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Termination of Governor's COVID Stay-at-Home Order Triggers Review of Rehired Public Sector Retirees
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Effective July 1, 2021, the state law rules regarding break-in-service and hours limitations for hiring public-sector retirees will be reinstated. Public sector employers and retirement systems need to determine if any action, such as reinstatement or compliance with required governing agency appointment process, is required to continue to employ retirees who were hired or whose employment was extended during the COVID emergency...

Third Time's A Charm: Cal/OSHA Standards Board Passes Revisions To Its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard After Two Aborted Attempts
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors. The revised ETS removes all social distancing requirements. Employers must provide respirators to employees who are not fully vaccinated "upon request." Governor has issued an executive order which makes the revised ETS enforceable immediately upon submission to the Office of Administrative Law...

Cal/OSHA Passes Revisions to its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Starting July 31, 2021, all employees who are not fully vaccinated shall be provided respirators for voluntary use. Exclusion pay is required even if an employee is not able to work. Employers should amend their COVID-19 Prevention Plans.     Introduction On June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (Board) passed changes to the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Initially, the Board voted 4-3 against the proposed ETS...

Proposed Farm Workforce Modernization Act Holds Promise for Immigrant Farmworkers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

On March 18, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 (HR 1603) (FWMA).1 The proposed FWMA would streamline the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program, providing a path to legal immigration status for undocumented farmworkers and their family members. The FWMA would also require all agricultural employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their workers...

Biden Tax Changes Preserve QSBS Benefits: and Make the Exclusion More Valuable
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

On May 28, the Treasury Department released the General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2022 Revenue Proposals, known as the "Green Book," detailing the Biden administration's proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). For startup founders and early investors, the Green Book provides welcome relief...

EEOC Issues May 28 Updated FAQs For Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Programs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, June 2021

Key Points Employers have the right to mandate vaccines subject to religious and disability-related employee exemptions. Asking if an employee has been vaccinated is not a prohibited medical inquiry. Incentive programs to encourage vaccinations are permissible. Introduction Previously, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Guidance permitting employers to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates, subject to certain exemptions...

Biden Signs FASTER Act; Sesame Becomes 9th Major Food Allergen Requiring Mandatory Food Labeling Disclosures
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2021

President Biden has signed into law the FASTER Act, which adds sesame as a "major food allergen" under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Under the FD&C Act, food labels of products containing sesame, whether in whole seed form or as an ingredient in a spice or flavor, must disclose its presence using its plain English name. The law will become effective on January 1, 2023...

Court of Appeal Issues First Published Opinion Interpreting California Senate Bill 35 Streamlining Provisions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Key Points The California Court of Appeal has issued the first published opinion interpreting California Senate Bill 35's (SB 35) new laws that streamline the approval of much-needed housing projects. Under SB 35, qualifying housing projects are eligible for ministerial review, which can reduce entitlement processing times by months if not years. In Ruegg & Ellsworth v. City of Berkeley (Cal. Ct. App., April 20, 2021, No...

New State Guidelines Clarify When Leases of Local Agency-Owned Land are Subject to the Surplus Land Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Key Points The California Department of Housing and Community Development has released new guidelines for implementing the Surplus Land Act, which clarify when leases are subject to the terms of the Act. Pursuant to the new guidelines, leases are not subject to Surplus Land Act when the lease involves "land on which no development or demolition will occur" or leases with "a term that is less than five (5) years (including any extensions, amendments or options)...

New Favorable Qualified Small Business Stock Guidance for Fintechs and Insurtechs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

On April 9, 2021, the IRS released Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 202114002 (January 13, 2021), which provides additional context to taxpayers worried about whether their Fintech or Insurtech shares represent Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 1202...

Preliminary Injunction Puts the Freeze on New Proposition 65 Lawsuits for Acrylamide in Food
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Food producers can breathe a sigh of relief, at least temporarily, thanks to efforts by the California Chamber of Commerce resulting in a preliminary injunction barring the State of California and all private plaintiffs from filing any new Proposition 65 lawsuits targeting acrylamide in food and beverage products. On March 31, 2021, Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, Kimberly J...

Supreme Court Expands Scope of 'Public Works' Definition — Contract Employees Performing Operations Work are Covered by Prevailing Wage Laws
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Key Points Historic definition of "public works" expanded beyond construction-related activities Supreme Court holds that some special districts must pay prevailing wages to workers performing non-infrastructure related tasks Full extent of coverage of prevailing wages for operational contract workers is unclear   Labor Code Section 1720(a)(1) defines a "public work" as "construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid for in wh

Court of Appeal Finds Overlying Correlative Rights Do Not Have to Share Equally in Water Shortages
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

(Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases, JCCP No. 4408 (3/16/21))[1] After twenty-two years, the protracted proceedings in the Antelope Valley groundwater adjudication resulted in a settlement and court-approved "physical solution." A physical solution equitably allocates available water under California's laws governing water rights. The physical solution in Antelope Valley limited pumping to balance the overdrafted aquifer with the available native safe yield...

California Employers Face New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirement
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Key Points California employers with more than 25 employees must provide an additional 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to full-time employees for qualified reasons COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is retroactive to January 1, 2021, and must be paid out on an employee's oral or written request made on or after March 29 The amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave available must be listed as a separate line item on employees' wage statements, no later tha

B Corp Makes Good Business Sense
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

Hanson Bridgett has long been a visionary in promoting social and environmental change. That innovative spirit is what led them to become the first law firm certified as a B Corporation and a leading advocate for what has now become a global social movement. The California law firm is one of the founding members of B Corporation, a business model created in 2006 that enables companies to include a social as well as financial agenda in their legal structure...

California Supreme Court Prohibits Rounding for Meal Periods
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2021

California employers should assess their meal period policies and practices in light of the California Supreme Court's February 25, 2021, decision in Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC (Donohue). This ruling: (1) prohibits California employers from rounding time punches for meal periods and (2) holds that time records showing non-compliant meal periods will raise a rebuttable presumption of liability for meal period violations...

San Francisco Court Declines to Halt Enforcement of Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Regulations
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2021

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled yesterday that Cal/OSHA can continue to enforce its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Regulation (ETS), at least for now. On February 25, 2021, Judge Schulman issued an order denying Plaintiffs' applications for a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Regulation (ETS) in two cases...

The End of the Line for Exclusionary Zoning: Berkeley Set to Make its Move
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2021

Key Points Later this month, the Berkeley City Council is expected to consider ending exclusionary zoning by December 2022. The city has a long history of implementing single-family zoning, which encourages more expensive stand-alone homes that are often inaccessible to disadvantaged populations. The shift would place Berkeley, which in 1916 became the nation's first city with single-family zoning, at the forefront of a modern era of inclusionary housing policy...

California Extends COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium; Provides Financial Assistance for Eligible Landlords and Tenants
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2021

Key Points Eviction protections that were set to expire January 31 have been extended to June 30, 2021 New notice requirements took effect February 1 Landlords may not charge late fees or increase rent or fees for tenants who attest to COVID-19-related financial distress State Rental Assistance Program may pay 80 percent of a qualified tenant's rent if landlord forgives the remainder On January 29, 2021, California Senate Bill 91 became law, effective immediately...

Court Finds in Favor of Restaurants Seeking Coverage for Loss of Business Income
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

In a scenario that has played out across the country for nearly a year now, a group of restaurants based in Ohio were ordered by government authorities to close their on-site dining operations to abate the spread of the coronavirus. However, when the restaurants sought insurance coverage for their loss of business income, their insurer, Zurich American Insurance Company, denied coverage. Last week, the U.S...

California Proposes Significant Change to Limit Use of Short-Form Proposition 65 Warning For Consumer Products
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

Article PDFJust when businesses thought they had figured out their Proposition 65 compliance strategies, the State of California, through the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), has proposed a substantial change that will drastically limit the use of the short-form safe harbor warning first authorized in 2018...

IRS Reverses Position on Deductibility of Paycheck Protection Program Loan Expenses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

Key Points The CARES Act provides that PPP loans may be forgiven without causing the borrower to incur cancellation of debt income, but did not address whether business expenses could be deducted if paid for by PPP loan proceeds. On April 30, 2020, the IRS published Notice 2020-32 clarifying that taxpayers whose PPP loans were forgiven could not deduct business expenses covered by such loan proceeds...

New Payroll Tax Credit Available in 2021 for Public Colleges, Universities and Governmental Healthcare Entities – Q&A
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

Key Points Effective January 1, 2021, public colleges, universities, and governmental entities whose primary purpose is providing medical or hospital care are eligible for the employee retention and rehiring tax credit. The amount of the credit is equal to 70 percent of up to $10,000 in eligible wages per employee per quarter for the first two quarters of 2021. The tax credit is claimed as an offset to employment taxes otherwise payable by the employer...

COVID-19 Legislation: New Paycheck Protection Program Loan Rules Allow Second Round Funding and Deductibility of Expenses Paid with Forgivable Loan Proceeds
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

Key Points Past and future PPP loan recipients can deduct PPP loan-funded eligible expenses for federal tax purposes even if the loan is forgiven. Expanded eligibility for new loans to include new categories of employers; existing borrowers who have not yet received loan forgiveness may increase loan amount based on expanded allowable expenses...

San Francisco Imposes Quarantine on Travelers and Commuters from Outside the Bay Area with Two Exceptions for Construction Workers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2021

The City and County of San Francisco (SF) issued a COVID-19 surge-related travel and quarantine order (Quarantine Order) on Dec. 16, 2020, and an updated Shelter-In-Place Order (SIP Order) on December 9 (updated Dec. 30, 2020). Under those orders, every person who enters SF after having been outside the Bay Area within the last ten days must quarantine for 240 hours from the time of arrival in SF. However, two exceptions apply to those working on construction projects in SF...

 

 

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