February 6, 2018

Mediation can take many forms. But what can be done to enhance your chances of success? While there may be no definitive recipe, this article will explore different possibilities.

Let’s first discuss the role of the mediator. We know from our own real-life experiences that the techniques and style of the mediator play a critical role in the mediation process. But is there a specific technique and/or style that is considered a best practice? A recent study published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution would suggest that there is no identifiable “best practice.” [1] Yet, in the study’s complex …

January 29, 2018

by Gordon E. Bosserman

Irrespective of your opinion regarding the actions of some professional football players during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before games, you might find it interesting to know that there are also employment law issues involved in the action. Many professional football players, beginning with Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco Forty-Niners, have been taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem as a political expression. Recently, Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has said that he will not allow any player who does not stand for the playing of the …

January 25, 2018

The number of Americans with criminal convictions in their background has increased due to the increase in enforcement of drug laws. So when the Recession brought layoffs, the challenge to find employment when the applicant has a criminal record became the focus of many state and local lawmakers. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco adopted “Ban-the-Box” laws, requiring employers in those jurisdictions to eliminate the box from applications that require disclosure of criminal history information. Since Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1008, it is now state law that employers of 5 or more people are not be permitted to inquire …

October 31, 2017

By Dennis D. Law

The most common means of enforcing a settlement agreement is to make a motion to enforce in the pending action under Code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6. A real life example of this is found in the litigation surrounding the storied wealth of the Hearst family.

Boilerplate language in most settlement agreements assumes that a means of enforcement is available, but one should not assume that Section 664.6 will apply.

First, Section 664.6 only applies if there is a pending action.  Although this may seem like an obvious point, standard Section 664.6 clauses sometimes appear …

October 4, 2017

Along with her J.D., Kathy Eppright can now add AWI-CH after her name to highlight her expertise in conducting workplace investigations.

Kathy has been doing workplace investigations for about 15 years and over that time the need and standards for conducting investigations of workplace complaints has dramatically changed. In 2016, California added new regulations requiring employers to use “qualified personnel” to conduct an “impartial and timely investigation” of complaints of harassment and discrimination. Specific standards and best practices for conducting a workplace investigation have evolved over the years and being able to demonstrate that an employer’s investigation met those standards …

July 21, 2017

By Gordon E. Bosserman

The California Legislature is considering amending the Fair Pay Act to prohibit an employer from asking about what a job applicant made in compensation from his or her previous employers. (See AB 168) This is not yet the law in California; currently, an employer may ask about previous compensation. Do you know what current law in California requires regarding “equal pay”? If not, here is a brief summary.

In 2016, California enacted the Fair Pay Act. Under that law, an employer was prohibited from paying any of its employees wage rates that were less than the …

March 16, 2017

Rental property owners and managers face strict laws intended to provide protections for tenants. There are three developments in California landlord-tenant law that you should be aware of if you own or manage any rental property.

First, AB 551 amends several sections of the California Civil Code to address bed bugs in rental properties. The most pressing amendment requires landlords to give a notice to new tenants containing particular language on and after July 1, 2017, and to give the same notice to existing tenants by January 1, 2018. The legislation also prohibits a landlord from retaliating against a tenant …

January 10, 2017

Review Your Rest Break Policy

By Gordon E. Bosserman
Right before Christmas, the California Supreme Court gave an early Christmas present to attorneys who represent employees by issuing a decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. that will make it easier to bring claims for missed rest breaks. Until now, attorneys representing employees have focused on meal breaks, because rest breaks are taken on the clock. So employers have been able to adopt policies that presume employees have taken rest breaks, since they are not recorded in their time records. As a result of this decision, employers are going …

November 17, 2016

kathyThe California voters’ approval of Proposition 64 may signal a big change in the direction of the “war on drugs,” but what may come as a surprise to some is that it does not change much for employers.

Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress in 1970, and therefore is still considered illegal for any use under federal law. A person in California may now smoke marijuana and grow a small amount in his or her home without risk of arrest by California authorities, but this does not mean that employees can come …

October 31, 2016

karenBy Karen Gjerdrum Fothergill

Since their adoption in California in the 1990’s, limited liability companies have afforded individuals the limited liability protections of corporations without their stringent operational rules. Now, effective January 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill 1722 will amend California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act to give even greater flexibility to members of California limited liability companies.

Under current law, if the members (owners) of a limited liability company want to dissolve and wind up its activities, they must have, among other things, approval by a majority of the members. A “majority” in this context means at least …