeks. Accordingly, LA County released new and updated guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within the workplace. The guidance includes more stringent employee screenings, requirements to report a cluster of confirmed COVID-19 cases, updates to LA County Reopening Protocols, and requirements that all employees who have regular contact with others wear a face covering or an alternative, regardless of medical conditions.

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