California Non-Compete and Trade Secret Catch-Up

Non-Competes

California is notorious in the non-compete world for its prohibition and extreme scrutiny of individual non-compete and other types of restrictive covenant agreements. These types of agreements between two businesses, however, have received less attention.

In August, the Supreme Court of California in Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc., 470 P.3d 571, 573 (Cal. 2020), examined an agreement between two businesses and found “that a rule of reason applies to determine the validity” of business-to-business non-compete agreements. While some commentary on Ixchel has examined the validity of business-to-business non-compete agreements, the larger focus of the Ixchel case was “whether contractual restraints on business operations or commercial dealings are subject to a reasonableness standard under [California Business and Professions Code] section 16600.” Id. at 581 (emphasis added). It is important to note that the Ixchel court reiterated California’s strong position that agreements not to compete related to the termination of employment are invalid and not subject to a reasonableness test. Id. at 583-584. The Ixchel court adopted the reasonableness standard from the Cartwright Act (California’s antitrust law which generally assesses whether an agreement promotes or suppresses competition) for application to business-to business non-competes and further stated that its decision potentially affects all California contracts “that in some way restrain a contracting party from engaging in a profession, trade, or business.” Id. at 581, 588.

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New California Laws for 2021: What Employers Should Know

Several new laws in California impact employers in a multitude of operational areas. From leave regulations to workers’ compensation, safety enforcement, wages and more, business leaders have much to research when it comes to compliance. All employers with operations in California should be aware of these new laws, understand how these laws may affect their operations and consult with counsel to address any questions on these new obligations.

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Lynne Anderson Comments on California Law Requiring Employers to Report Pay Info by Gender and Race

In the article “California Steps Up to Collect Pay Data, With Feds at Square One,” Bloomberg Law reports on new California legislation that authorizes a collection of wage data, broken down by race, sex, ethnicity, and job category, on or before March 31, 2021.

The legal industry publication turned to labor and employment partner Lynne Anderson for insight on the law and whether other states may follow suit.

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Update: California Leads the Way for Pay Data Collection and Reporting

On September 30, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 973, which requires California private employers with 100 or more employees to submit an annual pay data report to the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing beginning on March 31, 2021. See our previous alert for additional details. We recommend that employers with 100 or more employees in California work with legal counsel as soon as possible to conduct privileged pay audits prior to collecting pay data and submitting the report to California.

California Leads the Way for Pay Data Collection and Reporting

With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) announcement that it would abandon current efforts to collect the controversial Component 2 pay data, California has taken the first step in filling the void left behind by seeking to enact a state law requirement to collect employee compensation.

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California Employers: Required Security Screening May Be Compensable Work Time

Employees must be paid for time spent waiting for, and undergoing, searches of their bags, packages and personal technology devices, the California Supreme Court ruled February 13, 2020, in Amanda Frlekin, et al. v Apple, Inc., Case No. S243805, answering a question posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving Apple. This decision marks a signature departure from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, under which time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings is not compensable, the U.S. Supreme Court previously held in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. 27 (2014). This is yet another example of the greater protection that California state laws typically offer employees.

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