You may have heard about the “Great Resignation” recently – the growing trend where employees are resigning in great numbers. Competition between employers is fierce to attract and hire top talent. To expedite this process, employers may opt to use software programs that streamline this process by employing artificial intelligence (“AI”) and algorithms to make staffing decisions.
Even the wealthiest man on earth must contend with non-disclosure agreements. Elon Musk recently made headlines when he offered to purchase Twitter and take the company private for $44 billion. Over the weekend, Musk disclosed that Twitter accused him of violating its NDA when he publicly revealed Twitter’s policies regarding the regulation of bots.
Diversity programs are commonly implemented in many aspects of our lives these days. So, it is surprising when a court—no less one based in California—strikes down such a program as unconstitutional. But that is exactly what one court recently did when it struck down A.B. 979, a law requiring publicly traded companies based in California to include members from underrepresented communities on their board.
The effects of COVID-19 are being felt in the courtroom. Aggrieved employees are increasingly filing lawsuits against employers demanding reimbursement for work-related expenses arising from remote work during the pandemic. Alleged expenses include, for instance, internet, computer, phone, printer, and electric bills. Businesses, both big and small, have been hit with these lawsuits.
As we previously wrote and expected, on April 21, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved the third readoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). It becomes effective May 6, 2022. Although it feels like we are nearing the end of COVID-19 impositions on our day-to-day life, this ETS is likely to be in effect through the rest of the year.
Cal/OSHA is at it again. A few days ago, Cal/OSHA published proposed revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) rules. (The proposals are available here.) Cal/OSHA will formally vote on whether to adopt the proposed rules on April 21, 2022. If, as expected, these new rules are adopted, employers should know about some of the key anticipated changes.
A bill proposed in the California State Legislature, AB-2932, would mandate a four-day workweek for employers with more than 500 employees in the state. If passed, the proposal would amend Section 510 of the Labor Code to redefine a “workweek” from 40 hours to 32 hours.
California often makes the news headlines. That is no less so with respect to legal affairs. Just recently, the United States Supreme Court heard a matter that should be of utmost interest to employers in the Golden State. The case, known as Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (“Viking River”), concerns a law that has beguiled and harassed California employers since its inception in 2004—a law known as the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).
As a sign of improving pandemic times, the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently announced changes to the I-9 employment verification process.
On March 17, 2022, the United States House of Representatives passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (“FAIR Act”). If enacted into law, the FAIR Act would prohibit businesses from requiring workers and patrons to air disputes against them in arbitration (as opposed to in court). The FAIR Act comes on the heels of a recent anti-arbitration law (i.e., Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act) that President Biden signed this year—a law much narrower in scope than the FAIR Act.