On May 13, 2022, a law requiring publicly held corporations headquartered in California to have women on the board of directors was enjoined from being enforced and declared unconstitutional after a bench trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.  In Crest v. Padilla, a judge ruled that the law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution because it created a suspect gender classification without a compelling state interest, and the law was not necessary or narrowly tailored to achieve the State’s goals of remedying gender discrimination or benefiting the economy. 

Continue Reading Court Enjoins Law Requiring California Businesses Have Women on Their Board of Directors

In March, U.S. Department of Treasury issued its annual General Explanations of the Administration’s Revenue Proposals, commonly known as the “Green Book.”  Among other revenue proposals, the Treasury addressed the treatment of on-demand pay arrangements or earned wage access (EWA) programs, which have risen in popularity in recent years (previously discussed in our Labor and Employment Blog).  EWA programs generally allow employees to access accrued wages before the end of their regular pay cycle.
Continue Reading Treasury Department Proposes Non-Loan Status for Earned Wage Access

Over the past two years, employee mobility seems to be at an all-time high.  In fact, the labor market is so fluid that pundits and experts often refer to it as the “Great Resignation.”  Although employee mobility can be a great opportunity for both employees and prospective employers, employers hiring new employees should always beware of potential problems such as restrictive covenants, which may follow an employee to a new job.
Continue Reading Void vs. Voidable: The Distinction That Can Make or Break a Tortious Interference Claim in Light of the Great Resignation

On May 2, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) granted an employer’s petition for review to determine whether highly compensated employees are entitled to overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) if they are paid on a daily rate and not on a salary basis.
Continue Reading SCOTUS to Determine Whether Highly Compensated Employees Are Entitled to Overtime Pay

In a recent opinion in Hill v. Walmart Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Walmart on Hill’s claim for waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203, finding there was a good-faith dispute about whether Hill was properly classified as an independent contractor of Walmart.
Continue Reading Good Faith Dispute Over Employment Relationship Allows Walmart to Escape Waiting Time Penalties

On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed Int. 134, an amendment to New York City’s Salary Transparency Law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) that finalized a number of significant changes to its requirements.  As we previously reported, the Council has been considering Int. 134 in various forms since March 24, 2022.  The original version of Int. 134, which provided more significant protections for employers, failed to gain traction.  Following discussions with pay equity advocates and the small business community, Int. 134’s sponsors announced modifications to Int. 134 designed to represent a compromise proposal.  That version of Int. 134 passed, and will be effective immediately if signed by Mayor Eric Adams.
Continue Reading New York City Council Approves Amendments to Salary Transparency Law; New Date for Compliance Now November 1, Among Other Changes

On April 21, 2022, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Standards Board adopted the fourth iteration of its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). Sheppard Mullin previously wrote about the proposed revisions to the current ETS here, which were adopted without substantive changes. The revised ETS will become effective once approved by the Office of Administrative Law, which should occur by May 5, 2022, and the revised ETS will remain in effect until December 31, 2022.

Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Adopts Fourth Iteration of COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

In contravention of decades-old precedent, employers may be required to recognize unions without a secret ballot election, thereby denying employers the opportunity to protect the private choice of their employees. The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, argued that the Board should reinstate the recognition process and expand the ability of the Board to order an employer to bargain with a union even without its winning an election.

Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Seeks to Reinstate Radical Standard for Union Recognition and Restrict Employer Free Speech During Corporate Organizing Campaigns

On March 22, 2022, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) issued its first round of guidance regarding the salary transparency law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) currently scheduled to take effect on May 15, 2022.  As we previously reported, the Law will amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to require all New York City employers to state the minimum and maximum salary associated with an advertised internal or external “job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.”
Continue Reading New York City Issues First Round of Guidance Regarding Salary Transparency Law

At its upcoming April 21, 2022 meeting, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Standards Board will decide whether to readopt the fourth iteration of its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), which first went into effect on November 30, 2020.  The ETS apply to all employees not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard or employees working alone or at home, and require employers to establish, implement, and maintain a COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”), among other things.  Sheppard Mullin previously wrote about the implementation of the original ETS here, and previous revisions to its requirements here and here.
Continue Reading Further Updates to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Likely Coming Soon

Under well-settled, decades-old precedent, employers have historically been free to hold mandatory “captive audience” meetings to educate employees, share views on unionization, and discuss what employees’ rights are with respect to the same. However, on April 7, 2022, the NLRB General Counsel (“GC”) issued a memorandum stating her intent to ask the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) to reconsider this rule, and overturn 75 years of precedent allowing an employer to hold “captive audience” meetings. Notwithstanding the plain wording of Section 8(c) of the NLRA, the GC takes the position that such mandatory meetings are inconsistent with employees’ rights under the NLRA. According to the GC, “captive audience” meetings chill employees’ Section 7 rights to refrain from listening to employer speech regarding unionization. She argues that employers typically use threats to coerce employees to attend mandatory meetings, and therefore these meetings fall outside the scope of statutory and constitutional free speech protections. Instead, she will urge the Board to require that an employer must make clear to employees that their attendance at these meetings is truly voluntary. While this memorandum does not change current law, it signals the GC’s intent to bring unfair labor practice charges against an employer for holding “captive audience” meetings in order to bring the issue before the Board.

Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Will Ask the Board to Find That Captive Audience Meetings Violate the NLRA