Articles, news & events

Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

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California has seen a recent increase in the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19. While there are currently no indications that state or local governments plan to scale back the reopening of businesses, this spike will likely lead to increased enforcement of current prevention mandates. Every dealership in the state should therefore ask whether it is in compliance with state and local requirements, including recent modifications to those requirements.

Last month Governor Newsom’s office released the Phase 2 guidance of the California Resilience Roadmap for “lower-risk workplaces” detailing the steps businesses in specific industries must take to reopen. The guidance includes dealership opening protocols and requires that dealerships do all of following...

FTC files complaint against NY dealer

Includes discriminatory lending charges

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On May 21, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York citing multiple violations of the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) against Defendants Liberty Chevrolet (d/b/a Bronx Honda) and its general manager, Carlo Fittanto. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the Defendants not only engaged in unlawfully misleading and deceptive businesses practices but also discriminated against its African-American and Hispanic car buyers by targeting them with higher financing markup rates compared to those offered to non-Hispanic, white car buyers. These charges are a reminder that the federal government remains a strong enforcer of federal consumer protection laws and will pursue cases for discriminatory practices.

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As California reopens amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, employers should take extra care to ensure that they are following all health and safety protocols, whether they are legally mandated or just recommended by the government. There are various organizations to look to for guidance regarding safe COVID-19 practices, but the number of guidelines out there may be overwhelming. To assist, here is a list of some agencies and guidelines with which you should be familiar, as well as where to find them.

Taking their temperatures

How to implement temperature checks for employees (in the COVID-19 Pandemic)

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local and national guidelines now recommend taking employees’ temperatures before allowing them to work/interact with customers and goods. But since such “medical tests” were usually off-limits, employers have many questions about how to implement them.

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Scali Rasmussen is proud to participate in the Adopt-A-Family program. We maintain open lines of communication with the families we sponsor so we can be of assistance all year round, not just during Christmas.

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Today, May 7, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office released Phase 2 guidance of the California Resilience Roadmap for “lower-risk workplaces” detailing the steps businesses in specific industries must take to reopen. This guidance becomes effective May 8, the same day when designated lower-risk workplaces may open across the state with modification. The auto dealer guidance includes some specific requirements, but largely shifts to dealers the burden of assessing risk and developing plans to mitigate risk.

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On May 6, 2020, the County of Los Angeles announced that car dealers will be able to resume sales on May 8 from their dealerships with appropriate social distancing procedures. The County has not released any details regarding what specific procedures car dealers will need to follow, if any, though the Los Angeles Times is reporting that retailers that are allowed to resume business on May 8 must provide curb-side pickup. It is unclear if this restriction will apply to car dealers.

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Today the California DMV issued an Occupational Licensing Industry News addressing how dealers may legally offer vehicles for sale online and perform off-site delivery of the vehicles. While the guidance states it “clarifies the requirements” during the “outbreak period,” it should be read to extend beyond the present. This is the first guidance from the DMV acknowledging that new car dealers may legally offer online sales.

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Last year, we reported on the California Supreme Court decision in One Toyota of Oakland v. Kho, which struck a blow to employers seeking to enforce arbitration agreements. In March 2020, OTO, L.L.C. asked the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) to let it appeal the California Supreme Court’s decision, which is done by way of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (“Writ”). Though Mr. Kho waived his right to file a response to OTO’s Writ, SCOTUS requested that he file one. On April 29, 2020, Mr. Kho filed an Opposition to OTO’s Writ. The California Labor Commissioner also filed a brief in opposition.

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Jennifer Woo Burns, partner and chair of Scali Rasmussen's Labor and Employment practice, has been selected as an honoree in the Los Angeles Business Journal special supplement recognizing the city’s most influential women attorneys. The Journal’s Publisher and CEO Josh Schimmels writes, “during this challenging time battling the coronavirus, we are relying on our trusted advisers more than ever. In times of uncertainty, lawyers … are particularly needed to help our businesses respond and react to issues at hand.”

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