Photo of Y. Douglas Yang

Y. Douglas Yang is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

As Congress grapples with the next tranche of COVID-19 legislation, one key issue that has remained at the forefront of the debate is whether, and to what extent, Congress will limit COVID-19 exposure lawsuits against businesses and non-profit organizations that remain operational during the pandemic.
Continue Reading With Immunity and Justice For All? Congress Weighs Unparalleled Tort Reform for Businesses in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would begin the process of allowing various businesses to reopen physical locations as part of a four-phase plan that seeks to gradually re-establish business operations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  While a welcome sign for many businesses and employees, the phased re-opening of California brings about a flurry of return-to-work issues, one of which is how businesses can reduce the number of physical touch points in the workplace.
Continue Reading The California Data Privacy Implications of Using Facial Recognition in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19, affirming an employer’s ability to medically test its employees for COVID-19 before allowing employees to enter the workplace.  The new guidance expands employers’ options to include medical tests that detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus – not just temperature checks.  The EEOC considers COVID-19 tests to be permissible because an individual with the virus poses a direct threat to the health of others.
Continue Reading As America Prepares to Return to Work, EEOC Approves Testing Employees for COVID-19

As reported here and here, California recently enacted new legislation – Assembly Bill 5 – that expanded the scope of an “employee” under state law.  Beginning January 1, 2020, the answer to whether a person providing services in California is an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee) under the California Labor Code, the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders, and the California Unemployment Insurance Code, will generally depend on whether they satisfy all three prongs of the so-called ABC Test:

  1. The worker must be free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work.
  2. The worker must perform work outside the “usual course” of the hirer’s business.
  3. The worker must be customarily engaged in an independent established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

There are a myriad of occupational and industry exemptions to the application of the ABC Test, many of which are highlighted here.

Having tightened independent contractor classification standards, the next big target for the state legislature may be joint employer liability.


Continue Reading Back to the Joint Employer: Having Changed the Classification Test for Independent Contractors, Will the California Legislature Target the Joint Employer Test Next?