Apr 9, 2020

Staffing Agency Not Liable for Conduct Beyond Its Control

Staffing Complaint

In a welcome piece of good news for staffing agencies, a California appellate court has reaffirmed the rule that a staffing agency cannot be held liable for alleged workplace discrimination in which it did not participate.  Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, (Second Appellate District, April 7, 2020). Two employees, Ducksworth and Pollock, sued their immediate employer, Tri-Modal, along with the two staffing agencies – Scotts Labor Leasing and Pacific Leasing – that  had assigned them to work at Tri-Modal, alleging that the failure to promote them was due to discrimination against them as African Americans.  Scotts Labor and Pacific Leasing… Read more


Apr 17, 2019

Developments to Watch: State Chemical Regulation and Proposed Legislation

Toxic Chemicals & State Chemical Regulation

At least 22 States have had at least 97 pieces of legislation introduced in their legislatures for chemical regulation or bans, over and above regulatory actions taken by EPA under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition to complying with chemical registration requirements on the federal level under TSCA, manufacturers, importers, and users of chemicals must also be familiar with and remain in compliance with numerous State chemical regulatory requirements. California’s labeling requirements under its Proposition 65 are only one example. For that reason, it is prudent to monitor legislative developments in State legislatures around the country that… Read more


Mar 13, 2019

California Moves to Block U.S. EPA Air Pollution Standards for Auto Emissions

California Pollution Standards: Low Emission Zone

Representatives for the California Air Resources Board have stated that they will take all legal measures necessary to block the Trump administration’s efforts to freeze fuel economy limits at nationwide 2020 levels. Under the Clean Air Act (“Act”), California has special authority to enact stricter pollution standards for motor vehicles than the nationwide standards set by the federal government. Under the same provisions of the Act, other states may adopt the more stringent California standards if they find them to be more protective of public health.  Under the Trump administration, the EPA sought to impose more lenient emission requirements in… Read more


Jan 28, 2019

DOT Says Motor Carriers Need Not Comply with California Break Laws

California Break Laws don't apply to truck drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) recently issued a decision stating that motor carriers do not have to comply with California break laws requiring employers to provide workers with regular meal breaks and paid rest breaks. This decision, announced by the agency on December 21, 2018, attempts to overturn a 2014 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision by the FMCSA follows a petition filed in September 2018 by the American Trucking Association asking that the agency exempt carriers from the California break laws. Specifically, the law requires that employers provide a 30-minute meal break every… Read more


Nov 28, 2018

California Moves to Tighten Truck Exhaust Standards Ahead of EPA

Truck Exhaust Standards

On November 13, the EPA announced that it will reopen existing federal standards for smog-forming pollution limits for heavy trucks.  California, which has some of the worst smog in the country, has announced that it cannot wait for the federal rulemaking process and is proceeding with setting its own, potentially more stringent standards. California is completing its testing of heavy duty truck engines that have the potential to emit far fewer nitrogen oxides (NOx) – an ozone precursor – than those currently in use. If successful, the new engines’ technology could become the new standard for truck engines in the… Read more


Oct 21, 2013

Mississippi’s Stop Payment Notice Statute Found Unconstitutional

Authored By: Darren Rowles and Scott Cahalan In several states, including Mississippi, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington, subcontractors and suppliers are used to filing a “stop notice” or “stop payment notice” when they are not paid for work performed at a project.  See also North Carolina (lien on funds).  However, the recent holding in Noatex Corp. v. King Constr. of Houston, LLC, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20656, 14-15 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013), calls into question the constitutionality of stop notice statutes and the remedies they provide to lower-tier contractors and suppliers. A stop notice is a notice to… Read more


Jun 14, 2013

Standard AIA Contract language may waive “Discovery Rule”

Authored by: Scott Cahalan and Darren Rowles In a recent decision styled Brisbane Lodging, L.P. v. Webcor Builders, Inc., the California Court of Appeals found that a contract clause providing that all causes of action relating to the contract work would accrue from the date of substantial completion of the project abrogated the delayed discovery rule, which would otherwise delay accrual of a cause of action for latent construction defects until the defects were, or could have been, discovered.   In July 1999, Brisbane and Webcor entered into a contract for the design and construction of a Radisson hotel.  The construction contract… Read more