Articles, news & events

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

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Today, May 7, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office released Phase 2 guidance of the California Resilience Roadmap for “lower-risk workplaces” detailing the steps businesses in specific industries must take to reopen. This guidance becomes effective May 8, the same day when designated lower-risk workplaces may open across the state with modification. The auto dealer guidance includes some specific requirements, but largely shifts to dealers the burden of assessing risk and developing plans to mitigate risk.

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On May 6, 2020, the County of Los Angeles announced that car dealers will be able to resume sales on May 8 from their dealerships with appropriate social distancing procedures. The County has not released any details regarding what specific procedures car dealers will need to follow, if any, though the Los Angeles Times is reporting that retailers that are allowed to resume business on May 8 must provide curb-side pickup. It is unclear if this restriction will apply to car dealers.

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Today the California DMV issued an Occupational Licensing Industry News addressing how dealers may legally offer vehicles for sale online and perform off-site delivery of the vehicles. While the guidance states it “clarifies the requirements” during the “outbreak period,” it should be read to extend beyond the present. This is the first guidance from the DMV acknowledging that new car dealers may legally offer online sales.

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Last year, we reported on the California Supreme Court decision in One Toyota of Oakland v. Kho, which struck a blow to employers seeking to enforce arbitration agreements. In March 2020, OTO, L.L.C. asked the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) to let it appeal the California Supreme Court’s decision, which is done by way of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (“Writ”). Though Mr. Kho waived his right to file a response to OTO’s Writ, SCOTUS requested that he file one. On April 29, 2020, Mr. Kho filed an Opposition to OTO’s Writ. The California Labor Commissioner also filed a brief in opposition.

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Jennifer Woo Burns, partner and chair of Scali Rasmussen's Labor and Employment practice, has been selected as an honoree in the Los Angeles Business Journal special supplement recognizing the city’s most influential women attorneys. The Journal’s Publisher and CEO Josh Schimmels writes, “during this challenging time battling the coronavirus, we are relying on our trusted advisers more than ever. In times of uncertainty, lawyers … are particularly needed to help our businesses respond and react to issues at hand.”

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One of the key benefits to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the employer’s ability to promptly recover the amounts expended for paid leave under this Act through credits against certain payroll taxes and health plan benefits. The IRS has issued some specifics on how employers go about offsetting their tax liabilities for such expenses.

Social distancing protocol required at open businesses

Bay Area’s requirement revised 4/29, L.A. County’s requirement continues

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With the statewide Covid-19 order remaining in place, it is important for all businesses, in particular those with “essential” functions or otherwise allowed to remain open, to keep up to date with their compliance requirements.

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This document is created from Frequently Asked Questions we receive from our clients concerning the application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that are not addressed in our original analysis of the FFCRA. It is not the sole input we have on the FFCRA and its practical effect on you and your business. But in the interest of time and due to the onslaught of questions and triage legal advice we are providing into the wee hours of the night, we are doing our best to provide you with information on only the most commonly asked questions that aren't addressed in our other publications. It will be continually updated as more information comes in from the federal government and agencies.

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On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to stay home and for businesses to cease on-site operation, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) of the Department of Homeland Security and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. On April 17, 2020, CISA designated personnel essential to sell and lease vehicles as essential critical infrastructure.

Ventura County designates auto dealerships as essential businesses

Dealers must adopt social distancing protocol

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On April 18, 2020, Ventura County issued a new Order that designates Automobile Dealerships as "Essential Businesses," permitting in-person sales and long-term leasing transactions (as well as service and parts). It is important to note that automobile rentals are not permitted. So, if you operate a rental car service, you should cease operations under this Order. While it is unclear as to whether this includes "service loaners", shuttle services seem to be permitted in a different carve-out for private transportation providers.

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