UPDATE: Fifth Circuit blocks enforcement of the federal OSHA COVID-19 vaccine/testing mandate.
On November 6, 2021, a panel of the fifth circuit issued a stay against the enforcement of OSHA‘s new emergency temporary standards mandating large employers to require vaccination or testing of their workforce. The court found that there are grave statutory and constitutional issues related to the mandatory emergency temporary standards that need to be addressed.


Continue Reading 5th Circuit Temporarily Blocks OSHA’s New COVID-19 Standards Mandating Employers With 100 or More Employees to Require Vaccination or Regular Testing

What is PAGA?

California’s labor law enforcement agencies, including the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) also known as the “Labor Board” has the authority to investigate whether employers violate the California Labor Code, and assess and collect civil penalties for any such violations.  However, due to purported budget cuts and cited lack of state resources to prosecute such actions, in 2004, the Legislature enacted the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq., to authorize an employee to bring an action for civil penalties on behalf of the state against his or her employer for Labor Code violations committed against the employee and fellow employees, with 75% of the proceeds of that litigation going to the state, and 25% to the employees.  A PAGA plaintiff therefore steps into the shoes of an attorney general to prosecute alleged Labor Code violations for civil penalties, on behalf of the state.  PAGA penalties can be astronomical.  Pursuant to PAGA, default civil penalties are $100 “for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation,” and $200 per aggrieved employer, per pay period, per “each subsequent violation.”
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Holds That Trial Courts Have Authority to Strike PAGA Claims For Being Unmanageable

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 606, which creates two new categories of Cal/OSHA violations: “enterprise-wide” violations and “egregious” violations. The new law expands Cal/OSHA’s citation authority and could have the effect of greatly increasing the fines employers (especially those large employers with multiple worksites) might be subject to. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Continue Reading Legislative Update: Cal/OSHA’s Citation Authority Expanded

For those in the Sacramento area, you may have seen large “Destiny” signs overhanging State Route 65 north of Interstate 80. A news story last month suggested that this church is the place to go for COVID-19 vaccine exemption letters. Now that President Biden is planning to use the emergency powers of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate vaccination for an estimated 100 million employees, the issue is even more prominent.
Continue Reading An Employee Has Requested a Religious Exemption to the Company Vaccine Mandate—What Now?

On September 15, 2021, California’s efforts against the enforcement of employment arbitration agreements continue as the Ninth Circuit reversed, in part, a district court’s conclusion that California Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Saves Most of California’s New Anti-Employment-Arbitration Law