Delaware Supreme Court Enforces Forfeiture for Competition Provision in Partnership Agreement
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Alexandria Amerine
1w ago
In Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. v. Ainslie, No. 162, 2023, 2024 WL 315193 (Del. Jan. 29, 2024), the Delaware Supreme Court held enforceable a “forfeiture for competition” provision in a limited partnership agreement, upholding “the freedom of contract” and enforcing “as a matter of fundamental public policy the voluntary agreements of sophisticated parties.” Given Delaware’s recent shift from its typically non-compete friendly stance, the Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling is beneficial for employers. In Cantor Fitzgerald, six plaintiffs (the “Former Partners”) challenged the enforceability of a “forf ..read more
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U.S. Supreme Court Endorses Low Burden of Proof for Whistleblowers
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Melissa Hughes and Christopher Bosch
1w ago
In a landmark unanimous ruling late last week, Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, et al. 601 U. S. ____ (2024), the U.S. Supreme Court held that whistleblowers do not need to prove their employer acted with “retaliatory intent” to be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Instead, all whistleblower plaintiffs need to prove is that their protected activity was a “contributing factor” in the employer’s unfavorable personnel action.  Background The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal law that was passed in 2002 with the goal of improving auditing and public disclosure in response to several ac ..read more
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California Supreme Court Concludes PAGA Actions Cannot be Dismissed as Unmanageable
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Richard J. Simmons
3w ago
For companies doing business in California, it’s important to be aware of the January 18, 2024 California Supreme Court decision in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc.*, which examined whether trial courts can strike PAGA claims on manageability grounds. PAGA, or the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, created new enforcement and procedural standards to the California Labor Code’s wage and hour provisions. While the law has been viewed as pro-plaintiff, the decision in Estrada can be seen as underscoring that point of view. The underlying case in Estrada examined the conflicting decisions ..read more
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DC Joins the Wage Transparency Movement
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Christopher Williams
1M ago
The District of Columbia will soon require employers to disclose pay ranges in job postings after Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 into law on Friday January 12, 2024. When it goes into effect on June 30, 2024, the District will join a growing number of states with wage transparency laws, including Illinois, California, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington State. New Obligations for D.C. Employers The Act applies to employers of at least one employee in the District and imposes several new employee-friendly requirements, including the ..read more
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Looking Ahead: New California Employment Laws for 2024
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Carina Novell
2M ago
In the past few months, California Governor Newsom has signed numerous new employment laws affecting California employers of all sizes. Below is a summary of some of the laws going into effect in 2024. Workplace Violence Prevention Safety Plan California will become the first state to demand employers to create an “effective” workplace violence prevention plan, train employees, and prepare/maintain records regarding workplace violence, starting July 1, 2024. SB 553 covers virtually all employers. “Workplace violence” is defined as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a pla ..read more
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New York Amends Its Release Agreement Law for the Third Time
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Sean Kirby and Wolfram Ott*
3M ago
On November 17, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law that further limits the terms employers may include in release agreements relating to claims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The law took effect immediately and further broadens the restrictions on release agreements already contained in New York General Obligations Law Section 5-336 (“Section 5-336”). History Enacted as a part of New York’s 2018-2019 budget bill, Section 5-336 was one of the first state laws targeting confidentiality provisions contained in release agreements passed in the wake of the #MeToo ..read more
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Necessity Is the Mother of Invention – But New York Law Says Employers Better Not Take the Credit
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Ian Carleton Schaefer and Wolfram Ott*
3M ago
On September 15, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that made dramatic changes to the enforceability of invention assignment provisions in employment agreements and likely in related agreements including offer letters and Confidentiality, Information and Invention Assignment Agreements (CIIAAs). The law took effect immediately and adds New York to a growing list of states with laws placing limits on invention assignment provisions. What Is an Invention Assignment Agreement? An invention assignment agreement is a contract between an employer and employee that defines the rig ..read more
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New California Law Makes It Easier for Employees to Establish Retaliation Claims for Alleged Labor Code Violations
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Adam Rosenthal and Rachel Schuster*
3M ago
On October 8, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill No. 497, the “Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Protection Act.” The new law amends California Labor Code sections 98.6, 1102.5, and 1197.5 to create a “rebuttable presumption of retaliation” if an employee experiences an adverse employment action within 90 days of engaging in any protected activity covered by the specified sections. This new law, which will become effective on January 1, 2024, also entitles a prevailing plaintiff civil penalties for each violation. Section 98.6 concerns the exercise of employee ..read more
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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Provides Critical Guidance on Events Triggering Waiting Time Penalties
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Raymond Nhan
3M ago
In Harstein v. Hyatt Corp., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Hyatt Corporation (“Hyatt”) violated California law, which requires the payment of all wages at separation, when one of its hotels failed to pay employees their accrued vacation pay after furloughing them in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the director of human resources for the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach told employees that they “will be furloughed/temporarily laid off from their employment on March 24, 2020,” and expressed hope that the hotel’s business would return to normal in eight to twel ..read more
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What Employers Need to Know about the White House’s Executive Order on AI
The Sheppard Mullin Labor & Employment Law Blog
by Carina Novell
3M ago
President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order devised to establish minimum risk practices for use of generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) with focus on rights and safety of people, with many consequences for employers. Businesses should be aware of these directives to agencies, especially as they may result in new regulations, agency guidance and enforcements that apply to their workers.  Executive Order Requirements Impacting Employers Specifically, the executive order requires the Department of Justice and federal civil rights offices to coordinate on ‘best practices’ for ..read more
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