Articles

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUIT CONCLUDES WITH CONSENT DECREE

After substantial litigation, Wayne Call recently resolved an environmental lawsuit filed against a firm client which operates a 60-acre internationally renowned equestrian center. The lawsuit was pursued against the operator, and the City of San Juan Capistrano, for alleged violations of the Federal Clean Water Act causing pollution in San Juan Creek, at Doheny Beach and the in Pacific Ocean. A settlement was achieved on September 7, 2018 through a collaborative consent decree, which has been submitted to federal government authorities for review.  Further information can be found in the Orange County Register (September 11, 2018, edition).

What Happens When Gig-Economy Workers Become Employees

Drivers for cannabis companies in California now have to be classified as employees, rather than independent contractors. But has that been a good thing?

by ALANA SEMUELS

Ever since the emergence of companies like Uber and Lyft, businesses and labor advocates have engaged in an endless, largely theoretical debate about whether classifying workers as independent contractors—responsible for setting their own hours and paying for their own insurance, mileage, and other expenses—helps or hurts them.

On one side are gig-economy employers, who say workers like the flexibility of being an independent contractor, and prefer working when and if they please. On the other are labor advocates, who argue that gig-economy companies push much of the cost of their business onto workers, who don’t receive worker protections that were once standard, such as minimum wage and overtime protections.

The debate intensified in California in late April, when a state Supreme Court ruling found that employers must use a narrow test to determine how to classify employees, raising the likelihood that more companies will have to categorize gig workers as employees. Gig-economy companies lobbied the state to override the ruling, claiming that workers would lose their jobs, while labor advocates predicted that it would ensure that fewer people would have to rely on the state safety net. As usual, many of the people engaged in the debate about what’s best for workers were not the workers themselves.

But while the policy debate rages on, a real-world experiment has been testing what, exactly, would happen if companies had to switch a large swath of their workers from independent contractors to employees. As of January 1 of this year, cannabis-delivery workers are mandated by state law to be classified as employees. These rules, adopted after Californians voted to legalize marijuana in 2016, are a way for law enforcement to ensure that dispensaries take responsibility for their product, and that it is being handled by trained employees. Since they were enacted, dispensaries around California have started the process of switching delivery drivers, and in some cases other workers as well, from independent contractors to employees. Their experience highlights, more than any hypothetical debate, how there is no one easy answer for how to best structure the gig economy.

The decision to require delivery workers to be employees was very deliberate, according to Barry Broad, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents labor clients including the Teamsters and who was involved in the negotiations. Government officials thought that for the industry to be stable and accountable, independent contractors shouldn’t be carrying around marijuana, especially given that they could also be simultaneously driving for another gig-economy company. Law enforcement also needed to know, if they stopped a driver with a car full of cannabis, who was responsible for that cannabis, and so preferred that the drivers be employees of licensed dispensaries. There was another reason, too, Broad told me. “We wanted to make sure there is not a situation where there’s just gross exploitation of workers,” he told me.

Cannabis companies got on board, too, a marked contrast to other gig-economy companies. Jerred Kiloh, the president of the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) Trade Association, which represents legal dispensaries in Los Angeles, said that his organization wasn’t initially sure whether to support the rules or fight them. But unlicensed dispensaries were pushing back against any regulation, and licensed dispensaries worried that the proliferation of independent contractors would lead to the creation of a “gray area” in which customers didn’t know who was actually selling the product, and if they were buying from a licensed dispensary, he said, so they came around to regulation.

Workers are split on whether they like the changes. Sky Siegel, the general manager for the Perennial Holistic Center in Los Angeles, said about half of his drivers preferred being independent contractors, and quit before the change went into effect so they could find other gig jobs. Some left because Siegel can’t yet afford to offer them benefits, so he is limiting employees to 30 hours a week so as not to trigger IRS provisions that would categorize employees as full-time. Though they received minimum-wage protections under the new rules, many workers decided that 30 hours a week, even as an employee, was not enough.

But for the half who stayed, some parts of the job are easier. Rather than using their own cars to make deliveries, they use vehicles provided by the dispensary. The dispensary withholds their taxes, so they get to avoid the April panic that’s become a rite of passage for gig-economy workers. Because of California labor laws, if they work shifts that last more than eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, they receive overtime pay. Their shifts follow a regular schedule now, replacing the free-for-all that would happen in the past when new shifts were posted (Mondays at 4:20 p.m., of course).

Matthew Johnson, 24, is one of the employees who stayed on after the transition. He’d been driving for companies like DoorDash and Grubhub before he started working for Perennial, so he was accustomed to being an independent contractor. But he likes the predictability, job security, and guaranteed hours of being an employee. He has even moved up the job ladder: As an employee keyed in to what was happening around the office, he started doing some events with Eaze, the start-up that works with Perennial and other dispensaries to manage deliveries. He showed his bosses that he was a hard and dedicated worker, and was able to suggest some tweaks to the platform that made it run more smoothly. He got a promotion, and now, in addition to driving, he also manages customer-support service and operations for Perennial.

Johnson now thinks all gig companies should switch to the employee model. “I think that with the amount of hours people work, and the type of hard work they put in for these companies, they deserve to be employees,” he told me. “Sometimes the companies just throw them away, like they’re disposable.”

But Earl Kim, who started at Perennial as a driver and now also works in operations and management, is less sure that the change has been positive. Some workers don’t like that there are fewer hours available, and that shifts are more regimented, he said. Before, if you finished your shift early, you could leave; now you are getting paid by the hour, rather than by how much work you complete in a period of time.Employers are divided on the change, too, largely because categorizing workers as employees has a much higher up-front cost to companies. Having employees means more meetings, more tracking of people’s progress, more coaching workers who might need improvement, more hoops to jump through when you want to fire someone.Kiloh, the UCBA president who also owns the Higher Path cannabis collective in Los Angeles, told me the switch increased his costs by 12 to 15 percent—a huge amount in a competitive industry. But he’s targeting older customers, and he’s found they like interacting with trained employees who know the product well and take on responsibility for any questions they might have. “Customers are saying, ‘I like this more, these people represent your brand, they represent your product better,’” he told me. Kiloh, who has a master’s degree in economics, actually thinks it’s more cost-effective to classify workers as employees than independent contractors, because they become more invested in doing a good job. Still, he says he’d prefer to be able to have mostly employees and a few independent contractors during busy periods.

Sourcing Seminar at MAGIC, Featured Panelists: Aaron Renfro

Sourcing at Magic- August 2018 Focus
August 12-15, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
SOURCING at MAGIC is bringing business issues to the forefront.
Hear the experts and specialists who focus on the issues of “protecting”
the brands of their clients in today’s wild -wild ‘social media’ culture.

“Protecting Your Trademark, Your Product, and Securing Your Name on the Label”…
All too many times soured investor relationships and failed partnerships have seen designer brands
shut down, with the name on the label squeezed out of ownership.
Experts will present an overview of the current REAL world of fashion commerce, the legal steps
necessary to protect the trademark, and take-away suggestions for the questions YOU should ask in
any transaction involving your brand.”

Monday, August 13th, 2018
9:30am – 10:30am
Las Vegas Convention Center l North Hall l Room N251

Featured Panelists:
Aaron Renfro, Call Jenson LLP
Amelia Castellanos, Grass Monkey..
Richard Kestenbaum, Triangle Capital

Presentation on NDA Fundamentals

Call & Jensen shareholder Aaron Renfro will be presenting on Nondisclosure Agreement Fundamentals for the National Business Institute (NBI) on June 20, 2018. Registration is at this link: https://www.nbi-sems.com/

Diligence in Building or Buying a Brand

Originally published in OCBJ by Deborah Gubernick & Lisa Sandoval

On any given day, you will find Southern Californians donning their favorite local brands. Whether eating In-N-Out Burger®, sporting Vans® shoes, Stance® socks, and a favorite SoCal surf-brand, or even dressing up in a St. John Knits®   ensemble while scheduling Botox® treatments before going home to watch a   Vizio® television, SoCal brands are undeniably woven into our lifestyle. We are accustomed to witnessing countless brands grow in our own stomping grounds. We have also seen brands grow to the point where they are bought by large companies – resulting in our favorites becoming international sensations. Whether building or buying a brand, diligence in both cases is imperative to the brandʼs continued success.

Building a new brand can be exciting. Indeed, many have been inspired by the success of what we have seen locally. Consider 12-year-old San Clemente entrepreneur, Carson Kropfl, who recently developed the brand, Locker Board, for a small skateboard. Kropfl reportedly recently attracted investment interest from business legend, Richard Branson. Armed with the same can-do attitude and creativity of countless SoCal brand builders before him, he is already showing what brand building (and possibly brand buying/brand investing) is all  about.

Having a small brand become global powerhouses is the epitome of the American dream. Being involved in a multi-million or even billion dollar deal and turning  large profits sounds glamorous. But, taking the steps necessary to protect a  brand, conduct brand audits and engage in appropriate due diligence is far less appealing. Some take shortcuts in this area, only to realize doing so is a costly mistake.

Consider the 1998 due diligence missteps of German carmaker Volkswagen, as it purchased the assets of Rolls Royce and Bentley automobile for around $900 million. The heads of the heavyweights flew in on private jets, meeting at an exclusive Bavarian country club to carve out the deal. In an odd twist, however,  the deal did not afford Volkswagen the right to use the Rolls Royce name. Rather, the Rolls Royce trademark would be BMWʼs property. Volkswagen was left owning the manufacturing facilities and rights to make the Rolls Royce cars without use of the Rolls Royce name. Volkswagen had to then secure a separate deal with BMW to have the right to use the Rolls Royce trademark.

Appropriate diligence and legal advice is imperative to avoid the snares of a potentially problematic IP portfolio and inadvertent oversights in a business deal.

Advice for Brand Builders

A startup aiming to eventually sell its brand must first take steps necessary to secure the brand. This means proper trademark searching, clearance and filing to protect the asset. The brand owner should also consider filing copyright and   patent protections, where applicable. Secure key domain names and social media accounts to market the brand. Adopt a brand-policing system to monitor third party trademark filings and infringing use to prevent dilution of rights. Develop brand- usage guidelines to foster brand recognition among consumers. Frequently audit existing trademarks to determine if more filings are warranted.

Keep good records of trademark use, sales histories, advertising figures and advertising samples. This information is often critical to demonstrate not only ownership of the brand, but the brandʼs strength and associated goodwill. When taking the brand to international markets, manufacturing or distributing abroad, devise a strategic trademark filing plan that addresses both offensive and defensive considerations. Indeed, in some countries, the first to file a trademark/brand name automatically gets the rights – exposing brand owners to international vulnerabilities.

The brand will likely become the most valuable asset of the business. Failing to properly protect, maintain and enforce it will diminish its value—making it harder to demand top dollar when selling the brand (or when attempting to attract investment capital).

Advice for Brand Buyers

A potential brand buyer or investor should conduct thorough IP diligence before any transaction. Doing so will help the buyer assess the monetary value and risks associated with the transaction. The buyer should request, and the seller should provide, lists identifying U.S and international trademarks, copyrights,  patents, domain names, trade secrets, social media accounts and any other information proprietary to the business. As a potential acquirer of the IP (or investor), it is not enough to simply rely on the information the brand builder provides. Verify the information by cross-checking it against publicly available trademark, copyright  and patent records. Double check the title-holder of each IP asset and look for any recorded security interests. Confirm the IP is not the subject of active litigation. If the IP was involved in prior litigation, what was the result? Have there been any cease and desist letters or threats of litigation regarding the IP? Have all   deadlines been met to ensure the IP is still valid and enforceable?

Request copies of any agreements involving the IP. In the event the brand has been licensed, carefully evaluate the license agreements, paying attention to territories to which the license applies, the license term, payment obligations, assignability, and whether the agreement is exclusive or non-exclusive. What are the grounds/consequences for terminating? Does that impact your interest in the IP and/or the value of it?

In the case of copyrighted works, confirm appropriate assignment documents and work for hire agreements have been executed to avoid any surprising claims regarding ownership post-closing. Verify that all domain names and social media accounts are in fact controlled by the business. Obtain the contact details for the administrators of each and ensure the accounts can be easily transferred post- closing.

Conclusion

Whether brand building or brand buying, diligence in both cases is imperative. As  a brand builder, start in the right direction by protecting the brand through trademark searches, clearance and filing. Maintain and protect IP assets by adopting appropriate maintenance and enforcement protocols. As a brand buyer, be thorough in verifying the ownership, enforceability and risks associated with the IP assets. In both cases, utilizing an experienced attorney can prevent costly missteps and can help to position the brand for not only local, but global  success.

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EFFORTS TO PROVIDE PAID FAMILY LEAVE ON THE RISE

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE MAY 2017 ORANGE COUNTY LAWYER MAGAZINE

It has been over twenty years since the Family and Medical Leave Act of 19931 went into effect, requiring certain large employers to provide job-protected and unpaid leave to employees for certain medical and family reasons, including bonding time with a new child. At the time of this article’s publication, however, there is still no federal mandate for paid parental leave, despite that dozens of other developed nations provide for such a benefit—to new mothers and fathers alike. In both 2013 and 2015, federal legislation to provide paid family leave was introduced, but never made its way through the legislative process.2

In the meantime, many companies have stepped in to try to keep pace with the recent rising trend to provide paid family leave to employees. At least one company has publicly stated their intent in doing so was to stay competitive in a global market and to serve the American workplace. In conjunction with the birth of Mark Zuckerburg’s daughter, Facebook announced in late 2015 that it was extending its parental leave policy for full-time employees to cover four months of paid leave for all new parents.3 This news came after an announcement by Netflix in August of that year to provide unlimited paid leave to its salaried employees—both new moms and dads—during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.4 Microsoft followed suit, announcing twelve weeks of paid leave for new parents.5

Amazon also announced its paid parental leave policy in late 2015 offering six weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents employed at the company for one year or more.6 In November 2015, Spotify announced it would offer six months of fully paid parental leave to all full-time employees.7 In 2016, the trend continued. Netflix expanded its parental leave policy to include hourly workers, offering them between twelve and sixteen weeks paid leave depending on their job.8 Other major companies, such as Deloitte, Hilton, Nike, Coca-Cola, Ikea, and Etsy, announced generous paid family leave policies throughout the year as well. Even the Pentagon announced in 2016 that it would provide twelve weeks of paid maternity leave for all uniformed service members.9

During the contentious 2016 presidential campaigns, both candidates notably supported paid family leave, albeit in different forms. Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announced a plan for six weeks of paid maternity leave, through unemployment insurance, for new mothers whose employers do not guarantee paid leave.10 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton proposed to ensure that employees taking up to twelve weeks of leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act would receive at least two-thirds of their wages, up to a ceiling.11

Earlier this year, federal lawmakers announced plans to reintroduce paid family leave legislation that would create a universal, gender-neutral, paid family and medical leave program.12 In particular, the new law would provide workers with at least two-thirds pay (up to a cap) for up to twelve weeks of time off for their own health conditions, including pregnancy and childbirth, or to care for others. It would do this by creating an independent trust fund within the Social Security Administration to collect fees and provide benefits. The trust would be funded by employee and employer contributions of two-tenths of a percent of wages each, creating a self-sufficient program that would not add to the federal budget. Lawmakers behind the bill assert leave would be made available to every individual regardless of the size of their current employer and regardless of whether such individual is currently employed by an employer, self-employed, or currently unemployed, as long as the person has sufficient earnings and work history. As such, the law would apply to young, part-time, and low-wage workers. Given that President Trump has expressed support for government-mandated paid leave, there is more than a glimmer of hope for such a bill, which has not made strides in the past.

California passed the nation’s first paid leave law in 2002.13 The wage replacement portion of the federal paid family leave bill is modeled after successful state programs in California and New Jersey. California’s paid family leave program is not really a leave program, but rather a partial wage replacement program administered through the state’s disability system and not by employers. It is fully funded by employees’ contributions. It applies to all parents who take off time from work to bond with a child within one year of birth, adoption, or placement as a foster child. It also provides payments to people who take time to care for seriously ill family members. Citing how globalization has put pressure on wages and benefits, Governor Brown signed legislation in April 2016 that will increase the wage replacement rate under California’s program from its current level of fifty-five percent to sixty or seventy percent (depending on the worker’s income).14 Notably, however, Governor Brown vetoed a bill which would have required small businesses not covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide six weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave.

Some cities and states have taken paid parental leave a step further. In April 2016, San Francisco passed an ordinance requiring employers with twenty or more employees (with at least one working in the city) to offer supplemental compensation to all employees, including part-time and temporary employees, who use California paid family leave benefits for new child bonding.15 The amount of supplemental compensation an employer would need to pay is the difference between the employee’s current normal gross weekly wage and state benefits received. Employers with fifty or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2017; employers with thirty-five or more employees are required to comply beginning on July 1, 2017; and employers with twenty or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2018.

Luckily for city employees, Seattle recently expanded paid leave for city employees who are new parents from four to twelve weeks and created a new four-week family leave policy for city employees who need to care for sick family members.16 Similarly, in Boston, city employees have been entitled to up to six weeks of paid parental leave since 2015.17 Boston’s ordinance applies to men and women, as well as same-sex couples. It also applies to each instance of eligible employees’ birth of newborns, adoption, surrogacy or other methods, and stillbirths.

In April 2016, New York state passed a paid family law that, when fully phased-in, will allow employees to be eligible for twelve weeks of paid leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition, or to relieve family pressures when a family member, including a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent, is called to active military service.18 Paid leave to care for a new child will be available to both men and women, and will include leave to care for an adoptive or foster child. Implementation of New York’s paid leave law will be gradual. Beginning January 1, 2018, employees will be eligible for eight weeks of paid leave, earning fifty percent of their weekly pay (up to a cap). The number of weeks of leave and amount of pay increases annually until, by 2021, employees will be eligible for the full twelve weeks of paid leave, earning sixty-seven percent of their weekly pay (up to a cap). New York’s paid family leave will be funded by a weekly payroll tax of about $1 per employee, deducted from employees’ paychecks. As a result, employers will not have to bear the financial burden of funding the paid leave benefits provided under the new state law.

In December 2016, Washington, D.C. passed a universal paid leave ordinance which gives full- and part-time workers in the city eight weeks of leave at up to ninety percent of their full weekly wages for birth, adoption or fostering.19 The bill also provides for six weeks of family leave to look after a sick relative and two weeks for a personal medical emergency. The paid leave program will be funded by a new business tax that would raise $250 million a year to cover costs. Washington, D.C.’s ordinance covers only private-sector workers, excluding those on city or federal payroll. To qualify, a worker need only be employed in D.C.; residents of other cities and states with jobs in the capital are eligible. Non-profit workers and the self-employed are also covered.

Amidst the flurry of recent paid family leave activity at federal, state, and local levels, as well as from the business sector, many companies hoping to stay competitive, boost morale, and gain positive media attention, may find themselves wondering how they can get in on the action before they miss the boat. Before announcing any future paid parental leave policy, however, employers should consider and prepare for the implementation process of such a policy, as well as possible ramifications. For instance, employers should set up appropriate forms and acknowledgments in advance, and devise a protocol for management to follow in distributing and using these documents. Management and human resources should be trained on how to roll out the new policy, and understand what not to say when employees request to use leave.

Employers will want to consider whether they want to provide paid leave on a gender-neutral basis, for how long, and for how much pay. Employers are each uniquely situated and can come up with paid family leave plans tailored to meet their needs. Employers should also consider what eligibility criteria they want their employees to meet before taking leave, and whether the leave should be job-protected. They may also want to consider whether the paid family leave should run concurrent with other available leaves, and whether a third-party vendor, human resources, or managers will have the discretion to grant or deny leaves.

Sticky situations should also be contemplated and addressed. For instance, should the paid family leave policy be retroactive and apply to an employee whose baby was born before the policy was implemented? Is an employee permitted to use the leave intermittently? If so, what level of incremental use would the employer deem to be appropriate? What if an employee gives birth to twins? What if two employees have a child together? Again, each business may have its own reasons for coming out one way versus the other on these issues. The point is, it is better to deal with the tough questions before they become employee relations problems.

Last but not least, it is always critical to review a company’s proposed paid family leave policy with an eye towards litigation—both single-plaintiff and class action cases. More often than not, classes get certified based on written policies alone. It is also possible that employees could make discrimination claims with respect to the implementation of the policy. In defense of those claims, the requisite forms and acknowledgments should be helpful to minimize risk in that area.

 

Endnotes

(1) Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 (2012).

(2) Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act of 2013, H.R. 3712, 113th Cong. (2013); Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, S. 786, 114th Cong. (2015).

(3) Kristy Woudstra, Facebook Parental Leave: the Company Expands Its Policy, Huffington Post (Nov. 30, 2015), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/11/30/facebook-parental-leave_n_8683198.html.

(4) Heather Kelly, Netflix Employees Can Now Take Unlimited Paid Parental Leave, the Company Announced Tuesday, CNN (Aug. 5, 2015), http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/04/technology/netflix-parental-leave.

(5) Julia Greenberg, Microsoft Offers Big Upgrade to Paid Leave for New Parents, Wired (Aug. 5, 2015), https://www.wired.com/2015/08/microsoft-offers-big-upgrade-paid-leave-new-parents.

(6) Martin Berman-Gorvine, Amazon Expands Parental Leave Offerings, Bloomberg (Nov. 16, 2015), https://www.bna.com/amazon-expands-parental-n57982063587.

(7) Emily Peck, Spotify’s New Parental Leave Policy is Pretty Amazing, Huffington Post (Nov. 19, 2015), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/spotify-parental-leave_us_564de6c7e4b08c74b73483fe.

(8) Shane Ferro, Netflix Just Made Another Huge Stride on Parental Leave, Huffington Post (Dec. 9, 2015), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/netflix-paid-parental-leave-hourly-workers_us_56685ae1e4b009377b233a79.

(9) The Editorial Board, The Pentagon’s New Parental Leave, N.Y. Times (Feb. 2, 2016), https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/opinion/the-pentagons-new-parental-leave.html.

(10) Heather Long, Many Women Voted for Trump. Will He Keep His Promises to Them?, CNN Money (Dec. 6, 2016), http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/06/news/economy/donald-trump-childcare-maternity-leave/.

(11) Megan A. Sholar, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton Both Support Paid Family Leave. That’s a Breakthrough, The Washington Post (Sept. 22, 2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/22/donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton-both-support-paid-family-leave-thats-a-breakthrough/?utm_term=.0c8de2f5ab23.

(12) Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, S. 337, 115th Cong. (2017); FAMILY Act, H.R. 947, 115th Cong. (2017).

(13) Cal. Unemp. Ins. Code §§ 2601, et. seq. (2004).

(14) Patrick McGreevy, Brown Signs California Law Boosting Paid Family-Leave Benefits, Los Angeles Times (Apr. 11, 2016), http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-paid-family-leave-california-20160411-story.html.

(15) San Francisco, Cal., Police Code §§ 330H.1, et. seq. (2016).

(16) Office of the Mayor, Mayor Murray, Council Enact Twelve-Week Paid Parental Leave, Increased Wage Transparency for City Employees, Office of the Mayor (Feb. 13, 2017), http://murray.seattle.gov/mayor-murray-council-enact-12-week-paid-parental-leave-increased-wage-transparency-city-employees/.

(17) Andrew Ryan, City Council Approves Paid Parental Leave Measure, The Boston Globe (Apr. 29, 2015), https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/29/city-council-approves-paid-parental-leave-for-municipal-employees/6JZ4eVovEtrX7CKDWgWKhP/story.html.

(18) Emily Peck, New York Just Passed America’s Best Paid Family Leave Law, The Huffington Post (Apr. 4, 2016), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-paid-family-leave_us_5702ae75e4b0daf53af042b7.

(19) Clare O’Connor, Washington, D.C. Passes Eight Week Paid Parental Leave Bill, Forbes (Dec. 20, 2016), https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2016/12/20/washington-d-c-passes-8-week-paid-parental-leave-bill/#6f5402bf6bfa.

 

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT SHIRIN FOROOTAN

CALL & JENSEN SECURES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AGAINST FORMER OFFICER

Call & Jensen secured a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in superior court against a former officer of Call & Jensen’s client, precluding the officer from unlawfully competing against the client by soliciting its customers and employees. The victory was obtained at the beginning stages of the litigation and protected Call & Jensen’s client from being raided by the former officer. The team consisted of attorneys Mark L. Eisenhut, Scott R. Hatch, and Joshua G. Simon.

Firm Dismisses Trademark Infringement Action

Call & Jensen successfully secured dismissal at the pleading stage of trademark infringement claims brought against a prominent national client.  In the order granting dismissal of the claims, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to support a plausible claim that the defendants’ use of a name for a new cosmetics line was likely to cause consumer confusion.  This victory follows on the heels of Call & Jensen’s defeat of the plaintiff’s surprise ex parte application for a temporary restraining order involving these claims.  The team consisted of attorneys Scott Shaw, Julie Trotter, and Lisa Wegner.

C&J EARNS “RISING STARS” AND “UP-AND-COMING” ATTORNEYS HONORS

Call & Jensen is proud to announce that ten of its attorneys were named as “Southern California Rising Stars” by Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine in 2017. These outstanding lawyers were honored in their respective areas of practice for attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement – designations awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of California attorneys. In additional to being named Rising Stars, two of the firm’s attorneys were ranked amongst the highest in the Southern California region: Jacqueline Beaumont was selected as one of the Up-And-Coming 50 Women in Southern California, and Kent R. Christensen was selected as one of the Up-And-Coming Southern California 100. Call & Jensen congratulates the following attorneys on their selections as Rising Stars. Jacqueline Beaumont, Samuel G. Brooks, Kent R. Christensen, Jeffrey M. David, Delavan Dickson, John T. Egley, Shirin Forootan, Scott R. Hatch, Aaron L. Renfro, and Joshua G. Simon.

Motion Victory: Call & Jensen Obtains Early Dismissal of Class Action Claims

Call & Jensen attorneys recently obtained a dismissal of class action allegations for their client in an employment wage-and-hour class action pending in Kern County Superior Court.  After the plaintiff former employee filed a class action lawsuit against several different entities involved in oil drilling sites in California, Call & Jensen’s attorneys developed a strategy for limiting the scope of the case to solely the individual plaintiff.  After a successful work-up of factual and legal issues, Call & Jensen filed a Motion to Strike Class Action Allegations. The Court granted the motion, effectively reducing the vast majority of potential liability against their client, and removing the “class” from this class action entirely.  The team consisted of John Egley, Josh Simon, Chris Dalton, Kevin Jackson, and paralegal Mariam Yusuf.

JACQUELINE BEAUMONT AND SHIRIN FOROOTAN NOMINATED TO OCBJ “WOMEN IN BUSINESS”

Call & Jensen is proud to announce that Jacqueline Beaumont and Shirin Forootan were recently selected by the Orange County Business Journal as a 2016 “Women in Business” nominee. Nominees are selected based on significant contributions to their profession and the community. Ms. Beaumont focuses her practice on the representation of clients in complex employment matters. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the OCBA Mommy Esquire Committee, is a member of Girls Inc.’s Women for Girls leadership group, and is a member of the Orange County Bar Association Labor & Employment Section and the Orange County Women Lawyers Association.  Ms. Forootan practices exclusively in labor and employment litigation defense and advising.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association and is a member of the Community Impact Cabinet for Orange County United Way.