• California Pay Transparency Is Here January 1, 2023: 7 Questions to Help Determine If Your Organization Is Ready

    By Hannah Jones, Anthony Risucci, Fred Alvarez

    Beginning January 1, 2023, California will join a minority of jurisdictions that impose significant pay transparency requirements on employers. California’s law, however, goes further than existing mandates in Colorado, New York City, and other states and municipalities. In case you missed it, California’s new law was covered extensively in our previous alert.

    To recap, SB1162 imposes four main obligations of California employers. First, employers with 15 or more employees must post pay scales on all job postings. Second, the new law will require all employers—regardless of size—to provide pay scale information to employees upon request. Third, employers must maintain pay history information for every employee for three years after termination. Finally, employers with more than 100 employees must submit annual “pay data reports” to the California Civil Rights Division by the second Wednesday of every May starting May 2023.

    Failure to comply with SB1162’s pay scale mandates can result in civil penalties ranging from $100 to $10,000 per violation, depending on the circumstances. While the Labor Commissioner is authorized to assess and levy penalties, the new law also provides a private right of action for individuals to seek injunctive and “any other relief that the court deems appropriate” for violations. While the law has yet to be tested in court, and despite there being a private right of action, aggrieved employees may also attempt to claim the right to sue collectively under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)—a law that allows employees to pursue civil penalties on behalf of the state on a representative basis without meeting the rigorous requirements of class certification. Thus, non-compliance can lead to significant litigation exposure beyond just the penalty for one violation.

    To assess whether your organization is ready for California’s pay transparency obligations and to protect against the litigation risks of non-compliance, consider the following:

    1. Have you established the “pay scale” for all positions within your organization?
    2. How will you set the “pay scale” range given factors like geography, experience and education, and will you follow the same formula for each role?
    3. Do you have a process for responding to employee requests for pay scale information?
    4. How will you draft job postings for remote positions that can be performed anywhere, including California?
    5. Are you compliant with existing pay transparency laws (e.g., Colorado and New York City), and will you provide pay transparency information to applicants and employees outside of states that require it?
    6. What additional pay records will you need to maintain beyond your current practice?
    7. How will you respond to questions from existing employees that request pay information regarding where they sit in the pay scale?

    While this is not an exhaustive list to help prepare for pay transparency in 2023, these are some of the key questions that each organization should consider and answer before the new year. Contact Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP’s Labor and Employment practice group for more information about pay transparency compliance.

    Categories: Publications
  • Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP Names Six Attorneys to Partnership

    San Francisco, CA  December 5, 2022 – Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is pleased to announce the election of Dan Bruggebrew, Caitlin Connell, Eric Hieber, Sarah Peterson, Laura Seegal, and Christopher Westman to the firm’s partnership. These promotions are effective January 1, 2023.

    “We are delighted to welcome these six exceptionally talented lawyers to the Coblentz partnership,” said Sara Finigan, managing partner. “Dan, Caitlin, Eric, Sarah, Laura, and Chris have each shown a deep commitment to our clients, community, and firm. We look forward to their future contributions as our partners.”

    The 2023 new partners are:

    Dan Bruggebrew, Litigation.
    Dan Bruggebrew has experience with all aspects of white collar defense, from conducting internal investigations and managing responses to government investigations, to preparing clients and experts for deposition and testimony, to coordinating large individual- and multi-defendant litigation teams in discovery, motion practice, and trial. Dan’s white-collar clients include audit and finance professionals, Boards of Directors, and Special Litigation Committees. He also represents firms in the legal, healthcare, insurance, technology, hospitality, and energy sectors in civil disputes in federal and state courts. Dan earned his J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2015, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, served as judicial extern to California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu, and received the Jurisprudence Award in Written & Oral Advocacy and the Prosser Prize in Professional Legal Ethics. Dan earned his M.S. from the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, with an independent concentration in bio-organic chemistry, from the University Professors Program at Boston University in 2007, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was a Goldwater Scholar and a Beckman Scholar.

    Caitlin Connell, Real Estate.
    Caitlin Connell advises clients on real estate transactions, with a focus on commercial leasing, purchase and sale agreements, and wine industry acquisitions and contracts. She negotiates and drafts purchase and sale agreements, leases, licenses, easements, property management agreements, and service contracts for clients in the tech, bioscience, retail, hospitality, and wine industries, as well as cultural and educational campuses. Caitlin administers the due diligence and closing of real estate acquisitions and dispositions, including multi-family and mixed-used projects, wineries, agricultural land, and undeveloped land. She represents and advises landlords and tenants regarding leasing, assignment, subleasing, property management, relations, defaults, disputes, and early termination. She also has significant experience facilitating real estate backed financing transactions. Caitlin earned her J.D. from the University of California College of Law, San Francisco, where she contributed to the UC Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and was President of the UC Hastings Association of Students for Kids. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Eric HieberEric Hieber, Real Estate.
    Eric Hieber represents real estate developers, owners, and investors at all stages of the development life cycle, with an emphasis on representing clients in the drafting and negotiation of design and construction contracts. He has extensive experience counseling clients during construction of medium to large-scale projects, including project administration, contract interpretation, risk assessments, and dispute resolution. Eric’s representations include a diverse range of property types, including office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, sports venues, and cultural institutions across the United States. He also has substantial experience representing developers in high stakes litigation involving construction and real estate. Eric is a civil engineer and brings real-world experience to his practice from his time at one of California’s largest general contractors, where he managed project design development, estimating, procurement, contracting, and construction administration. Eric earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law in 2012. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering, with distinction, from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2009.

    Sarah Peterson, Litigation.
    Sarah Peterson handles complex civil litigation with a focus on appellate litigation. She has represented clients in the federal and California appellate courts, as well as in the United States Supreme Court. Sarah has broad subject-matter expertise, having represented corporate clients in all types of breach-of-contract and commercial disputes. She has deep experience litigating land-use cases, including cases brought under the California Environmental Quality Act. She also has extensive experience with white-collar criminal and related matters in federal court, where she has represented individuals charged with federal crimes and litigated securities-fraud and civil-forfeiture actions. Sarah clerked for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Honorable Maxine M. Chesney on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Sarah graduated magna cum laude, in the top ten percent of her class, from Harvard Law School. She earned her B.A. with high honors in Politics and Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and an Echols Scholar.

    Laura Seegal, Employment and Litigation.
    Laura Seegal’s practice encompasses a range of regulatory, white collar, and high-stakes litigation matters. She represents individuals, public entities, and companies of all sizes in state, federal, and administrative court, with a focus on clients in the government, communications, and energy sectors. Laura earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of California College of Law, San Francisco in 2015, where she was a member of the Thurston Honors Society and an editor of the constitutional law journal. While in law school, Laura externed for the Honorable Maria-Elena James and the Honorable Edward M. Chen of the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Laura earned her B.A. in English at Reed College in 2011.

    Christopher Westman, Corporate.
    Christopher Westman advises public and private companies on a wide range of corporate and securities matters, including corporate governance, venture capital financing, and domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Chris’s clients operate in the advertising, consulting, marketing and design industries, giving him unique insight into market trends and practices. He advises on buy-side and sell-side M&A and corporate and partnership restructuring matters, guiding clients through every phase of their business, from formation and financings to sale or other exit events. Chris also provides guidance on an extensive range of commercial transactions, including service, supply, software, intellectual property, and non-disclosure agreements. Chris was a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins of the United States District Court, Northern District of California. He earned his J.D. from the University of California College of Law, San Francisco in 2013, where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Occidental College in 2008.


    Categories: News