On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council held its second emergency meeting to address issues arising in the California court system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Judicial Council, led by Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani Cantil-Sakauye, is the rulemaking body of the California court system. California’s Government Code section 68070 authorizes the Judicial Council to adopt rules “to provide for uniformity” including, but not limited to, “rules relating to law and motion.”
The Judicial Council passed 11 emergency rules, two of which pertain to statutes of limitations and may affect potential and pending employment litigation. Emergency rule 9 tolls the statute of limitations for all civil causes of action, beginning on April 6, 2020 and ending 90 days after the governor declares the statewide state of emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted. Emergency rule 10 extends the time in which a case must be brought to trial from five years to five years and six months. This extension applies to all civil cases filed before April 6, 2020.