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Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2017

We previously reported on recent efforts to rescind the Obama Administration’s rule amending the Clean Water Act’s “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) definition. This followed, as we also reported, the Sixth Circuit’s nationwide stay of the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2017

On July 18, the Board of Supervisors passed a new law that changes the affordable housing requirements relating to the construction of market rate units. The new law affects new market rate housing developments of 25 or more dwellings units and expands the amount of affordable housing that will be oriented toward the middle income wage earner ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2017

On January 1, 2019, local agencies will be required to comply with new requirements for posting agendas on their websites (AB 2257). The California Brown Act requires that any local agency must post an agenda 72 hours in advance of a regular meeting. If an agency has a website, then the agency is required to post the agenda on their website ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | July 2017

A number of local California cities and counties have passed their own minimum wage ordinances with a more aggressive schedule of minimum wage increases. While some cities and counties already implemented incremental increases in January, others increased on July 1, 2017, as follows: Locality Minimum Wage Eff. 7/1/17 Emeryville $15.20 (56 or more employees) $14 ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

Prior to imposing, extending, or increasing any tax, a public agency must submit the tax to a vote of the electorate. However, public agencies need no such approval to impose certain types of fees. In Jacks v. City of Santa Barbara, the Supreme Court considered whether and when municipal franchise fees—fees charged to utilities and others for the use of public rights of way—constitute taxes requiring voter approval ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

On June 27, 2017, the US EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers took the first of two steps to narrow the Clean Water Act’s scope. The agencies proposed a rule rescinding the Obama Administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) and replacing it with its prior definition ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

In November of 2016, San Francisco residents voted to pass a new law ("Proposition E"), effective July 1, 2017, that transfers back responsibility from private property owners to the City of San Francisco to maintain and care for street trees and surrounding sidewalks damaged by the trees. The City had taken care of trees several decades ago, but then shifted responsibility back to property owners after that (during a time of budget crisis) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

Gender discrimination is a hot topic for California employers, with a recent California appellate court decision regarding sexual orientation discrimination and new regulations issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) regarding transgender discrimination. In Husman v. Toyota, (Case No ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

New regulations issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council, effective July 1, 2017, limit California employers’ use of criminal history when making employment decisions ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

Last month, the Supreme Court decided TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, which narrowed the definition of where a corporate defendant "resides" for the purpose of suing it for patent infringement. In doing so, it overturned the 1994 holding of the Federal Circuit of what constitutes proper venue in patent infringement cases. Federal law allows a Plaintiff to bring a patent infringement suit against a defendant in any district where one of two conditions are met ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

Long-term care (LTC) facilities received a boost last week when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reversed its position regarding the use of arbitration agreements in this setting. On June 8, 2017, CMS published a proposed rule amending LTC facilities’ conditions of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to remove prohibitions on binding pre-dispute arbitration agreements ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

The San Francisco Building Code now has new requirements for regular facade inspections and maintenance of facades of certain kinds of older buildings. Although signed into law by Mayor Lee earlier this year, this new law (entitled "Building Facade Inspection and Maintenance – Retroactive Provisions") has received little public attention even though the City believes that a little over three thousand buildings are affected ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | June 2017

On May 15, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the long-standing federal policy favoring arbitration agreements. In a lawsuit brought against skilled nursing provider Kindred Nursing Centers, LP, the Court held that states cannot single out arbitration clauses for “disfavored treatment,” because doing so violates the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The case involved two wrongful death lawsuits that were consolidated in the Kentucky Supreme Court ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2017

As reported previously in a Newsletter to readers, the City in its continuing efforts to increase the housing stock now allows the addition of one or more in-law units in almost all zoning districts that allow residential uses, notwithstanding the density limit of the zoning (such as RH-2 and RH-3 zoning). These in-law units are known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and they are created within unused or underutilized space entirely within an existing building ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2017

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the California Supreme Court responded to questions posed by the Ninth Circuit concerning the interpretation of California’s day-of-rest statutes, which are found in Labor Code Sections 550-558.1. Initially, former Nordstrom employees filed a Private Attorneys General Act action, alleging that Nordstrom had failed to provide guaranteed days of rest to its nonexempt employees in California ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | May 2017

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has issued an update to Publication 5146 (Employment Tax Returns: Examinations and Appeal Rights) which outlines the procedures used to conduct employment tax examinations and employers' rights and responsibilities during and after the examination process ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | April 2017

The Great Recession starting in 2007 hit many new housing developments hard – many having received all their discretionary entitlements (including tentative map approvals) did not proceed to construction, and remain on hold. After the recession hit, there arose a danger that a developer's previously approved subdivision map (tentative map) would expire before construction was started ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

When startup founders get together to form a new company, one of the first steps after actually incorporating the entity is to issue the founders their initial equity in the company. This is commonly referred to as “founders stock.” Most initial cap tables target the issuance to founders of around 8 million shares, so that combined with a 2 million share option pool, the initial “fully diluted” capitalization is 10 million shares ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

On March 23, 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production and storage facilities. The regulations, which focus on methane emissions, represent the most aggressive effort by any U.S. jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

Since the inception of the IRS determination letter program, many sponsors and administrators of qualified retirement plans have come to rely on IRS determination letters to document their plan's tax-qualified status ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

A federal court in the District of Columbia has ordered the U.S. EPA to complete its review of air toxics emission standards for 13 source categories by June 30, 2020. Under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, EPA must set maximum achievable control technology ("MACT") standards for stationary sources of hazardous air pollutants. The agency must review and, if necessary, revise those standards every eight years. 42 U.S.C. §§ 7412(d)(6), 7412(f)(2) ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

Upon reconsideration in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Case No. G048039 (March 21, 2017) (Gerard II), the Fourth Appellate District decided that IWC Wage Order 5 is valid and that healthcare employees may waive one of their two required meal periods on shifts longer than 8 hours ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

All non-exempt employees are required to be paid separately for rest breaks and other non-productive work time. This may come as a surprise to businesses that employ commissioned or piece rate employees, who may have assumed (incorrectly) that the commission or piece rate compensation earned by their employees – often very high amounts – is sufficient to cover the pay to which those employees are entitled for rest breaks or other non-productive work hours ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

On February 23, 2017, the IRS issued a memorandum to its employee plan auditors to provide guidelines for substantiating 401(k) plan safe harbor hardship distributions. Although directed to employee plan auditors for audit purposes, the memorandum provides guidance on the steps that plan administrators should take to substantiate safe harbor hardship distributions ...

Hanson Bridgett LLP | March 2017

The California State Water Resources Control Board issued a notice today that all water users diverting water in California under Water Rights Permits, Licenses, Stockpond Certificates and Registration for Livestock Stockpond, Small Domestic or Small Irrigation uses must submit their annual water use reporting for the 2016 calendar year by April 1, 2017. All such reports must be filed online via the Report Management System (RMS) located at https://rms.waterboards.ca.gov/ ...

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