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California Employment Law Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2004

Church-Affiliated Employer Is Required To Provide Insurance Coverage For Contraceptives

Posted in Employment Law Notes, Insurance

Catholic Charities of Sacramento, Inc. v. Superior Court, 32 Cal. 4th 527 (2004) Catholic Charities challenged the Women’s Contraception Equity Act (WCEA) under the establishment and free exercise clauses of the United States and California Constitutions. Among other things, the WCEA requires that certain health and disability insurance contracts must cover prescription contraceptives. Although Catholic… Continue Reading

Off-Duty Employee Injured On Employer’s Water Slide Was Entitled To $4.4 Million Judgment

Posted in Employment Law Notes, Off-the-clock Issues, Workers Compensation, Workplace Safety

Mason v. Lake Dolores Group, LLC, 117 Cal. App. 4th 822 (2004) James Mason was rendered a paraplegic after he rode down the "Doo Wop Super Drop" water slide and crashed into a dam at the end of the slide that was owned and operated by his employer, Lake Dolores Group (LDG). Shortly before the… Continue Reading

Employer Could Not Inquire Into Plaintiffs’ Immigration Status In Title VII Lawsuit

Posted in Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Immigration, Wrongful Termination

Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2004) Twenty-three Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants had been employed at NIBCO’s factory in Fresno and were terminated following their poor performance on a basic job skills examination that was given in English. The employees alleged discrimination under Title VII and the California Fair Employment… Continue Reading

California Statute Barring Recipients Of State Funds From Pro Or Anti-Union Advocacy Is Unconstitutional

Posted in Employment Law Notes, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, NLRA, Union Issues

Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Lockyer, 364 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004) In 2000, California enacted Assembly Bill No. 1889 (Government Code §§ 16645-16649) which, among other things, prohibits private employers "receiving state funds in excess of $10,000 in any calendar year" from using such funds to "assist, promote, or deter union organizing."… Continue Reading

Temporary Insurance Adjusters Are Not Permitted To Proceed With FLSA Class Action

Posted in Class Actions, Employment Law Notes, FLSA, Independent Contractors, Overtime

Pfohl v. Farmers Ins. Group, 2004 WL 554834 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 1, 2004) Thomas Pfohl filed this putative class action for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated individuals who worked for Farmers as temporary full-time insurance adjusters. In this proceeding, the District Court… Continue Reading

Audio Recording Of Plan To Steal Competitor’s Employees And Trade Secrets Was Admissible

Posted in Employment Law Notes, Privacy, Trade Secrets

Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., 117 Cal. App. 4th 794 (2004) Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. and Jasmine Networks, Inc. are competitors in the business of designing and manufacturing telecommunications chips. Marvell offered to buy some of Jasmine’s technology, along with some of its engineers, and Jasmine accepted after negotiating a nondisclosure agreement preventing Marvell… Continue Reading

New Employer Was Not Liable For Interfering With Contract Between Employee And Her Former Employer

Posted in Employment Law Notes

Powers v. Rug Barn, 15 Cal. Rptr. 3d 292, 117 Cal. App. 4th 1011 (2004) Fred Powers and Suzanne DeVall were partners in a company called Earth Tapestries, which was engaged in providing consulting, design and sales related to textiles and home furnishings and products. Another company, Rug Barn, expressed an interest in entering into… Continue Reading

“Friends” Producers Could Not Use “Creative Necessity” As Absolute Defense To Sexual Harassment Complaint

Posted in Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination

Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Prods., 38 Cal. App. 4th 264 (2004) The producers of the television show "Friends" hired Amaani Lyle as a writers’ assistant in June of 1999 and terminated her employment four months later based, they said, on her poor job performance and deficient typing skills. Among other things, Lyle alleged that… Continue Reading

Employer Was Entitled To Terminating Sanctions Against Former Employee

Posted in Employment Law Notes, Non-Competition Covenants, Trade Secrets

Computer Task Group, Inc. v. Brotby, 364 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2004) Computer Task Group (CTG) sued William Brotby for breach of a non-solicitation/non-disclosure agreement that he signed while he was working as an information technologies consultant. CTG succeeded in obtaining an injunction prohibiting Brotby from working for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, one of CTG’s… Continue Reading

Non-Profit Organization’s Motion To Strike Company’s Defamation Action Should Have Been Granted

Posted in Defamation, Employment Law Notes, Retaliation

Fashion 21 v. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, 117 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2004) Fashion 21, a nationwide retailer of women’s clothing, purchased garments from manufacturers and sewing contractors that allegedly exploited their employees by refusing to properly pay them or provide them with clean and safe facilities in which to work. The… Continue Reading

Employee Could Not Recover Attorney’s Fees Incurred In Labor Commissioner Proceeding

Posted in Employment Law Notes, Overtime, Wage and Hour

Sampson v. Parking Service 2000.Com, Inc., 117 Cal. App. 4th 212 (2004) George Sampson filed a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner) in which he sought unpaid overtime, vacation pay, tips and penalties. After a two-day administrative hearing (at which Sampson was represented by an attorney), the hearing… Continue Reading

E-Mail Messages Accusing Individual Of Stealing Copyrighted Material And Plagiarism Were Only “Opinion”

Posted in Defamation, Employment Law Notes

Franklin v. Dynamic Details, Inc., 116 Cal. App. 4th 375 (2004) Bryan Franklin and Franklin-Choi Corporation (FCC) sued Dynamic Details, Inc. (DDi) and Jim Axton for defamation and tortious interference after Axton sent three e-mail messages to companies with which Franklin and FCC did business; the e-mail messages accused Franklin and FCC of plagiarism and… Continue Reading