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August 15, 2016

Employers Beware: An Employer’s Obligation to Engage in the Interactive Process Applies to Workers’ Compensation Claims

An employer is not excused from its obligations to engage in the interactive process when a workplace injury qualifies as a disability under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). When the employer receives notice that an employee experienced a workplace injury, the employer should determine if the employee is disabled within the meaning of the ADA and/or the FEHA. If the employee is disabled within the meaning of the ADA and/or FEHA, then the employer should engage in the interactive process to determine whether there are any reasonable accommodations that will assist the employee with performing the essential functions of the position.

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August 3, 2016

California Supreme Court Decides That There is No “Universal Rule” for Whether an Arbitrator or a Judge Determines the Availability of Classwide Arbitration Under an Agreement Which is Silent on That Issue

On July 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court answered the Question: When an arbitration agreement is silent on the issue, who decides whether classwide arbitration is permitted or prohibited; courts or arbitrators? In a 4-3 decision, the Court declined to issue a uniform standard, and held that in this instance, it was a matter for the arbitrator. Timothy Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. (Cal. Sup. Ct. July 28, 2016, No. S220812)

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July 27, 2016

California Employers Should Start Planning for Upcoming Minimum Wage and Minimum Salary Increases

Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 3, raising California’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2022 ("SB 3"). Increases to the minimum wage begin January 1, 2017, when the minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour with increases scheduled through 2022.

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July 26, 2016

Dashboard Video of Arrest Is Not a Police Personnel Record

On July 19, 2016, the California Court of Appeal held that a video recording made by a patrol car’s dashboard camera is not a peace officer’s personnel record, and thus is not protected from disclosure by so-called Pitchess statutes. (City of Eureka v. Superior Court of Humboldt County (July 19, 2016) 2016 WL 3944576.)

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July 26, 2016

Dashboard Video of Arrest Is Not a Police Personnel Record

On July 19, 2016, the California Court of Appeal held that a video recording made by a patrol car’s dashboard camera is not a peace officer’s or custodial officer’s personnel record, and thus is not protected from disclosure by so-called Pitchess statutes. (City of Eureka v. Superior Court of Humboldt County (July 19, 2016) 2016 WL 3944576.)

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July 21, 2016

Prop 65 Warnings: More BPA Regulations, More Headaches

Any entity that manufactures, produces, packages, imports, distributes or sells items containing bisphenol A ("BPA") in California may have to provide a Proposition 65 warning. On May 11, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA") added BPA to Proposition 65’s list of chemicals because of its potential reproductive toxicity. This BPA listing applies to all industrial and consumer products in California regardless of their manufacture date.

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July 14, 2016

California Court of Appeal Rules That Investigator’s Report Is Protected from Discovery

In City of Petaluma v. Superior Court of Sonoma County (Cal. App. 1st Dist. June 8, 2016, No. A145437), a public employer hired outside counsel to conduct an investigation in anticipation of a lawsuit for discrimination and retaliation. The investigator was directed not to provide legal advice. In the subsequent lawsuit, the California Court of Appeal held that attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine protected the investigator’s report from discovery. Though the investigator did not give the employer legal advice, the legal service she provided was, by itself, sufficient to support a protected attorney-client relationship.

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July 6, 2016

Successor Corporations May Be Found Liable for Predecessor’s Unfunded Pension Liability Under Ninth Circuit’s Broad Successory Liability Test

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an important decision regarding unfunded pension liability. Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees v. Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc., 801 F.3d 1079 (9th Cir., 2015).

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