Appeals Court: Yelp’s Ad Team Isn’t Extorting Small Businesses

(Rich Rogala)

For several years, some have accused online review site Yelp of strong-arming small businesses into paying for ads on the site, and a handful of these companies have even sued Yelp, hoping to prove their allegations. But this week a federal appeals court shot down extortion claims made against Yelp by California business owners, saying the site’s ad sales methods are just “hard bargaining.” [More]

(Brandy Lee)

Court: Domino’s Not Responsible For Sexual Harassment Of 16-Year-Old Employee

When a worker at a fast food franchise acts like an a-hole, it’s obviously his boss’s immediate responsibility to investigate and discipline that employee if necessary. But does the corporate office share any liability when things go wrong at the franchisee level? What about when people from company HQ are involved in the decision of whether or not to dismiss an employee? According to California’s highest court, the buck stops at the franchisee’s door. [More]

(Kat N.L.M.)

What Happens When One Mall Has Two Different Minimum Wages?

Normally, it wouldn’t be a huge deal to have one mall that sits on the border between two cities. There might be some small differences in laws or sales tax, but at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall in California, there’s a huge difference. It sits on the border between the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, and San Jose recently raised the citywide minimum wage by $2. [More]

Possible Mini-Security Breach At California Target Store

Possible Mini-Security Breach At California Target Store

Back in January, postal inspectors discovered a scheme to duplicate the credit cards of Target customers and rack up purchases on counterfeit cards. No… we don’t mean that Target credit card breach. So far, this appears to be a much smaller breach, though authorities can’t say for sure yet that it’s not at all related to the breach that shook up the retail business and all of our wallets earlier this year. [More]

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California officially became the second state in the U.S. to require smartphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” function on all devices. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, just two weeks after the measure passed the state senate. [More]

Macy’s Fined Nearly $1M, Will Undergo Safety Audit For 2009 Death Of Distribution Center Employee

Macy’s Fined Nearly $1M, Will Undergo Safety Audit For 2009 Death Of Distribution Center Employee

Distribution centers and warehouses have been the scene of many employee deaths. While those cases remain tragic, they have also set the stage to ensure that working conditions are less dangerous in the future. Such is the case for Macy’s, as the company agreed this week to pay a hefty fine and undergo a safety audit as part of a settlement for a 2009 employee death. [More]

California Passes Law Requiring All Phones Come Equipped With “Kill Switch” By 2015

California Passes Law Requiring All Phones Come Equipped With “Kill Switch” By 2015

Nearly four months after California lawmakers shot down a bill that would require smartphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” function on all devices, a similar version of the law is headed to the governor’s desk for signing. [More]

(catastrophegirl)

Scam Artist Tries To Play Landlord, Collect Rent For House He Doesn’t Own

A woman in California was about to put down a $1,500 deposit on the house she’d just been shown by a nice young man who was managing the rental property for his dad. Luckily, she told her real estate agent pal about her new digs before she was scammed out of her hard-earned cash. [More]

Topless Macy’s Shoplifter Puts On A Shirt, Turns Herself In

Topless Macy’s Shoplifter Puts On A Shirt, Turns Herself In

The department stores of California can rest easy: the woman who lost half of her clothing and her purse in a scuffle with Macy’s store security last week before fleeing the store and driving off has turned herself in. Police had her purse and identification, and an onlooker also wrote down her license plate number, so her identity and whereabouts were not exactly a mystery. She has been released on $20,000 bail. [San Marino Tribune] [More]

Spray-Painting Your Grass Green Is One Way To Avoid “Brown Lawn” Fees

(afagen)

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and things are desperately dry right about now in California. But what’s a homeowner to do, when the state is telling you not to water your lawn too often or get fined $500, and the city is demanding you not have a brown lawn or face the same fee fate? Grab a can of paint. [More]

California City Will Fine Couple $500 For Not Watering Brown Lawn, State Will Fine’em $500 If They Do

(Shaylor)

When you’re in a steady relationship, communication is clear. Because when mom says to do one thing, and dad says another, the kids get really confused. Such is the case in California, where the state has issued rules for homeowners to conserve water in the midst of extreme drought, with fines of $500 per day or violating those guidelines, but one city is threatening to fine a couple $500 — unless they water their lawn. [More]

(Mike Matney Photography)

Californians Facing $500 Fines For Violating Water Restrictions In Drought-Stricken State

When you turn on the hose outside to wash your car or set up the sprinkler so the kids can run through it on a hot day, what kind of price tag would you put on that water use? If you’re living in some parts of California, there might be a price tag of $500 floating in front of your eyes as residents face hefty potential fines for violating new water restrictions in the drought-stricken state. [More]

California Repeals Rubber Glove Law For Restaurant, Bar Workers

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

Earlier this year, a new California state law banned restaurant workers from touching food with their bare hands and required that bartenders and cooks wear rubber gloves. But following a backlash from the public and the foodservice industry, the state legislature has voted to repeal the ban, going back to rules that simply ask workers to minimize the touching of customers’ food. [More]

‘Employee Of The Year’ Postal Inspector Charged With Stealing Passports, Pills, Playboys From Packages

(Adam)

A U.S. postal inspector and 2012 Federal Employee of the Year award recipient probably won’t be getting a trophy for his latest noteworthy achievement, as he stands accused of stealing pills, jewelry, passports, Playboy magazines, knives, marijuana, and an autographed Joan Rivers collectible from the mail he was entrusted to protect. [More]

(Frankieleon)

Whole Foods Busted For Overcharging Customers In California

Shopping at Whole Foods can be enough of a drain on your bank account (that’s why they call it Whole Paycheck, right? Right?), so it doesn’t help if the upscale supermarket chain is also involved in some questionable practices that had customers in California paying more than they should have. Today, the company agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a statewide investigation into allegations of overcharging. [More]

(funky_abstract)

California Court Rules That Large Retailers Don’t Have To Provide In-Store Defibrillators

Sometimes having an automated external defibrillator (AED) on hand can make the difference between life and death, in the case of a cardiac emergency. But while one family sued Target for not having such a device around when a woman suffered a heart attack and died in a California store, the state’s highest court says large retailers are not required to carry defibrillators in case of a medical emergency. [More]

(stevendepolo)

California Lawmakers Kill Bill That Would’ve Been First To Require Warnings On Sugary Drinks

While health advocates and other opponents of sugary drinks like soda had high hopes for a California bill that would’ve become the first law requiring warning labels on such beverages, lawmakers in the State Assembly effectively killed that measure yesterday. [More]

Mayor Resigns Under Cloud Of Poop-Throwing Scandal

Mayor Resigns Under Cloud Of Poop-Throwing Scandal

Tens days after being caught on camera tossing a bag of dog poop onto the lawn of a man in his neighborhood, the mayor of an upscale Southern California town has tendered his resignation. [More]