On September 9, 2020 Governor Newsom signed AB 1867 into law, giving California employers just 10 days to implement new COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave statewide. Below we highlight the major provisions of the new law (Labor Code 248.1, or “LC 248.1”) as well as nuances employers should keep in mind as they put their program into place. (For clarity, we refer to this new leave as “LC 248.1 leave” to avoid confusion between this new statewide mandate and other federal and local laws expanding available paid sick leave due to COVID-19.) READ MORE
Tierra D. Piens
Tierra D. Piens, a lawyer in Orrick’s San Francisco office, represents large corporations in high stakes and complex litigation.
Tierra has experience litigating a variety of employment law disputes, including class action and complex single-plaintiff cases involving alleged violations of wage-and-hours laws, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.
She also maintains a robust employment law counseling practice that includes helping her clients make meaningful and sustainable changes to their approach to diversity. She skillfully partners with clients to develop or improve their existing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and policies. A burgeoning thought leader in the space, Tierra has been invited to participate in a number of panels and high-level discussions about representation in the law and technology sectors.
Embodying her drive to find solutions to her clients' legal concerns, Tierra has quickly gained an expertise in advising employers of their rights, duties, and obligations as it pertains to conducting business during and after the global COVID-19 pandemic.
While her practice focuses primarily on the representation of large corporate clients and emerging companies, Tierra also devotes a portion of her practice to providing pro bono services to nonprofit organizations and low income individuals. She also serves in several leadership roles at Orrick, including as a leader of the Black Lawyers of Orrick affinity group and on Orrick's Associates' Committee for the San Francisco office.
Tierra received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she also earned a Law & Technology Certificate of Specialization as recognition for her extensive coursework in technology law.
A former judicial extern on the Northern District of California, Tierra has experience navigating both the federal and state court systems.
Posts by: Tierra Piens
On March 31, 2020, the six Bay Area counties that previously issued the nation’s first Covid-19 shelter-in-place orders, amended and extended their prior orders to include stricter controls aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new orders, which are now in effect in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties (as well as the City of Berkeley) have a new end date of May 3, 2020 – a change from the prior end date of April 7, 2020. They also revise and narrow the scope of businesses deemed essential, and expressly require any employer with employees who are working on-site to develop a “Social Distancing Protocol” that must be posted in the form required by the orders. The new orders also acknowledge Governor Newsom’s statewide March 19, 2020 Executive Order N-33-20, but explain they are, “in certain respects more stringent” than the statewide order in order to address “the particular facts and circumstances” in the county and in the Bay Area. Accordingly, they explicitly state, “Where a conflict exists between this Order and any state public health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most restrictive provision controls.” READ MORE
As early as November 30, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear three high profile employment cases that question whether Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination protects gay and transgender employees. These cases have significant implications on the proper scope of Title VII and the rights of the LGBT community in the workplace.
Under Title VII, an employer has engaged in “‘impermissible consideration of … sex … in employment practices’ when ‘sex … was a motivating factor for any employment practice,’ irrespective of whether the employer was also motivated by ‘other factors’.”
In October 2017, four franchisees filed a federal complaint against the global convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, seeking to represent a purported class of over 1,000 similarly situated 7-Eleven franchisees in California. The franchisees alleged 7-Eleven’s corporate entity violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, California Labor Code, California Code of Regulations, and California Business and Professions Code. The central issue in the case was whether 7-Eleven misclassified franchisees as independent contractors instead of employees. READ MORE
In the last several weeks, allegations of rampant sexual harassment have shocked the collective conscience. With the assistance of social media, what started as an allegation against a Hollywood mogul snowballed into a nation-wide conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. According to the Washington Post, hundreds of thousands of men and women took to Twitter and Facebook to express they had been victims of sexual harassment, many of them using the hashtag “MeToo” to show solidarity with other victims. READ MORE