Throughout 2014 we have written about the new laws that will affect many California dealerships. As the New Year is here, we wanted to provide you a summary of compliance issues you may want to address in light of the new 2015 laws that will have an impact on your day-to-day operations. Some of these laws went into effect as early as January 1. Some significant liability awaits you if you do not address these compliance issues now. The good news is that if you get ahead of it, neither your compliance budget, nor your litigation budget should be severely affected.
On Tuesday, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California dealt overreaching consumer attorneys a devastating blow in Raceway Ford Cases. While this case has wide-ranging application to consumer class actions often filed against dealers, dealers should be cautioned not to change their practices in light of this case. But its multiple holdings are a much needed shot in the arm to auto dealers who have been assaulted by class actions in recent years.
ADOMA’s September issue of Newstraxx features Christian Scali's article entitled, California Dealerships Should Review Their BYOD Policy to Ensure Employees Are Properly Reimbursed for Work-Related Cell Phone Use. It provides an update on expense items for which California employers are required to reimburse employees, suggests that California employers should review their BYOD policies in light of this recent change, and identifies some impacts of BYOD policies generally.
On July 9, 2014, on an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit held that motor carriers are not exempt from California’s meal and rest break laws under the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”). As a result, motor carriers with employees in California should make sure their wage and hour policies comply with California law.
On May 20, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal in Jong v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (2014) WL 2094270 affirmed a trial court’s judgment in favor of Kaiser and held that Jong failed to raise a triable issue of fact regarding his alleged off-the-clock overtime work activity. This case illustrates the importance of employers having strong and well-documented policies regarding overtime and off-the-clock work.
Legislative developments in trade secret protection
Published on Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:32am
Chris Scali's article, Legislative Developments to Enhance Enforcement Against Trade Secret Theft, was published in the April 2014 issue of ELIPS Law Lab, a publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In his article, Mr. Scali explores legislation which may allow for a meaningful federal private right of action for the protection of trade secrets.
The Scali Law Firm is pleased to announce the addition to its team of labor and employment attorney, Dominique Nasr. Dominique brings to the firm her employment advice and counsel, wage and hour class action and employment discrimination and harassment litigation skills.
On April 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court heard Oral Argument in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (“Iskanian”), a case that will determine whether impediments to arbitration of class wage and hour and other employment claims continue to be viable after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (2011) 131 S.Ct. 1740. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Iskanian will have far-reaching implications for California dealers; it will either remove the impediment to arbitration that Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443 and the prosecution of Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims potentially represent, or it will decide that such impediments are viable justifications to deny enforcement of an otherwise valid arbitration agreement. Individual arbitration of employment disputes allows the dealer and its employee to resolve any wage and hour claims through arbitration and effectively nullify the risk of class proceedings.
Chris Scali's article, Social media sells cars: Implementing a successful social media program can prevent unfair competition, was published in the March 2014 issue of Defender, a publication of the National Association of Dealer Counsel. In his article, Mr. Scali discusses ways to obtain trade secret protection of social media accounts used and maintained by employee's for the benefit of the employer. This article gives tips for broadening a company's intellectual property assets and expanding its rights to prevent departing employees from unfairly competing with it.
On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission released its top consumer complaints for 2013. Identity theft tops the chart, with "Auto Related Complaints" coming in at #7. Dealerships should take steps to protect the data in their Dealership Management System (DMS).