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On March 31, 2021, Peter Sung Ohr, Acting General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) issued a Memorandum (GC 21-03) to all NLRB Regional Offices outlining his perspective regarding the prosecution of charges involving whether certain employee conduct constitutes protected, concerted activities.  The GC Memorandum is of significance to all employers because of the breadth of the concept of what constitutes protected, concerted activity expressed by the GC, as the…
by Michael W. Patten The local economies of many communities in the southwest are tied to the operations of large coal-fired power plants.  As those plants start closing, the communities can face significant disruption in their local economies through loss of jobs, tax revenues and other impacts.  How to address those impacts involves both federal and states issues, multiple states, many different governmental entities and a variety of non-governmental stakeholders. Some activity to address the…
by Michael C. Ford Changes are on the way for ASTM’s Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“Phase I”) standard, the almost 30-year-old lynchpin of the transactional due diligence process.  The American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) – the group that publishes the Phase I standards under the designation “ASTM E 1527” – regularly reviews and updates its standards.  The current iteration – ASTM E1527-2013 – was first published in 1993, and was amended in…
By: Tony Carucci California Civil Code section 1717 entitles the prevailing party to attorneys’ fees “[i]n any action on a contract,” where the contract provides for an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party, regardless of whether the prevailing party is the party specified in the contract or not. But what about an action that alleges tort causes of action against an alter ego of a contracting party but that does not include a…
On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 95 which requires covered employers to provide a new bank of supplemental paid sick leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons. This bill goes into effect 10 days from enactment, on March 29, 2021, and will expire September 30, 2021. This bill is broader in many respects than Assembly Bill No. 1867 which was California’s version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and which expired December 31,…
by Sean M. Sherlock Environmental justice is a principle that has been around since at least the 1990s, with roots back to the 1960s. The US EPA describes environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” While environmental justice has been a concern for many decades, few laws have…
by Mitchell J. Klein As most people are aware, various public and private entities have filed lawsuits against fossil fuel producers alleging a variety of claims that seek to enjoin behavior and obtain damages as a result of the defendants’ contributions toward climate change. But the question arises as to whether the plaintiffs will be satisfied in suing only the producers of the fossil fuels. Anyone involved in the entire supply chain is a potential…
By: David Rao Although it’s been a tough twelve months for many live music venues, movie theaters, and performing arts organizations, help may finally be around the corner. On December 27, 2020, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act was signed into law, creating a $15 billion fund for grants to shuttered venues to be administered by the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Office of Disaster Assistance. The law states that Shuttered