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Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

California employers defending against wage and hour lawsuits also face derivative claims for "inaccurate" wage statements, in addition to claims for the underlying alleged wage violations ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

In the Loop: With the Hanson Bridgett Government Group   We’ve been getting lots of questions from public agencies about the General Data Protection Regulation—known as GDPR. GDPR is a new European Union privacy law that governs the processing of personal data about people residing in Europe. It just went into effect on May 25 ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, No. 16-300; and NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. 16-307 holding that an employer may require its employees to sign a dispute resolution arbitration agreement that includes an employee’s waiving the right to bring a claim on a class or collective action basis ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

With Administrator Scott Pruitt at its helm, cooperative federalism is the frequently recited principle underlying recent EPA enforcement efforts. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory oversight in areas like the Clean Water Act is delegated to the states, the agency is relying more upon state and local authorities to enforce the laws. There are shortcomings associated with this approach, which were raised in the recent U.S ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

Many California courts, politicians and regulators seem intent on attacking trucking and transportation companies. The California Supreme Court‘s, Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court (Case No. S222732) decision is the latest example of this assault on the industry ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2018

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court (Case No. S222732) modified the test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor for purposes of California wage orders. The Court expanded the definition of "employee" and rejected its long-standing independent contractor test ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | April 2018

When a half-mile from the nearest body of water, must you obtain a federal permit when discharging treated wastewater to groundwater? According to a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the answer may be yes.[1] This alarmed many because the Clean Water Act regulates discharges to navigable waters from "point sources" like pipes or ditches ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | April 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, California employers are prohibited from asking an applicant about their salary history. Now a Ninth Circuit decision, Rizo v. Yovino, (9th Cir. 16-15372 4/9/18), has made it clear that employers are prohibited from making a salary determination based on the applicant’s prior salary history ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | April 2018

On January 3, 2018, San Francisco’s State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill (SB 827) that would all but abolish the city’s famously strict land use controls—and those of virtually all California’s urban neighborhoods. It is considered the most radical of all the pro-housing legislation introduced during the last year in California ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2018

On March 13, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will immediately "ramp down" its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS is closing the OVDP on September 28, 2018. Taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts or assets should be aware of the implications of such a change and consider the benefits of disclosure through the OVDP while it remains available ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2018

New rules will apply to disability benefit claims and appeals under certain plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), effective for claims made after April 1, 2018.  According to the Department of Labor (DOL), the new rules are intended to provide greater protection to claimants, and are modeled on the enhanced claims and appeals procedures that apply to health benefit claims under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2018

Alvarado v. Dart  Container Corporation, Case No. S232607 (Cal. Sup. Ct, March 5, 2018)  On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited overtime calculation decision in Alvarado v. Dart  Container Corporation, Case No. S232607 (March 5, 2018). The specific question before the Court was "how an employee’s overtime pay rate should be calculated when the employee has earned a flat sum bonus during a single pay period ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2018

On January 8, 2018, the California Court of Appeal for Division 4 of the First Appellate District issued a decision in Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (“Alameda”). The outcome in Alameda results in conflicting decisions in California appellate courts on the appropriate “vested rights” analysis where pension rights are being reduced or eliminated for existing employees ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2018

Alvarado v. Dart  Container Corporation, Case No. S232607 (Cal. Sup. Ct, March 5, 2018)  On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited overtime calculation decision in Alvarado v. Dart  Container Corporation, Case No. S232607 (March 5, 2018). The specific question before the Court was "how an employee’s overtime pay rate should be calculated when the employee has earned a flat sum bonus during a single pay period ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | February 2018

Given the housing crisis, the city has enacted regulations that attempt to force a property owner to legalize an illegal unit, unless the owner can prove certain things to the satisfaction of San Francisco Planning Staff or the San Francisco Planning Commission. Long gone are the days in which an unhappy tenant or neighbor will report an illegal unit to the city and the city will fine the owner unless the illegal unit is removed ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | February 2018

On January 31, 2017, the First Appellate District Court in the case Santa Barbara Channelkeeper v. City of San Buenaventura found that an allegation of excessive water diversion to protect endangered fish species under the rule of reasonableness and the public trust doctrine, could not be resolved without consideration of all competing water users in the system ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

We previously reported on oral arguments before the Supreme Court regarding which court has original jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Clean Water Act’s “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) definition. On January 22, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense that only district courts have original jurisdiction to hear such challenges ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

Under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents) must report annually to the IRS information about the health coverage offered to their full-time employees during the prior year using IRS Form 1095-C. The IRS uses the forms to assess whether an employer "shared responsibility" penalty applies. Employers also must provide copies of the forms to their full-time employees ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

This is a reminder to all corporations whose employees or former employees exercised an incentive stock option or made a purchase under the corporation's employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) in 2017 ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

In case you have been in a coma, major tax changes to the Internal Revenue Code were passed in December 2017. See Pub. L. 115-97 (115th Cong., 1st Sess.). Those changes make it much more attractive (from a tax perspective) to arrange one’s affairs like a business owner. Broadly speaking, the new tax law changed the landscape so that many business owners will now benefit from dramatically lower tax rates (e.g., the corporate rate has not been this low since 1939) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed 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 association to provide health coverage for their employees ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | January 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJ Act") signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017, creates sweeping changes in the way individuals and businesses are taxed. One of the most important changes involves the taxation of pass-through entities and directly implicates the standards for qualified small businesses stock ("QSBS") under IRC section 1202 ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | December 2017

On December 14, 2017, in a pair of employer-friendly decisions, the National Labor Relations Board overturned its momentous 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries[1] joint-employer decision, as well as its 2004 Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia[2] standard for weighing the legality of employee handbook policies. In Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | December 2017

Effective January 1, 2018, the State minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. 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 January 1, 2018 include the following: Locality Minimum Wage Eff. 1/1/18 Cupertino $13 ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | November 2017

Governor Jerry Brown approved California Senate Bill 798 on October 13, 2017. One provision of this bill imposes penalties for failure to file required reports under Business and Professions Code Section 805.01. Beginning January 1, 2018, individuals and entities with reporting obligations under Section 805.01 are subject to fines of up to $100,000 per violation for willful failures to file a Section 805 ...

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