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

SCOTUS prohibits “piggybacking” of time-barred class claims

No statute of limitations tolling for pending class actions

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On June 11, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, et al., No. 17-432 (U.S. June 11, 2018) (“China Agritech”), holding that the statute of limitations is not tolled for class claims during the pendency of a class action. This has important implications for class action defendants, in that it prevents subsequent class actions and extortionate class settlements on the same claims when class counsel (or new class counsel) finds a subsequent class plaintiff to file a successive class action suit on the same claims as an earlier class action. This tactic, known as “piggyback” class action filings, where an otherwise untimely class suit is filed on the theory that the time to sue is extended by the pendency of a prior class case, is common. But, no more. It is important to note, however, that China Agritech was decided under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, not under the class action procedure available under California law.

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Since the beginning of 2017 there have been a number of decisions issued by the Courts that have changed the legal landscape for businesses defending class actions in California. This article touches briefly on the decisions during that time that we see as the most significant.

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Back when service loaner vehicles were an uncommon perk, parties to a buy-sell agreement may have simply treated them as “used vehicles” without any thought as to how to calculate their value. But now that service loaners are increasingly necessary under factory margin programs, or simply to offer competitive customer service, it is worth carefully considering how to address them when a dealership is sold.

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Coverage has been breathless regarding AB 375, titled the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Its history is dramatic; it went through the legislative process in only a few days in order to head off an onerous ballot initiative. The topic is similarly intense; over the last few years, data privacy and security events have dominated the news from business to politics. How will the new law affect dealerships?

Cheesecake Factory fined in the millions for something its subcontractor did

How can you prevent the same thing happening to you?

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A few weeks ago, a California Labor Commissioner investigation found Cheesecake Factory restaurants in Southern California liable for over $4 million in unpaid minimum wages, overtime, and meal and rest break violations, among other derivative wage and hour violations. However, these alleged violations were not committed against Cheesecake Factory’s own employees, nor were they committed directly by the Cheesecake Factory. The underpaid individuals were janitorial employees of a subcontractor used by the national cleaning firm contracted by Cheesecake Factory.

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The Fair Employment and Housing Council’s new regulations regarding national origin discrimination have taken effect on July 1, 2018. The regulations augment the existing Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations with clarification on numerous concepts, including the definition of “national origin” and issues related to language, height/weight characteristics, immigration status, and more.

The heat is on!

A reminder about employer obligations to combat heat illness

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With the temperatures soaring, employers should take a refresher on their obligations to employees, especially those who work outdoors. Cal-OSHA has specific heat illness regulations in place that require training, employee monitoring, provision of facilities/supplies and supervisorial action.

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The article After Janus, nonunion teachers seek to recover dues, in today's Daily Journal, discusses a proposed class of nonunion teachers who have sued unions and school districts seeking to recoup required fees they paid in past years, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled those fees are unconstitutional. The Daily Journal tapped Scali Rasmussen Partner Jack Schaedel, Co-Chair of the firm's Labor & Employment Practice, to weigh in on this developing situation.

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