Welcome to the Hotel California!

Somehow it seems appropriate that rock band The Eagles released that hit song in 1976, early in the first administration of California Governor Jerry Brown (1975 – 1983). Well, it must be déjà vu all over again as the same Governor Brown signed a couple of different bills recently that can significantly impact small businesses…

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Coffee Cancer Case Percolating Again

For the past couple of months, the hope existed that litigation pending in a Los Angeles Superior Court would ultimately be dismissed after the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recommended coffee retailers be exempted from California Proposition 65 requirements to include a cancer warning on coffee. Public comments included an endorsement of…

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California Sets Gender Quotas

California Governor Jerry Brown this week signed into law legislation making California the first state in the nation mandating gender quotas on private businesses. Senate bill 826, which Brown signed last Sunday, prescribes that all publicly held companies with their principal executive offices within the state of California (rather than where they may have been…

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Dunkin’ and the No-Poach Clause

Many franchisors utilize so-called “no-poach” clauses in their franchise agreements, and such clauses may be structured in a way that limits a franchisee’s ability to hire employees of other, same-brand franchisees and/or employees of the franchisor. Recently, a group of state attorneys general and prominent legislators began pressing franchisors to cease use of so-called “no-poach”…

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Plastic Straws Restricted in California

Taking restrictions to a whole new level, California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed 2 bills into law that place additional restrictions on the restaurant industry in a couple of different areas. The first restricts the distribution of plastic straws while the second targets sugary drinks by mandating that only milk or sparkling, still or…

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California Outlaws NDAs

California, which as mentioned above, already requires sexual harassment training for private employees, has also acted on a host of issues which will ultimately have an impact on small businesses throughout the Golden State. AB 3080, which was presented to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature on August 27, makes it illegal for employers to…

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FDA Supports Coffee Exemption on Cancer Warning

We advised our readers a few months ago of a decision by a Los Angeles Superior Court that coffee retailers in California were violating state law by not posting warnings for their customers of the presence in coffee of acrylamide, a chemical that is produced by roasting coffee beans and has been linked to cancer.…

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California Snubs SCOTUS Decision

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in the Epic Systems decision that mandatory arbitration agreements containing class action waivers were legal provisions of an employment agreement. Notwithstanding that decision, on a vote of 25-12, the California state senate approved AB 3080 and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown this…

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California Passes Healthy Kids Meal Bill

The California state legislature has passed and sent on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature, S.1192 – the Healthy Kids Meal Act. Just weeks after the Golden State banned local communities from passing their own taxes on groceries (including and ostensibly, targeting soda), the legislature is dictating that only water, flavored water or unflavored…

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Discount Meals Don’t Violate FLSA

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling in Rodriguez v Taco Bell Corp. that requiring employees to eat employer-discounted meals in the restaurant violates neither the US Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or California Employment Law. Taco Bell offers its employees discounted meals for their required 30-minute meal breaks…

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