The Future of Franchising Under the FAST Recovery Act
The Future of Franchising Under the FAST Recovery Act

The California legislature has passed, and Governor Newsom has signed into law, AB257—the “Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act” or “FAST Recovery Act.” The FAST Recovery Act tentatively establishes a new Fast Food Council within the California Department of Industrial Relations, but the council will not have full authority until the Director of Industrial Relations receives a petition signed by at least 10,000 California fast-food employees approving creation of the council. The Fast Food Council will have ten members, eight of whom must meet certain criteria (such as representing fast-food restaurant franchisors, franchisees, or employees), and will be appointed... READ MORE

Benefits of Women-Owned Business Certifications

Are you a woman-owned business? Getting certified can open the door to new opportunities. Having a women-owned business certification can help you build trust to set yourself apart from the competition and gain access to lucrative private and government contracts. There are several different types of certifications. Federal programs often look to do business with Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) and the private sector accepts the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. Build Credibility and Boost Visibility Certification places your business in a database of suppliers used by private and government agencies when they’re contracting... READ MORE

The ABCs of California’s Requirement for Reimbursing Employee’s Expenses

California employers are required to reimburse their employees for “all necessary business expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties.” (See California Labor Code section 2802.)  Employers failing to properly reimburse their employees for work-related expenses risk exposure for the unreimbursed expense, attorneys fees, and possibly a Private Attorney General (PAGA) claim or class action if the practice of not reimbursing employees is widespread.  Importantly, employers are obligated to proactively determine whether an employee is incurring expenses and cannot simply rely upon the argument that the employee never requested reimbursement.... READ MORE

US Supreme Court Issues Significant Decision Permitting Arbitration of Individual PAGA Claims

In a significant victory for California employers, earlier this month the US Supreme court issued a decision in Viking River Cruises  v. Moriana, that allows California employers to compel arbitration of Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) based claims of an individual and obtain a dismissal of all other aggrieved PAGA employees’ claims.  The impact of the decision could potentially result in greatly diminishing an employer’s exposure for penalties under PAGA. How PAGA Claims Were Litigated Prior to the Viking River Cruises Decision Prior to Viking River Cruises, under PAGA, an individual Plaintiff could bring a PAGA claim of their own as well as on... READ MORE

California Employment Law: Changes and Upcoming Deadlines

This month we remind you of upcoming changes and deadlines coming at the end of this month related to California employment law and discuss a recent California decision impacting meal and rest period violation and premium pay reporting requirements. Increase in City of Los Angeles and Unincorporated County of Los Angeles Minimum Wage Requirements Effective July 1, 2022 Effective July 1, 2022, minimum wage for employees working within the City of Los Angeles will increase from $15.00 per hour to $16.04 per hour. The City of Los Angeles minimum wage rate applies to any employees who perform at least two... READ MORE

Give Me A Break: Avoid The Pitfalls of Meal and Rest Break Violations

A common wage and hour issue targeted by savvy Plaintiff’s employment attorneys is whether employers correctly and accurately provide meal and rest periods to their non exempt employees.  Under California law, an employee is entitled to an hour of pay for any missed or interrupted meal or rest period that an employee is not provided each day (for a maximum limit of two hours of penalty per day) going back over four years.  Additionally, if the meal and rest period violations occur across the board to all or many employees, such violations can serve as a basis for a Private... READ MORE

California Itemized Paystubs: What You Need To Know

Employers in California are required to provide employees with an itemized wage statement, also known as a pay stub.  In California there are very specific requirements under the applicable wage orders and labor code that set forth what every pay stub must include. Failing to issue an accurate and California compliant wage statement can result in substantial penalties. In that regard, paystub violations are a target claim for savvy Plaintiff’s attorneys’ who bring Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims on behalf of all employees affected, resulting in potential six figure exposure.  Violations will occur for among other reasons, whenever an... READ MORE

I don’t want to be a Franchisor; Can’t I just grant a license?

Frequently, clients will tell us they have a great idea that they would like to license others to operate. When we explain that they are proposing a franchise arrangement, we get the response, “I don’t want to be a franchisor; can’t I just grant a license?” What is a “franchise”? A franchise is a special kind of license. In general, all franchises include a license, but not all licenses are franchises. What’s the difference?  A franchise is an arrangement that normally includes three elements (there are exceptions in some states, but this is the rule in California and federally). We... READ MORE

New Federal Law Bars Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims

In March 2022, President Biden signed into new law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (EFASASHA), barring the enforcement of most mandatory arbitration provisions in cases alleging sexual assault or sexual harassment. The EFASASHA will apply to all pre-dispute arbitration clauses, including those in contracts executed before the law’s enactment. The law will also invalidate pre-dispute agreements that waive an employee’s right to participate in a joint, class or collective action in court, arbitration or any other forum that relates to a sexual assault or sexual harassment dispute. Moreover, if a dispute arises about whether... READ MORE

The Most Common Wage and Hour Mistakes Employers Make and How to Prevent Them

Doing business in California, and having employees requires a keen awareness of the risks involved and how to avoid them, particularly when it comes to California’s extensive wage and hour laws.  Violations of these laws, even if unintentional, can result in substantial penalties and owed wages. However, much of this risk can be prevented by avoiding common mistakes and ensuring that your company’s wage and hour practices and policies comply with California law. The following are the most common wage and hour mistakes made by employers: Failing to Keep Accurate Time Keeping Records including Meal and Rest Periods Employers frequently... READ MORE