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With over 200 languages and dialects spoken in California, court interpreters are essential to breaking down the language barriers that inhibit many Californians from accessing our courts. According to the statewide Language Access Plan Report adopted by the Judicial Council of California in 2015, approximately 40% of Californians speak a language that isn’t English at home, and approximately 20% have English language limitations. Given this significant need, the high demand for court interpreters in California family law departments comes as no surprise. But requesting and working with court interpreters in family law proceedings can be tricky, especially if you’re not…
The California Supreme Court unanimously held Monday that a group of workers contracted at a county sanitation district are covered by the state’s prevailing wage law, finding that their work falls within the definition of “public works” under an applicable Labor Code provision. In a separate concurrence, three justices invited the California Legislature to revisit that statute to address its “seeming incongruity.” The case involves a contract between Barrett Business Services Inc. and the Los Angeles County Sanitation District, in which Barrett provided belt sorters to staff two of the district’s warehouse-style sanitation facilities. The belt sorters were under Barrett’s…
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Tuesday named members to an ad hoc working group that will determine which of the practices California courts adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic should remain in place after the pandemic is over. “At the beginning of the pandemic, in what we now call Phase 1, the Judicial Council used emergency powers given to us by the Governor to help court users and our court family to be safe while keeping our doors open, both virtually and physically,” Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement. “Phase 2 of pandemic planning is reflected in…
In a case arising from a wrongful death action related to an automobile collision, the Ninth Circuit on Monday certified to the California Supreme Court a question about how long commercial insurance policies remain in effect under the state’s Motor Carriers of Property Permit Act. Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain phrased the question in the court’s certification order as follows: Under California’s Motor Carriers of Property Permit Act, Cal. Veh. Code §§ 34600 et seq., does a commercial automobile insurance policy continue in full force and effect until the insurer cancels the corresponding Certificate of Insurance on file with the California Department…
In 2020, the California courts of appeal published several cases with useful guidance for litigators claiming or opposing statutory attorney’s fees. In Department of Fair Employment & Hous. v. Cathy’s Creations, Inc. (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 404, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued a bakery that denied services to a same-sex couple, but lost its suit for injunctive relief. The court held that the prevailing defendant was not entitled to attorney’s fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 because Government Code section 12974, a unilateral fee-shifting statute that provides fees to DFEH only, is the later…
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill expanding paid sick leave protections through Sept. 30 of this year for workers who contract COVID-19 or must care for family members who contract the virus. SB 95, authored by State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), entitles covered employees to up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework for a reason related to COVID-19. The protections are retroactive to sick leave taken beginning Jan. 1, 2021. “Paid sick leave gives workers the time they need to care for themselves and loved ones…
The innocuous-looking email to a new law associate seemed harmless enough. The heading in the inbox simply read, “Are you around? I need some help.”At first glance, the address appeared to come from the firm’s managing partner, though one of the letters in the boss’s name was misspelled. But the opportunity for the eager associate to look smart and dependable in front of a superior was just too overwhelming–so he clicked it. It’s not everyday that a brand new lawyer is asked to purchase $200 worth of Amazon gift cards as “client gifts” using the firm’s expense account. But the…
The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ordered that it will rehear en banc a challenge to California’s ban on possession of large-capacity magazines. Last August a divided three-judge panel of the court held that the ban violates the Second Amendment. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who petitioned the court for the en banc rehearing, praised the order in a statement, calling it “the next step in the defense of our state’s commonsense gun laws.” “Large-capacity magazines have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” Becerra said. Able to hold more than 10 rounds…
A federal judge on Tuesday denied a group of internet service providers’ request for a preliminary injunction of California’s net neutrality law, clearing the way for the state to enforce the landmark legislation. California adopted SB 822 in 2018, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all web communications equally, prohibiting them from prioritizing or discriminating against traffic and from intentionally speeding up or slowing down certain websites. State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the legislation after the Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules in 2017. The Trump administration, joined by a group of ISP trade associations,…
Three days into his term, President Biden signed executive orders and set forth plans for how employers should respond to issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are five of Biden’s recent actions that stand to have a major impact on employers across the U.S. 1. OSHA shall issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Jan. 21, Biden signed the Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. The order directs OSHA to do the following: Consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 are necessary, and if so, issue them by…