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Stop Syar Expansion Decision Demonstrates the Uphill Battle for CEQA Plaintiffs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2021

Key Points The court found that plaintiff’s reliance on an issue raised by third-party commenter to establish exhaustion was a risky endeavor; insofar as a third party settles institutes its own challenge on an issue and settles a claim, the plaintiff in a later action, at least in some circumstances, cannot maintain its own challenge on that same issue...

From Coders to Brokers: New Proposed 1099-B Reporting for Crypto Miners and Software Developers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2021

Key PointsThe Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) passed the Senate with a broad definition of "broker" to target cryptocurrency information reporting to the IRS.Absent amendment, the bill imposes obligations similar to IRS Form 1099-B on various technology providers in the crypto industry, even if they do not broker digital asset transactions and lack the necessary information to comply...

Busker v. Wabtec – California Supreme Court Rules That On-Board Work Is Not Public Works
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2021

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued an important ruling in a case that had the potential to profoundly affect how public entities budget and pay for publicly funded projects in California, Busker v. Wabtec Corp. (Cal., Aug. 16, 2021,No. S251135) __ Cal.5th __, 2021 WL 3612126...

AB 819 Modernizes CEQA Guidelines to Promote Access to Project Information Online
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2021

The cornerstone of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is access to information. CEQA generally requires local and state government agencies ("lead agencies") overseeing proposed projects to prepare project-related documents assessing potential environmental impacts. These documents inform decision-makers and the public of the project's potential environmental impacts...

New Monetary Penalties for Some Skilled Nursing Transfers, Discharges, and Readmissions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

Key Points Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 133, which creates a $750 per day civil money penalty for skilled nursing facilities (SNF) that do not comply with a transfer, discharge, or readmission hearing decision within three calendar days. AB 133 also requires an SNF to submit a certification of compliance to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), attesting it has complied with the hearing officer's order...

California Court of Appeal Issues Rare Interpretation of Policy Designed to Mitigate the Effects of Coastal Erosion
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

Key Points In Martin v. California Coastal Commission, the Court of Appeal issued a rare opinion discussing local policies that are designed to manage and mitigate coastal bluff erosion. The court upheld a permit condition that required a new home to be set back 79 feet from the edge of a coastal bluff. The court reaffirmed that the policy at issue requires new development to be reasonably safe from failure and erosion over the entirety of the development’s lifetime...

Recent Court of Appeal Decision Confirms that CEQA Statutes of Limitations Cannot be Extended Without a Project Proponent’s Consent
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

Key Points In Save Lafayette Trees v. East Bay Regional Park District, two of the parties to the lawsuit entered into an agreement in an attempt to extend the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA;” Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) deadline to file a lawsuit...

A Draft Technical Advisory Offers Guidance on Streamlining CEQA Review for Sustainable Transportation
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

The Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a draft technical advisory earlier this month that outlines new and existing provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that can streamline the environmental review of sustainable transportation projects. The new streamlining options arose from S.B...

CA Supreme Court Ruling on Meal and Rest Premium Pay Will Force Employers to Take Action
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

Key Point Employers must immediately change the manner in which they calculate and pay employee meal period and rest break premiums if they pay those premiums using an employee’s regular hourly rate in any workweek that an employee receives additional non-discretionary earnings. Introduction On July 15, 2021, in Ferra v...

California Legislation Extends Protections for Tenants Experiencing COVID-19-Related Financial Distress; Broadens Financial Assistance for Eligible Landlords and Tenants
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2021

Key Points Eviction protections that were set to expire June 30, 2021, have been extended to September 30, 2021. New notice requirements took effect on July 1, 2021; additional notice requirements take effect on October 1, 2021. Governmental rental assistance is now available to pay 100 percent of a qualified tenant's rent. On June 28, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 832 into law, effective immediately...

Termination of Governor's COVID Stay-at-Home Order Triggers Review of Rehired Public Sector Retirees
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Effective July 1, 2021, the state law rules regarding break-in-service and hours limitations for hiring public-sector retirees will be reinstated. Public sector employers and retirement systems need to determine if any action, such as reinstatement or compliance with required governing agency appointment process, is required to continue to employ retirees who were hired or whose employment was extended during the COVID emergency...

Third Time's A Charm: Cal/OSHA Standards Board Passes Revisions To Its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard After Two Aborted Attempts
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors. The revised ETS removes all social distancing requirements. Employers must provide respirators to employees who are not fully vaccinated "upon request." Governor has issued an executive order which makes the revised ETS enforceable immediately upon submission to the Office of Administrative Law...

Cal/OSHA Passes Revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Starting July 31, 2021, all employees who are not fully vaccinated shall be provided respirators for voluntary use. Exclusion pay is required even if an employee is not able to work. Employers should amend their COVID-19 Prevention Plans.     Introduction On June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (Board) passed changes to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Initially, the Board voted 4-3 against the proposed ETS...

Proposed Farm Workforce Modernization Act Holds Promise for Immigrant Farmworkers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

On March 18, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 (HR 1603) (FWMA).1 The proposed FWMA would streamline the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program, providing a path to legal immigration status for undocumented farmworkers and their family members. The FWMA would also require all agricultural employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their workers...

Biden Tax Changes Preserve QSBS Benefits: and Make the Exclusion More Valuable
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

On May 28, the Treasury Department released the General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2022 Revenue Proposals, known as the "Green Book," detailing the Biden administration's proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). For startup founders and early investors, the Green Book provides welcome relief...

EEOC Issues May 28 Updated FAQs For Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Programs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Employers have the right to mandate vaccines subject to religious and disability-related employee exemptions. Asking if an employee has been vaccinated is not a prohibited medical inquiry. Incentive programs to encourage vaccinations are permissible. Introduction Previously, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Guidance permitting employers to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates, subject to certain exemptions...

Biden Signs FASTER Act; Sesame Becomes 9th Major Food Allergen Requiring Mandatory Food Labeling Disclosures
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2021

President Biden has signed into law the FASTER Act, which adds sesame as a "major food allergen" under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Under the FD&C Act, food labels of products containing sesame, whether in whole seed form or as an ingredient in a spice or flavor, must disclose its presence using its plain English name. The law will become effective on January 1, 2023...

Court of Appeal Issues First Published Opinion Interpreting California Senate Bill 35 Streamlining Provisions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Key Points The California Court of Appeal has issued the first published opinion interpreting California Senate Bill 35's (SB 35) new laws that streamline the approval of much-needed housing projects. Under SB 35, qualifying housing projects are eligible for ministerial review, which can reduce entitlement processing times by months if not years. In Ruegg & Ellsworth v. City of Berkeley (Cal. Ct. App., April 20, 2021, No...

New State Guidelines Clarify When Leases of Local Agency-Owned Land are Subject to the Surplus Land Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Key Points The California Department of Housing and Community Development has released new guidelines for implementing the Surplus Land Act, which clarify when leases are subject to the terms of the Act. Pursuant to the new guidelines, leases are not subject to Surplus Land Act when the lease involves "land on which no development or demolition will occur" or leases with "a term that is less than five (5) years (including any extensions, amendments or options)...

New Favorable Qualified Small Business Stock Guidance for Fintechs and Insurtechs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

On April 9, 2021, the IRS released Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 202114002 (January 13, 2021), which provides additional context to taxpayers worried about whether their Fintech or Insurtech shares represent Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 1202...

Preliminary Injunction Puts the Freeze on New Proposition 65 Lawsuits for Acrylamide in Food
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Food producers can breathe a sigh of relief, at least temporarily, thanks to efforts by the California Chamber of Commerce resulting in a preliminary injunction barring the State of California and all private plaintiffs from filing any new Proposition 65 lawsuits targeting acrylamide in food and beverage products. On March 31, 2021, Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, Kimberly J...

Supreme Court Expands Scope of 'Public Works' Definition — Contract Employees Performing Operations Work are Covered by Prevailing Wage Laws
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Key Points Historic definition of "public works" expanded beyond construction-related activities Supreme Court holds that some special districts must pay prevailing wages to workers performing non-infrastructure related tasks Full extent of coverage of prevailing wages for operational contract workers is unclear   Labor Code Section 1720(a)(1) defines a "public work" as "construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid for in wh

Court of Appeal Finds Overlying Correlative Rights Do Not Have to Share Equally in Water Shortages
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

(Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases, JCCP No. 4408 (3/16/21))[1] After twenty-two years, the protracted proceedings in the Antelope Valley groundwater adjudication resulted in a settlement and court-approved "physical solution." A physical solution equitably allocates available water under California's laws governing water rights. The physical solution in Antelope Valley limited pumping to balance the overdrafted aquifer with the available native safe yield...

California Employers Face New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirement
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Key Points California employers with more than 25 employees must provide an additional 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to full-time employees for qualified reasons COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is retroactive to January 1, 2021, and must be paid out on an employee's oral or written request made on or after March 29 The amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave available must be listed as a separate line item on employees' wage statements, no later tha

B Corp Makes Good Business Sense
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Hanson Bridgett has long been a visionary in promoting social and environmental change. That innovative spirit is what led them to become the first law firm certified as a B Corporation and a leading advocate for what has now become a global social movement. The California law firm is one of the founding members of B Corporation, a business model created in 2006 that enables companies to include a social as well as financial agenda in their legal structure...



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