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Hanson Bridgett LLP | October 2018

Recently, California legislators passed SB 954 creating a new pre-mediation requirement – the prospective Mediation Disclosure. "As soon as reasonably possible" before agreeing to mediate, attorneys are to present to clients a Mediation Disclosure affirmatively explaining mediation's confidentiality restrictions, execution of which acknowledges the client's understanding of the restriction's impact ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | October 2018

On October 3, 2018, the IRS issued guidance for employers on how to claim tax deductions for business meals this year. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ("TCJA") business expenses for "entertainment" are no longer deductible, effective for 2018. However, the TCJA did not modify the separate 50% deduction for expenses for business meals, which left employers wondering how to distinguish a business meal from entertainment ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2018

The California Court of Appeal recently upheld a lower court decision that, as we previously discussed, expanded the scope of the "public trust doctrine" to include groundwater. In Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board, the appellate court held that agencies permitting groundwater pumping must consider how pumping may harm "public trust interests ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2018

In EEOC v. BNSF Ry. Co., Case No. 16-35457 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2018), the Ninth Circuit held that an employer violates the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA") by demanding that a job applicant with a perceived disability pay the cost of medical testing prior to being deemed eligible for employment. The employer offered an applicant a job as a Senior Patrol Officer on the condition that he satisfactorily complete a medical review ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2018

As we reported in our May 31, 2018 Alert, the California Legislature has been considering legislation to prevent joint powers authority (JPA) member agencies from contracting out of liability for the JPA's pension obligations ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2018

On August 31, 2018 California’s legislature passed Senate Bill 1402. Unless vetoed by Governor Brown on or before September 30, SB 1402 will allow shippers to be held jointly liable for state labor and employment law violations by port trucking companies. The bill, which was authored by Senator Lara (D-Bell Gardens), is aimed at ending the purported “exploitation of truck drivers who haul cargo from California’s ports ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | September 2018

Following the enactment of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted an amendment to Rule 701(e) increasing the threshold amount of securities that can be sold during a 12-month period from $5 million to $10 million. Securities sold in excess of the threshold trigger enhanced disclosure obligations for the issuer ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | August 2018

The Internal Revenue Service has released a Private Letter Ruling ("PLR") allowing a plan sponsor to make contributions to employees' 401(k) accounts if the employees are repaying student loans. This is exciting news for employers sponsoring 401(k) plans who hope to attract and retain employees as student loan debt rises to unprecedented levels. The PLR confirmed that some student loan repayment programs linked to 401(k) employer contributions are acceptable ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | August 2018

Two recent cases and a recently-released Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Program Manager Technical Advice Memorandum have sent shockwaves through the voluntary disclosure community. All three developments give offshore account-holders something to cheer.  PMTA 2018-13 In previous client alerts, we have discussed the definition of "willfulness" in the context of offshore assets and, more recently, the closing of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | August 2018

In past years, we have advised clients that as long as no unit in a multi-unit new condominium project is rented before its condominium map is recorded, later sales of units do not fall under the city's condominium conversion ordinance, which does not at this time allow conversion of buildings of more than two units ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

On July 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed into law AB 2282, which amends the California Labor Code to clarify aspects of California's salary history and equal pay statutes. Labor Code Section 432.3 As we previously reported, effective January 1, 2018, Labor Code section 432.2 prohibits both public and private employers from asking job applicants for “salary history information ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

This month, courts have been active in several of the fiduciary breach cases involving 403(b) retirement plans at private universities, including USC, Brown, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke and Northwestern. We have been closely monitoring these and other lawsuits against fiduciaries of defined contribution plans, and the lessons to be gleaned for avoiding liability ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

California has enacted a sweeping tough new privacy law ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued an important decision for employers that rejects the application of the federal de minimis defense to unpaid wage claims arising under California law. In Troester v. Starbucks, Case No. S234969 (July 26, 2018), the Supreme Court held that California law prohibits requiring employees to "routinely work for minutes off the clock without compensation ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

In the Loop: With the Hanson Bridgett Government Group     Not long ago, the state of California suffered through a crippling six-year drought, and water conservation was the name of the game. But California’s last two winters have been wetter, and water conservation feels a lot less urgent when the stuff is literally falling from the sky ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("TCJA") provides new exclusion and deferral benefits for investors who purchase interests in qualified opportunity funds. Much like qualified small business stock ("QSBS") under IRC sections 1202 and 1045, new IRC section 1400Z-2 allows investors to defer and, in some cases, exclude gain on the sale of assets. However, gain can be deferred under IRC section 1400Z-2 only if invested in designated low-income communities ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

After 16 public hearings over a five year period lasting through the tenure of three mayors, the largest San Francisco rezoning plan in ten years received a unanimous Planning Commission approval on May 10, 2018. On Monday of this week, the Land Use Committee of the Board of Supervisors had a first hearing to listen to testimony about plan ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) issued new regulations under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) addressing national origin discrimination. Effective July 1, 2018, the regulations provide a broad definition of "national origin" and apply to applicants and employees, regardless of documentation status. The regulations impact employment practices such as English-only policies, English proficiency requirements, and height and weight requirements ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2018

The Affordable Care Act ("ACA") is alive and well, despite renewed legal challenges and the elimination of the “individual mandate” beginning next year. While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the tax penalty for individuals who don’t have health coverage to $0, effective for 2019, employers continue to be subject to penalties for failing to comply with certain ACA rules ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

In a significant decision for all public agencies, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the First Amendment prohibits public employees from being compelled to pay what are known as “agency fees” when they choose not to join their union. Janus v. AFSCME, No. 16-1466 (June 27, 2018). In so holding, the Court overruled its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

Employers may continue to rely on rounding systems that are neutral in policy and in practice. On June 25, 2018, the California Court of Appeal issued its decision in AHMC Healthcare, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Letona), finding legal an employer's use of a payroll system that automatically rounds employee time up or down to the nearest quarter hour ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final rules to expand access to “Association Health Plans” for small businesses that are unaffiliated, but are in the same line of business or geographic area. An “Association Health Plan” or “AHP” is a group health plan adopted by members of an employer group or association to provide health coverage for their employees ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

On June 5, I wrote about the suspension of the California End of Life Option Act (“EOLOA”) in the wake of Ahn v. Hestrin and several related court proceedings in May.  On Friday, June 15, the Fourth District Court of Appeal determined that the EOLOA will in fact remain enforceable pending further proceedings. Thus, eligible Californians who have requested end-of-life drugs in accordance with the EOLOA may continue with the process described in that law ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

In the Loop: With the Hanson Bridgett Government Group   Many of us have had to request reimbursement from our company for an expense, which can be a pretty complicated process. For members of a legislative body, these rules can be even more specific.  We'll think about Buddy, who sits on city council. Not long ago, the City gave Buddy a city-owned tablet to allow him to do his job remotely ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2018

Local Minimum Wage Increases Several California cities and counties have passed their own minimum wage ordinances with a more aggressive schedule of minimum wage increases. Local minimum wage increases that go into effect on July 1, 2018 include the following: Locality Minimum Wage Eff. 7/1/18 Belmont* $12.50 Emeryville Small business (55 or fewer employees): $15.00 Large business (56 or more employees): $15.69 View More