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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Employees Paid On Commission Are Entitled To Separate Compensation For Rest Periods

Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, 2017 WL 776635 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Ricardo Bermudez Vaquero and Robert Schaefer, who were employed as sales associates for Stoneledge Furniture, filed a class action, alleging that Stoneledge’s commission pay plan violated California law because it did not provide separate compensation to employees for any non-selling time such as … Continue Reading

Auto Dealership Service Advisors Are Not Exempt From Federal Overtime Requirements

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, 845 F.3d 925 (9th Cir. 2017) An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exempts from its overtime requirements “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements.”  The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) subsequently issued an opinion letter and amended its … Continue Reading

Court Properly Dismissed PAGA And Class Action Claims

Silva v. See’s Candy Shops, Inc., 7 Cal. App. 5th 235 (2017) The Court of Appeal held that the trial court properly granted summary judgment to See’s Candy as to the class-certified claims for failure to properly pay wages as a result of the employer’s rounding and grace-period policies, based on expert testimony that employees … Continue Reading

Millwrights Could Proceed With Hostile Work Environment Claim

Reynaga v. Roseburg Forest Prods., 847 F.3d 678 (9th Cir. 2017) Efrain Reynaga and his son Richard Reynaga, who worked as millwrights for Roseburg Forest Products, were the only millwrights of Mexican descent at the company. Efrain alleged that during the course of his employment he was subjected to disparate treatment and a hostile work … Continue Reading

LAPD Failed To Reasonably Accommodate Recruits Who Were Injured While Training

Atkins v. City of Los Angeles, 2017 WL 588127 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) A jury found that the City of Los Angeles violated the rights of five recruit officers of the LAPD under the Fair Employment and Housing Act when the Department terminated or constructively discharged them after they sustained injuries during training at the … Continue Reading

Employee Who Took CFRA Leave May Proceed With Retaliation Lawsuit

Bareno v. San Diego Community College Dist., 7 Cal. App. 5th 546 (2017) Leticia Bareno, who worked as an assistant at San Diego Miramar College, was terminated after she failed to return from a medical leave of absence that she took pursuant to the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). During the course of Bareno’s employment, … Continue Reading

Employer May Have Discriminated Against Female Supervisor Based On Gender

Mayes v. WinCo Holdings, Inc., 846 F.3d 1274 (9th Cir. 2017) Katie Mayes worked at WinCo for 12 years in Idaho Falls, Idaho. During her last years at WinCo, she supervised employees on the night-shift freight crew. Mayes was fired for taking a stale cake from the store bakery to the break room to share … Continue Reading

Racial Harassment Claim Based On Comments Made During “Creative Process” Was Properly Dismissed

Daniel v. Wayans, 2017 WL 526494 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Pierre Daniel worked as an extra on a movie entitled “A Haunted House 2,” which Marlon Wayans wrote, produced and starred in. Daniel sued Wayans and others, alleging that during his one day of work on the movie he was compared to a “Black cartoon … Continue Reading

Routine Hugging Over 12-Year Period May Have Caused Hostile Work Environment

Zetwick v. County of Yolo, 2017 WL 710476 (9th Cir. 2017) Victoria Zetwick, a county correctional officer, alleged that the county sheriff created a sexually hostile environment in violation of Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act by, among other things, greeting her and other female employees with unwelcome hugs on more … Continue Reading

California Further Limits Use of Criminal Background Information

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) has finalized new regulations further limiting employers’ ability to consider criminal history when making employment decisions. The new FEHC regulations, which are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017, largely follow the EEOC’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance. In addition to the new FEHC regulations and existing California law, which … Continue Reading

San Jose Passes “Opportunity to Work” Ordinance

San Jose is the third northern California city to enact a scheduling ordinance that further regulates employers’ scheduling and hiring practices.  Following on San Francisco and Emeryville’s lead, San Jose recently passed “The Opportunity to Work Ordinance” (Ordinance No. 2016.1, codified at Chapter 4.101 of the San Jose Municipal Code), which went into effect on February 6, 2017. … Continue Reading

Actors’ Ages to Remain Available Online (At Least for Now)

A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same. The lawsuit, IMDb.com, Inc. v. Becerra (Case No. 16-cv-06535-VC) was filed in response to the passage of A.B. 1687, which required … Continue Reading

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
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