California Employment Law Update
Tony Oncidi

Tony Oncidi

Partner

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

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LA’s Ban the Box Ordinance: New Rules and Regulations

As we reported here in December, the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance is now effective. The new law, also referred to as the “Ban the Box “ ordinance, restricts employers in the City of Los Angeles from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment … Continue Reading

January 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: $90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods; Security Guard Class Action Should Not Have Been Decertified; Discrimination Claims … Continue Reading

Union Member’s Hostile Work Environment Claim Was Not Preempted By Federal Law

Matson v. UPS, 840 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2016) Mary Matson, a member of the Teamsters Union, worked as a “combination worker” unloading and sorting packages at UPS’s Boeing Field International hub in Seattle. During her employment, Matson allegedly complained that because of her gender she was subject to unfair and demeaning treatment in the workplace.  … Continue Reading

$179,000 Penalty Upheld For Employer’s Failure To Maintain Workers’ Compensation

Taylor v. Dep’t of Industrial Relations, 4 Cal. App. 5th 801 (2016) Following an inspection, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) discovered that Aaron’s Automotive (“Taylor”) had been in operation since 2007 but had never acquired workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by Labor Code § 3700. The DLSE issued a Penalty Assessment Order, … Continue Reading

Lawyers In Putative Class Action Were Properly Disqualified Based Upon Representation Of Another Class

Walker v. Apple, Inc., 4 Cal. App. 5th 1098 (2016) The trial court disqualified the attorneys for a putative class led by Stacey and Tyler Walker based upon the lawyers’ concurrent representation of a certified class in another wage and hour class action (the Felczer class) pending against the same employer (Apple). In its disqualification … Continue Reading

The Monetary Value Of Vacation Accrual Need Not Be Included In Wage Statement

Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P., 4 Cal. App. 5th 385 (2016) Lidia Soto sued her former employer, Motel 6 Operating, L.P., for violation of Labor Code § 226(a) for failing to include the monetary value of accrued vacation pay in its employees’ wage statements. Soto sued in her individual capacity and also on behalf … Continue Reading

“Going and Coming” Rule Barred Employer Liability For Accident

Pierson v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co., 4 Cal. App. 5th 608 (2016) Luis Mooney (an employee of Helmerich & Payne International Drilling (“H&P”)) was involved in a traffic accident while returning home from work; Mooney was driving two other employees to a hotel where they were staying during the job. Brent Dale Pierson … Continue Reading

Employee’s Breach Of Contract Claim For Unpaid Stock Options Must Be Retried

Ryan v. Crown Castle NG Networks, Inc., 2016 WL 7217274 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Patrick Ryan sued his former employer for breach of its alleged promise to grant him lucrative stock options as a condition of his employment. When Ryan tried to exercise the option to purchase 25,000 shares 11 months after his resignation, the … Continue Reading

Employee’s Wrongful Termination Claim Was Properly Dismissed, But Other Claims Survive

Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC, 5 Cal. App. 5th 154 (2016) In her fifth amended complaint, Sharmalene Goonewardene alleged claims against her former employer (ADP) for wrongful termination, violation of the Labor Code, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and negligence. The trial court sustained ADP’s demurrer to the complaint without further leave to amend, and the … Continue Reading

Employee’s FEHA Retaliation Claim Was Properly Dismissed

Dinslage v. City & County of San Francisco, 5 Cal. App. 5th 368 (2016) David P. Dinslage is a former employee of the Recreation and Parks Department of the City and County of San Francisco. As a result of a large-scale restructuring of the Department, Dinslage’s employment classification was eliminated and he was laid off.  … Continue Reading

California Statute Targeting Three Specific Employers Opposed By A Union May Violate Equal Protection

Fowler Packing Co. v. Lanier, 2016 WL 7321371 (9th Cir. 2016) In 2015, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1513 in response to two state appellate court decisions that exposed employers to significant and unexpected minimum wage liability for piece-rate workers. The statute created a “safe harbor” that gave employers an affirmative defense against the … Continue Reading

On-Duty Meal Periods Were Permissible For Concrete Mixer Drivers

Driscoll v. Graniterock Co., 2016 WL 6994923 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Brian Driscoll, et al., filed a putative class action against their employer, Graniterock, on behalf of 200 current and former concrete mixer drivers for its alleged failure to provide employees with off-duty meal periods and an additional hour of pay for meal periods during … Continue Reading

Employee Injured During “Mock Robbery” Was Not Limited To Workers’ Compensation Remedy

Lee v. West Kern Water Dist., 5 Cal. App. 5th 606 (2016) Kathy Lee, an employee of the water district, sued the district and four co-employees for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the co-employees staged a “mock robbery” without Lee’s knowledge and one of them (while wearing a mask) confronted her at … Continue Reading

Employee Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Wrongful Termination Claims

Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles, Inc., 5 Cal. App. 5th 570 (2016) Sofia Soria worked as an on-air radio personality for Univision for approximately 14 years before her employment was terminated for alleged tardiness and lack of preparation for her show. In response to Soria’s lawsuit for alleged disability discrimination, Univision argued it had … Continue Reading

Discrimination Claims Against Media Company Are Not Barred By Anti-SLAPP Statute

Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc., 2016 WL 7217201 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Stanley Wilson alleged discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and defamation against CNN, et al., where he worked as a television producer before his employment was terminated following an audit of his work involving suspected plagiarism.  Defendants answered the complaint and then filed a … Continue Reading

Security Guard Class Action Should Not Have Been Decertified

Lubin v. The Wackenhut Corp., 5 Cal. App. 5th 926 (2016) Nivida Lubin, et al., filed this class action lawsuit against their employer for its alleged failure to provide Lubin and similarly situated employees (private security guards) with off-duty meal and rest breaks and for providing inadequate wage statements. The trial court initially certified a … Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 7407328 (Cal. S. Ct. 2016) Jennifer Augustus filed this putative class action on behalf of all ABM security guards, alleging that ABM consistently failed to provide uninterrupted rest periods as required by state law. During discovery, ABM acknowledged that it required guards to keep their radios and … Continue Reading

California employers must relieve their employees of all duties during breaks

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated:  Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Break Time Today, the California Supreme Court ruled that California law strictly prohibits on-duty rest periods.  “What [the law] require[s] instead is that employers relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time, and relieve their employees of all duties – … Continue Reading

Los Angeles’ New “Ban the Box” Ordinance Prohibits Employers From Asking Job Applicants About Their Criminal History

On December 9, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the “Fair Chance Initiative” into law. The new law, also referred to as the “Ban the Box” ordinance, restricts employers in the City of Los Angeles from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Although some exceptions … Continue Reading

FAQ About California’s New Law on Venue and Choice of Law in Employment Agreements

We recently blogged about Governor Brown signing S.B. 1241, which is now codified as Section 925 of the California Labor Code. The law, which affects venue and choice of law provisions in agreements entered into as a condition of employment, will begin applying to agreements entered into, modified, or extended beginning on January 1, 2017. … Continue Reading

October 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted October 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Newly Enacted California Statutes Minimum Wage Increases; Equal Pay Act Expanded; No Disclosure Of Juvenile Criminal History Required (Including Rape And Murder); California Employees Guaranteed Access … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Act Expanded

In 2015, the Legislature enacted significant amendments to California’s Equal Pay Act (Labor Code § 1197.5) to address gender wage inequality. This year, the Legislature enacted additional amendments to the statute prohibiting wage inequality based upon race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. (SB 1063.) Additionally, the Legislature enacted a further amendment specifying that an … Continue Reading

No Disclosure Of Juvenile Criminal History Required(Including Rape And Murder)

This bill prohibits an employer from asking an applicant for employment to disclose, or from utilizing as a factor in determining any condition of employment, information concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court … Continue Reading
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