The NLRB’s “Radical” Joint Employer Decision Is The Biggest Win For Unions In Years

Yesterday, in Browning Ferris Industries of California, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled 30 years of authority on the issue of joint employers.  In a decision which two Board Members called the “most sweeping of recent major decisions,” a slim 3-2 majority of the NLRB found that any company which has the right, whether used or unused, to “share or codetermine” the terms and conditions of employment are employers subject to its jurisdiction.  This “radical departure” from many years of decisions, if not reversed, will drastically broaden the NLRB’s mandate to thousands of new employers across the country. Continue reading

Los Angeles County To Raise Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour

Late last month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed the County Counsel to take steps to increase the the minimum wage for the entire county in the same increments as in the ordinance passed recently by the L.A. City Council.  Ultimately, if this becomes law, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour throughout the entire county, not just in the city of Los Angeles and after 2021, the minimum wage will increase automatically along with the rate of inflation.  The law is expected to be considered by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in the Fall.   Continue reading

The ADA At 25: Mental Disabilities In The Spotlight

Last year, we marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This year the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25.  Two laws with a shared, broader goal—to level the playing field and eradicate unlawful discrimination—but also two laws with different pasts and likely different futures.  One of the key distinctions is this: we can all grasp what a “race” or “national origin” might be, but can you really peg, with certainty, what a “disability” is?  Probably not, because the legal meaning of this term is constantly evolving.  When, for example, we see someone in a wheelchair, or an amputee with crutches, we think there is certainty.  But what if the visual cues are not present?  What if the disability has nothing to do with one’s fingers and toes being intact, but is “from the neck up”?  If the last 25 years of the ADA have demonstrated anything, it is that the realm of mental, psychological and cognitive disorders and afflictions is one of the most significant and uncertain frontiers in employment disability discrimination law.  Two recent decisions, Weaving v. City of Hillsboro (9th Circuit) and Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation (California Court of Appeal), provide some clues as to where we are going. Continue reading