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Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

Arbitration update

Tips for drafting enforceable arbitration agreements with California employees

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In 2000, the California Supreme Court set forth the standards of unconscionability applicable to invalidate mandatory arbitration agreements in the employment context in Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. In the past years, litigation of arbitration provisions has boomed. In 2011, the United States Supreme Court decided AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, finding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempted California’s Discover Bank case rule prohibiting class action waivers in arbitration agreements. However, the enforceability of class action waivers has since been challenged on several occasions.

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What is Administrative Wage Garnishment? Who can order one? How do you comply with it? And what happens if you don't? We look at this debt collection process that allows a federal agency to order an employer to withhold up to 15 percent of an employee's disposable income to pay a nontax delinquent debt owed to the agency, without a court judgment or order.

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Using a staffing agency for certain job categories at an auto dealer, i.e., porters and janitors, may be a convenient and efficient way to meet staffing needs and screen potential future employees without the administrative burdens of hiring and payroll. But using a staffing agency does not create a free pass for the dealership. Existing law allocates substantial employment practices compliance burdens equally to staffing agencies and their clients, especially where a “joint employer” relationship exists. Here are some issues to remain mindful of...

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Most dealers would soon go out of business if they lost their flooring line. And flooring agreements are often strongly one-sided in the flooring lender’s favor. But this doesn’t mean that a dealership is entirely at its flooring lender’s mercy when the lender decides to turn the screws. In fact, in some circumstances, over-reaching by the flooring lender may provide a dealership the opening it needs to keep its flooring line in place, even if only for long enough to find an alternative lender.

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Upwards of 90% of all civil lawsuits settle before trial. Given the near inevitability of settlement before trial, posturing a case for settlement is a vital component of any litigation strategy and the California state legislature enacted Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 to assist civil litigants to this end.

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Yesterday, a Southern California plaintiff’s wage and hour class action law firm, known for filing massive class actions against auto dealers on behalf of service technicians under the infamous 2013 California Court of Appeal decision in Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors LP, initiated a blitzkrieg on Facebook targeting employees of numerous auto dealer groups.

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On March 29, 2017, the Labor Commissioner’s Office provided additional guidance regarding Paid Sick Leave requirements in the form of frequently asked questions and answers thereto. This guidance is interpretive and is not binding, but may be followed if tested in the courts.

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The Fair Employment and Housing Council has approved amended regulations pertaining to gender identity and transgender individuals in the workplace. These regulations take effect July 1, 2017. Some of the amendments merely clean up existing language (for example, references to “both sexes”) to allow broader and more neutral gender references. Other amendments impose additional obligations/prohibitions for employers, such as...

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OSHA finalized new electronic injury and illness reporting rules in May 2016 that would require certain employers to submit electronic reports with injury and illness data. These new reporting requirements were scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2017 and were to be phased in over two years. Specifically, businesses with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation (which includes car dealerships) were required submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers would be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information would be due by March 2.

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Under California’s Labor Code (Sections 551 and 552), employees are entitled to one day's rest in seven, and employers are not permitted to cause employees to work more than six days in seven. These rules do not apply in a week in which the employee didn’t work more than 30 hours or more than 6 hours on any day of that week (Section 556). These rules also do not apply when the nature of the employment reasonably requires that the employee work seven or more consecutive days, if in each calendar month the employee receives days of rest equivalent to one day's rest in seven.

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