California Makes Masks Mandatory for All

Before June 18, 2020, California only recommended that residents wear face coverings as a precautionary measure with COVID-19 and left it up to local governments to decide whether to make masks a mandatory requirement. But, as California residents and summer visitors head outdoors, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health have issued a mandatory face-covering directive to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout California. Although the directive does not specifically address what obligations California employers must fulfill when it comes to face coverings for their workers, employers must bear in mind that more restrictive local orders will control. For example, if

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Title VII Protects LGTBQ+ Employees from Workplace Discrimination

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision which granted protection under federal law to LGTBQ+ employees from workplace discrimination in three consolidated cases: Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618; Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, No. 18-107. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority in a five to three decision, finding Title VII’s anti-discrimination protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A

ADA Lawsuits Run Amok in California

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to places of “public accommodations”. Examples of places of public accommodations include: places of lodging, entertainment, recreation, restaurants, bars, theaters, stores, and health clubs. The ADA, while well-intended and efficiently designed, has given rise to a cottage industry of “drive-by” lawsuits in California. This is thanks in large part to California law. Plaintiffs and their attorneys have been taking aim on technical-but-harmless violations of the ADA by suing under both the ADA and a state antidiscrimination law called the California Unruh Act, the latter of which provi

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