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California Anti-Arbitration Bill Approved by Legislature

Approved by the Legislature on August 27, 2015, AB 465 would prohibit California employers from requiring most individuals to enter into arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment

arbitration agreement | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA | California attorneyAccording to the bill’s sponsor, the goal of AB 465 is to protect workers from being coerced into signing contracts to waive the right to take labor violations to the Labor Commissioner or to court and submit all claims to the employer’s arbitrator. Accordingly, the bill is designed to ensure that waivers of important employment rights and procedures arising under California law are made voluntarily and with the consent of the employee.

If enacted, the bill would make such waivers, including, presumably, class action waivers that were expressly sanctioned by Concepcion, “involuntary, unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable” if made a condition of employment. The bill also would make it unlawful to threaten, retaliate, or discriminate against any person who refuses to sign such a waiver.


For years, California employees have primarily relied on the doctrine of unconscionability to argue against the enforceability of arbitration agreements. This argument typically requires two things:

  1. A showing that the agreement is procedurally unconscionable, meaning that there was some unfairness in the procedure or method in which the agreement was presented to the employee;
  2. A showing that the agreement was substantively unconscionable, meaning that its terms were overly harsh or one-sided.

AB 465 provides that arbitration agreements, and other waivers of legal rights, must be

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NLRB Ruling May Define Who is Responsible for Subcontractors

employee v subcontractor | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA - California attorneyNLRB Ruling To Help Determine Who is Responsible for Treatment of Subcontractors in Joint Employer Relationships

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may rule by month’s end whether or not Browning-Ferris Industries, a Houston-based waste-disposal company, is responsible for the treatment of its contractor’s employees. If the NLRB concludes that Browning-Ferris is a joint employer of workers provided to the firm by a staffing agency, the company would be forced to collectively bargain with those employees and could be held liable for any labor violations committed against them.

A regional NLRB director initially ruled

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LGBT Discrimination and Rights Under Title VII

LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

Tlgbt discrimination | California attorney, Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CAhe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. These federal laws also prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who oppose discriminatory employment practices.

Over the past year the EEOC has shifted its position on the

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Abuse of Foreign Workers with H-2 Visas

foreign worker abuse | Kingsley & Kingsley | California attorney, Encino, CALabor Violations Against Foreign Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. These foreign workers are then left at the mercy of their employers as they work on a temporary basis. This arrangement is economically advantageous for employers and it gives foreign workers an opportunity to earn wages they might not earn otherwise. However, there are major drawbacks as a result of

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Stress Caused By Supervisor Not a Viable Claim Under FEHA

Disability Discrimination Case

disability discrimination | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA | California attorneyHiggins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015)

California employers should take notice of the conclusion drawn in the Higgins-Williams case–an employee’s claimed inability to work under a supervisor because of the supervisor’s causing the employee anxiety and stress during standard oversight of the employee’s performance, does not entitle the employee to a viable claim for disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).


Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical assistant in

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Employees Requesting Accommodation Are Now Protected

Employees Requesting Accommodation Are Now Protected Read More

New California Law Expands Retaliation Coverage

On July 16, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law AB 987, amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). AB 987 was proposed and signed into law in response to a recent California Court of Appeal decision in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc., 220 Cal. App. 4th 635 (2013). The amendment confirms what many already believed to be the law–employers and other covered entities cannot retaliate against employees or other persons who request a religious accommodation or an accommodation for a disability.

Effective on January 1, 2016, AB 987 prohibits an employer or other covered entity from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting accommodation of his or her disability or religious beliefs, regardless of whether the

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Labor and Employment Laws – Los Angeles

Employment LawsFederal and state employment laws often work in tandem to set standards, provide legal protection, and regulate employer and employee matters. Throughout the years, Kingsley & Kingsley (Encino, CA) has provided effective representation for clients with employment issues in Los Angeles and throughout California.

An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights under federal and California laws. Employment and labor laws set the legal parameters for employment contracts, torts, equal employment opportunities, wages and hours, health and safety, and employee benefits, along with union organization and collective bargaining.  To fight illegal employer practices, you

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Labor Department Issues Guidance on Independent Contractor Classification

U.S. Department of Labor Announces that Most Workers Are “Employees”DOL wage and hour division | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA | California attorney

On July 15, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an administrator’s interpretation, or guidance document on employee and independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Stating that the key consideration in classification decisions is whether the worker is economically dependent on a business, the DOL emphasized its view that most workers are employees under the FLSA.

Employers should be aware that the DOL will apply a

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Increased Protection for Construction Workers in Confined Spaces

Effective August 3, 2015, OSHA’S New Rule Increases Protection for Construction Workers in Confined Spaces


confined spaces | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA - California attorneyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued its final rule that provides increased protections to those working in confined spaces on construction projects.  The new regulation covers building construction sites, highways, bridges, tunnels, utility lines, and other types of construction sites. The new rule includes a requirement that multiple employers share vital safety information and continuously monitor hazards while more responsibility is placed on the controlling employer to ensure compliance by subcontractors and visitors to a construction site.

The new rule, which goes into effect on

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Emeryville Enacts Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

Adds to the Growing Number of Cities Who Have Enacted Such Ordinances

Emeryville, a small city in Alameda County and home to paid sick leave minimum wage | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA - California attorneyPixar Animation Studios, joins San Francisco, Oakland and other cities across the nation that have enacted paid sick leave ordinances. On June 2, 2015, the Emeryville City Council adopted its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that went into effect on July 1, 2015.

The Ordinance provides for a higher citywide minimum wage and additional paid sick leave provisions than required by the State of California:

  • Minimum wage will increase to $12.25 per hour for Small Businesses (employers with 55 or fewer employees)
  • Minimum wage will increase to $14.44 for Large Businesses (employers with 56 or more employees)

Paid Sick Leave

In addition to minimum wage increases, any employee who

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