On Friday, January 27, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced an investigative sweep, sending letters to businesses with mobile apps that fail to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
California has approved a new, alternative “Safe Harbor” warning label for foods containing acrylamide, a naturally-occurring byproduct that occurs during high-heat cooking. Acrylamide is a substance that forms through a natural chemical reaction in certain plant-based foods during high-temperature cooking, and can be found in foods like potato chips, bread, grilled vegetables, nuts, crackers, and olives. There is conflicting evidence regarding the risk it poses to humans. While studies exposing laboratory rats and mice to high levels of acrylamide have been shown to produce cancer, other studies have found no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide increases the risk of cancer in humans.
On January 5, 2023, the FTC announced that would ban U.S. employers from imposing noncompete clauses on workers. The proposed rule has two primary components. First, it would prevent employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers. Second, it would require employers to rescind existing non-compete clauses. The proposed rule would prevent employers from imposing contract clauses that prohibit their employees from joining a competitor, typically for a period of time, after they leave the company. Notably, the proposed rule would apply not just to restrictions on employees, but to all “workers,” which is defined to also include independent contractors, interns, volunteers, apprentices and sole proprietors.
COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) was recently extended to December 31, 2022. As we previously reported, this did not afford additional time off to the employee, but extended the time to request leave if they still had unused time. Finally, there is an end to this provision - no further extensions have been made.
Beginning January 1, 2023, California employers with 15 or more employees must include in any job posting the pay scale for the position. The DIR recently issued new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guidance regarding the new transparency requirements.
Yesterday, a 5-year old boy was swept away by floodwaters on the central coast. Portions of Santa Barbara County, including the entire community of Montecito have been evacuated for fear of deadly mudslides in that community. Portions of Santa Cruz County and Sacramento County have been evacuated. Several lanes of the 101 northbound will be closed today. And last night, a sink hole opened up in Chatsworth, swallowing two cars.
In recognition of Scali Rasmussen's yearslong voluntary service to a class of unlawfully displaced Santa Monica residents, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles recently honored the full service law firm with its Pro Bono Law Firm Award.
President Biden is expected to enact the Speak Out Act in the near future, which was passed by Congress on November 16, 2022, to combat sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. The act will apply to sexual assault or harassment claims brought by an employee under state, federal, or tribal law on and after its effective date. Under the act, an employer will be prohibited from enforcing a nondisclosure or nondisparagement provision contained in an employment agreement, nondisclosure agreement, or other agreement previously signed by an employee to silence that employee’s sexual assault or harassment allegations, in or outside of court.
Since 2012, California has allowed neutral time rounding policies for employee timekeeping, as long as the policy was facially neutral and did not deprive employees of compensation for time worked, under the Court of Appeal case: See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court. Even rounding to the quarter of an hour had been found to be permissible in the past. However, in the age of precision, California courts have chipped away at this practice.