When plaintiffs sue companies alleging that their websites do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), courts start by answering two threshold legal questions. Does the ADA apply to websites? And if it does, which websites does it apply to? At least seven federal circuit courts have answered these questions and have reached three different conclusions. Until recently, California courts had provided little guidance. But on September 3, 2019, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal decided Thurston v. Midvale Corporation (Case No. B291631). Thurston clarifies that commercial websites with a “nexus” to a physical location are subject to the ADA.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Aligns with Ninth Circuit on ADA Website Accessibility Standards

As climate change is integrated more and more into the planning of corporate opportunities and risks, the Fourth National Climate Assessment released last week may be a valuable resource to assess how climate change may impact your business strategy on the horizon.
Continue Reading Four Themes from the National Climate Assessment that May Impact Your Business Strategy

As the recent Supreme Court term winds to an end, the Court finds itself in a state of flux. The sudden death of longtime justice Antonin Scalia in February, and political gridlock in confirming Judge Merrick Garland, has led to uncertainty as to the future of the Court. In the midst of these changing tides, the Court issued several decisions this term that may impact employers.
Continue Reading Scalia-less Supreme Court Term Ends With Small Victories For Employers, But Also Great Uncertainty

Under new procedures effective January 1, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is mandating unprecedented transparency by requiring the employer’s position statement and supporting documentation to be shared with the charging party during the investigation.  The EEOC’s new procedures can be found here.  While presented by the EEOC as a procedural change, it is likely to have substantive consequences for many employers.
Continue Reading Point, Counterpoint the New Normal for EEOC Position Statements

It’s not fair, women making about three quarters of every dollar earned by men for the same work. Latest government statistics show women earn 76 to 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men. Most would agree this is a problem, and would support efforts to do something about it. Now the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is trying to take action. But is the EEOC’s plan going to be effective in battling this pervasive problem, or just create more administrative burdens and legal traps for employers?
Continue Reading You Pay Your Employees What??? Employers Might Have to Share Hours and Pay Data in Proposed EEO-1 Form

With the end of the year upon us, office holiday parties are likely just around the corner… or you may be at one right now with a cup of mulled cider in hand!  While these events often provide great opportunities to build camaraderie among employees and boost office morale, they can also serve as potential sources of liability for festive-minded employers.  From an inappropriate comment, to an unwelcome sexual advance, to an alcohol-induced argument or accident, we have seen it all.  For example, in Purton v. Marriott International, Inc., 218 Cal.App.4th 499 (2013), the California Court of Appeal held that an employer could be liable for the harm caused by an employee who, after becoming intoxicated at a work-related holiday party, got into a motor-vehicle accident with a third party.  And, as the Seventh Circuit noted in Place v. Abbott Laboratories, 215 F.3d 803, n.1 (7th Cir. 2000), “[O]ffice Christmas parties [ ] seem to be fertile ground for unwanted sexual overtures that lead to Title VII complaints.”
Continue Reading Ho-Ho-Hold On Just A Second: Employer “Dos” and “Don’ts” for Holiday Parties