Last year, we discussed the significance of the case Troester v. Starbucks Corporation, in which the California Supreme Court found that the federal de minimis doctrine did not apply to the plaintiff’s class action claims brought under California law. The federal de minimis doctrine provides that “insubstantial or insignificant periods of time…which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded.” In cases applying federal law, courts have regularly held that daily periods of up to 10 minutes of work are de minimis.
In recent weeks two data breaches have made headlines across the country, once again drawing attention to the need for businesses to take steps to safeguard customer data. Dealers have a legal obligation to safeguard their customer’s information under both federal and state law, in most jurisdictions. These breaches may also increase the salience of data security issues for customers, meaning that your customers may start to ask questions about how you will protect their data and demand good answers. With the legal obligations aligning with customer expectations, now is the time more than ever to act.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was enacted in June of 2018 and will go into effect on January 1, 2020, is likely to undergo additional changes as the California Legislature enters the final stretch of the legislative year. We have previously updated you on legislation supported by the California Attorney General that would expand the scope of the law and increase consumer’s opportunities for consumers to bring lawsuits for alleged violations of the law. The good news is that the worst aspects of these proposed changes were defeated in committee and will not be enacted this year. The bad news is that some of the more important proposed business-friendly protections have been narrowed.
In a case demonstrating that independent franchised dealers are advocates for the rights and safety of their customers in the face of factory complacency and even opposition, a jury ordered Toyota to pay Southern California Toyota dealer Roger Hogan $15.8 million.
Automotive News consulted firm Managing Partner, Christian Scali for their article Lenders tightened reins after Great Recession. "More lenders seem to have a zero-tolerance approach, and they're quick to tighten the screws on dealers," said Scali. "The effect of this in some cases was a cascading chain of events that can have devastating effects on the dealer and from which it becomes impossible to recover."
We previously reported on an employer’s obligations with respect to providing and maintaining employee uniforms. In that article, we noted that shoes with slip-resistant soles are generally not considered a “uniform” under the law, and employers may require them without having to provide or maintain them. However, until recently, there was no published California case law directly on point finding that slip-resistant shoes need not be reimbursed under California’s Labor Code requirements.
The California legislature’s ongoing efforts to counter the effects of policies and practices that adversely affect employees based on race has led to another law of which employers should be aware. Senate Bill 188 (otherwise known as the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair “CROWN” Act), which was passed in July 2019 and will take effect January 1, 2020, expands the definition of “race” under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include hairstyles and hair textures closely associated with race.