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

CNCDA Bulletin

Tips for avoiding litigation when it's possible and protecting you when it isn't

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Scali Rasmussen has discovered trends in recent cases filed against dealers. This article—written by the firm's partners for the CNCDA Bulletin—highlights these trends to help dealers identify, review, revise and/or adopt compliance policies and procedures to protect against costly litigation or defend one of these suits.

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In two class action cases that have been consolidated in federal court, pilots and flight attendants are alleging, among other things, that their airline employers failed to provide them with compliant wage statements under California law. In both Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Omar v. Delta Airlines, Inc., the Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to decide a couple questions of state law that were unsettled. One question that was common to both cases was whether employers are required to provide wage statements (pursuant to California law) to employees who perform work both in California and other locations.

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Last year, we discussed the California Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of One Toyota of Oakland v. Kho (“OTO”), which seemingly went against federal law favoring arbitration and the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in employment. In OTO, a dealership service technician brought a claim for unpaid wages in front of the Labor Commissioner. The dealership attempted to move the case to arbitration under the technician’s arbitration agreement, but the trial court found that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable as procedurally unconscionable.

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Effective July 1, 2020, several California cities will implement minimum wage increases. Generally, employees who perform at least two hours of work in a city are covered by the minimum wage provisions of that city, which would be at or above the California minimum wage rate.

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As employers settle into their protocols for employee health screenings and other preventative measures to lower the risk of Coronavirus spread in the workplace, questions still remain as to what they can ask employees about their health. Government agencies continue to provide further clarification and guidance. Two agencies recently provided updates...

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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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