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Firm: Hanson Bridgett LLP

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New California Family Rights Act: State Family Care and Medical Leave Expanded
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2020

Key Points Effective Jan. 1, 2021, most California employees — even those who work for very small businesses — will be entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected time off work under the CFRA for qualifying reasons. Qualifying reasons for leave are broadly defined to include caring for a family member — including grandparents, grandchildren, adult children and siblings — with a serious health condition...

New California Law Imposes Additional Infection Preventionist and Reporting Requirements on Skilled Nursing Facilities
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2020

Key Points Starting Jan. 1, 2021, California skilled nursing facilities must have a full-time, dedicated Infection Preventionist. Infection Preventionists must be an RN or LVN, but their hours may not count in minimum direct patient care staffing calculations...

IRS Finalizes Default Withholding Rules for Periodic Retirement and Annuity Payments
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2020

Key Points Under the final regulations, the IRS can change the default rate of withholding applied to monthly pension or annuity payments simply by issuing new forms, instructions, or other guidance, rather than by having to issue new regulations. Plan administrators and annuity providers should consider making changes to their systems and processes to allow frequent changes to the default withholding rate for pension or annuity payments...

California’s Prohibition on Arbitration Agreements in Residential Leases is Extended to Continuing Care Contracts
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

In Harris v. University Village Thousand Oaks, CCRC, LLC, plaintiffs, residents at Defendant’s continuing care retirement community who had previously signed binding arbitration agreements in their continuing care contracts, argued that under applicable California law, the arbitration agreements were invalid and they could therefore litigate their claims in a court of law. Defendant University Village sought to enforce the arbitration provisions of the continuing care contracts...

FDA Will Be Flexible in Enforcing New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labeling Requirements for Small Food Manufacturers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Notes FDA announces flexible approach to enforcement of Nutrition and Supplement Facts labeling requirements for small food manufacturers and manufacturers of packaging for single-ingredient sugars, in part due to the impacts of COVID-19. The FDA adopted final rules updating the Nutrition and Supplement Facts1 labeling requirements (the “Rules”) that are effective on Jan...

The Brown Act Finally Meets Social Media
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points Governor Newsom signed a new law establishing Brown Act rules for social media communications. Members of a legislative body may communicate on social media without fear of creating a serial meeting in violation of the Brown Act. Members of a legislative body may not respond directly on social media to other members of the same legislative body. On Sept.18, 2020, Governor Newson signed Assembly Bill (AB) 992 into law...

New Bill Expands Cal/OSHA Enforcement Rules Over COVID-19 Related Illnesses For All Employers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points Under Assembly Bill 685, Cal/OSHA can shut down a worksite if the worksite exposes employees to a COVID-19 related imminent hazard. AB 685 subjects employers to increased notification requirements that must be met within one business day of a potential exposure to COVID-19. Employers must notify local public health agencies of all workplace COVID-19 outbreaks amongst employees. Cal/OSHA can now issue serious citations more quickly. On Sept...

California's New Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

 Key Points Assembly Bill 1867 requires private employers with 500 or more employees nationwide, as well as employers of health care providers and emergency responders, to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to their California employees. Full time employees are entitled to 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave...

California Legislature Passes Bill to Maximize Creation of Public Transportation Infrastructure
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points California Legislature passes SB 288, which adds statutory CEQA exemptions for bicycle and mass transit projects. Extends CEQA Exemption for bicycle-related highway projects from Jan. 1, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2030. Relates only to projects for which the lead agency and the entity carrying out the project are public agencies. The California Legislature passed SB 288 on Aug. 31, 2020...

Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Testing Requirements and Revised COVID-19 Focused Survey Tool
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points On Aug. 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule with a comment period (IFC) establishing new Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Staff and Residents. CMS has added 42 CFR §483.80(h), which requires that the facility test all residents and staff for COVID-19. Noncompliance related to this new requirement will be cited at new tag F886...

Private Pay Assisted Living Providers Are Eligible for HHS Provider Relief Payments – But Only Briefly
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points HHS Provider Relief Fund payments are being extended to private pay assisted living facilities under Phase II. Relief will be equal to 2 percent of annual gross revenue from resident care. Interested providers must act swiftly: the deadline to submit basic information to HHS is Sept. 13 Provider relief funds need not be repaid if recipients comply with the program criteria. HHS Announcement: On Sept.1, the U.S...

New California and Federal Moratoria on Evictions Based on Non-payment
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points New California law prohibits residential evictions based on the non-payment of rent and other fees due between Mar. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021, if failure to pay is due to COVID-19 related distress. California courts may not issue summonses in any residential unlawful detainer actions based on non-payment until Oct. 5, 2020. New Order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halts evictions for tenants who meet specific requirements through Dec. 31, 2020...

Temporary Relief For CA Businesses From The CCPA: Employee and B2B Exemptions Extended Another Year
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points On Aug. 31, 2020, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 1281 (AB 1281). AB 1281, if signed, will guarantee that certain California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) exemptions will be extended beyond their initial deadline, December 2020. Importantly, AB 1281 will give covered businesses at least another year before they need to comply with CCPA’s provisions when collecting and using employee data or business-to-business related personal information...

Supreme Court of California Weighs In on Blanket Categorization of Well Construction Permit Approvals as Ministerial
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2020

Key Points A permitting agency's blanket designation of an entire category of permit decisions as ministerial for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) may be held to be improper if the agency has the ability to modify or deny the permit based on any concern that may be examined under CEQA review. Courts will afford a larger degree of deference to an agency’s designation of a single permit decision as ministerial on a case-by-case basis...

FDA Publishes Final Rule on Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points A new FDA rule clarifies when food manufacturers may label fermented or hydrolyzed foods as gluten-free. Manufacturers making gluten-free claims must maintain records showing that the foods or food ingredients used in the foods are gluten-free prior to fermentation or hydrolysis. A product marked as gluten-free may be deemed misbranded under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act if its manufacturer does not maintain supporting documentation to the satisfaction of the FDA...

IRS Issues Last-Minute Guidance on Deferral of Employees' Social Security Withholding
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points Employers can, but are not required to, delay withholding and paying the employee portion of Social Security taxes for certain employees until Jan. 1, 2021. The deferral only applies to Social Security taxes due from Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, by employees who earn less than $4,000 in a bi-weekly pay period. From Jan. 1, 2021 through Apr...

Accredited Investors: Wealth Is No Longer the Sole Proxy for Financial Sophistication
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points On August 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments that broaden the qualifying pool of individuals and entities known as “accredited investors.” The amendments expand the definition based on defined measures of professional knowledge, experience, or certifications, in addition to the existing tests for income or net worth...

Accredited Investors: Wealth Is No Longer the Sole Proxy for Financial Sophistication
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points On August 26, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments that broaden the qualifying pool of individuals and entities known as “accredited investors.” The amendments expand the definition based on defined measures of professional knowledge, experience, or certifications, in addition to the existing tests for income or net worth...

Senior Living Communities Eligible for PREP Act Protection
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

In an August 14, 2020 response to a letter written on behalf of the American Seniors Housing Association and Argentum, the General Counsel’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that senior living communities are a “covered person” under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which creates immunity from liability for the administration or use of “Covered Countermeasures” in response to COVID-19...

Judicial Council of California Votes to End Statewide Judicial Restrictions on Evictions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

 Key Points The Judicial Council of California has voted to end its statewide restriction on evictions by ending Emergency Rule 1. Beginning September 2, 2020, courts will once again be authorized to issue summonses, enter defaults, issue writs of possession, and set new trial dates in unlawful detainer actions. Other state, county, and city moratoria continue in effect, however, and may restrict evictions in certain circumstances or locations...

New York Federal District Judge Rejects Key Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points New York federal district court vacates the DOL’s “health care provider” definition in the DOL’s Final Rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The court also vacates the DOL’s employer consent requirement for intermittent leave and the “unable to work” requirement for receipt of leave benefits. The national impact of the decision is currently unknown as the DOL contemplates next steps...

Court of Appeal Clarifies Rules for Retaining Emails That are Included in CEQA Records
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points Public agencies must retain emails that would be required for inclusion in an administrative record pursuant to CEQA. Agencies must retain “[a]ll written evidence or correspondence submitted to, or transferred from” them “with respect to” CEQA compliance or “with respect to the project.” This includes emails that fit this description...

Supreme Court Rules Referendum Process Cannot Be Used to Challenge Water Rates
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2020

Key Points Adoption of Water Rates not subject to challenge by referendum; challenges are limited to those provided for by Proposition 218. California Supreme Court overrules Court of Appeal decision that found that water rates are not a "tax" under Article II, Section 9. Supreme Court disagrees, finding municipal water rates fall within the broad understanding of the term "tax," and referendum cannot be used to disrupt essential government services...

California Supreme Court Upholds Pension Reform Changes As Constitutional
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2020

Key Points The California Supreme Court clarified the so-called California Rule on public employee’s "vested rights" to pension benefits, holding that detrimental financial changes to employee pension benefits do not invariably require that offsetting comparable new advantages be provided. And it set a legal framework for analyzing that issue...

California Issues New COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2020

On July 24, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued a new guidance document for all employers within California, entitled “COVID-19 Employer Playbook For a Safe Reopening...

 

 

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