Posts from November 2018.
Courts and Legislature Have Worked to “Defang” the Effectiveness of Section 998 Offers

In the recent case of Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., 2018 WL 5999639 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 14, 2018), the California Court of Appeal held that a prevailing employer that made a section 998 settlement offer to the plaintiff in an action brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) was not entitled to costs and expert witness fees incurred after the plaintiff’s rejection of the offer.

Safety First: California Legislation Provides Collective Bargaining Agreement Carve Out for Petroleum Facility Workers in Safety-Sensitive Positions for Rest Periods

With the passage of AB 2605 earlier this year, employees covered by specific Collective Bargaining Agreements (“CBAs”) who hold a “safety-sensitive” position at a petroleum facility are now exempt from certain California rest and recovery period requirements. This bill is a legislative response to the highly criticized Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. 2 Cal.5th 257 (December 22, 2016) decision. In Augustus, ABM Security required its security guards to keep their radios on during their rest and recovery periods in case of an emergency. The plaintiffs argued that this “on-call policy” required them to not be relieved of all duty, and therefore unlawfully denied their right to a rest period. The California Supreme Court agreed, holding that being “on call” requires employees to remain “at the ready” and therefore unable to fully engage in personal activities.

Cal/OSHA is advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke.

Voters Approve Proposition 11 Addressing Meal and Rest Periods for Emergency Ambulance Employees

On November 6, 2018, a majority of Californians voted “Yes” on Proposition 11, which will allow private sector emergency ambulance employees, specifically, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, to remain “on-call” during their meal periods and rest periods so they can respond in case of an emergency. 

Governor Brown Signs AB 1654 Exempting Union Contractors from PAGA

Effective January 1, 2019, construction workers covered by certain collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”) will be exempt from the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, commonly referred to as PAGA. 

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