California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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Employee May Have Been On “Business Errand” At Time Of Traffic Collision

Sumrall v. Modern Alloys, Inc., 2017 WL 1365089 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Juan Campos was employed as a cement/mason finisher for Modern Alloys, Inc. when he was involved in a collision that injured Michael Sumrall, who was riding a motorcycle. Before his shift, Campos was required to drive from his home to Modern Alloys’ “yard” … Continue Reading

Former CEO’s Defamation Action Was Properly Dismissed With Anti-SLAPP Motion

Charney v. Standard General, LP, 10 Cal. App. 5th 149 (2017) Dov Charney, the former president and CEO of American Apparel, Inc., was terminated following an investigation into allegations that he had engaged in various types of misconduct. Following Charney’s departure, Standard General effectively took over American Apparel through its control of company stock and … Continue Reading

Employer Failed To Show That Former Employee Violated Nondisclosure Agreement

Glassdoor, Inc. v. Superior Court, 9 Cal. App. 5th 623 (2017) Machine Zone, Inc. (“MZ”), a software developer, brought suit against an anonymous former employee (“John Doe”) who allegedly violated a nondisclosure agreement (“NDA”) by posting a review on Glassdoor (a website where workers can post “reviews” of their employers) that allegedly disclosed confidential information … Continue Reading

Employer That Paid Females Less Than Males Based On Prior Salaries May Avoid Liability Under Equal Pay Act

Rizo v. Yovino, 2017 WL 1505068 (9th Cir. 2017) Aileen Rizo, who is an employee of the public schools in Fresno County, sued for violation of the federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) after she learned that her male counterparts were being paid more for performing the same work. In its summary judgment motion, the county … Continue Reading

Anti-Retaliation Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Apply Even If No Disclosure To SEC

Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., 850 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2017) Paul Somers, who was formerly employed as a vice president of Digital Realty, alleged that he was fired after he made several reports to senior management regarding possible securities law violations. Somers did not report his concerns to the SEC. Somers sued Digital … Continue Reading

Trial Court’s Decision Quashing EEOC Subpoena Should Not Be Reversed Absent Abuse Of Discretion

McLane Co. v. EEOC, 581 U.S. ___, 137 S. Ct. 1159 (2017) Damiana Ochoa filed a charge with the EEOC alleging sex discrimination (based on pregnancy) in violation of Title VII, when, after s­­he tried to return to her job following maternity leave, her employer (McLane Co.) informed her that she could not come back … Continue Reading

Garbage Truck Employee Who Failed To Provide Proof Of Right To Work Could Proceed With Age Discrimination Claim

Santillan v. USA Waste of Cal., 853 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 2017) Gilberto Santillan, a 53-year-old garbage truck driver in Manhattan Beach, was employed for 32 years before his employment was terminated by a new route manager (Steve Kobzoff) after Santillan had four accidents in a 12-month period. Santillan disputed that he had four accidents … Continue Reading

Employee Who Suffered From “Altered Mental State” Need Not Be Allowed To Rescind Her Resignation

Featherstone v. Southern Cal. Permanente Med. Grp., 2017 WL 1399709 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Ruth Featherstone alleged that her former employer (SCPMG) discriminated against her based on a “temporary disability” that was caused by an adverse drug reaction, which resulted in an “altered mental state.” During this alleged altered mental state, Featherstone resigned orally from … Continue Reading

“100% Healed From Injury” Policies May Violate the CA Fair Employment and Housing Act

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) recently obtained a settlement on behalf of a custodian for a school district who was fired after an on-the-job injury.  As part of the settlement, the employer agreed to pay $290,000 and offer reinstatement with reasonable accommodations. During an investigation by the DFEH, the district told … Continue Reading

March 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Routine Hugging Over 12-Year Period May Have Caused Hostile Work Environment; Racial Harassment Claim Based On Comments Made During “Creative Process” Was Properly Dismissed; Employer May Have … Continue Reading

Employer Not Vicariously Liable For Injuries Caused By Employee In Auto Accident

Lynn v. Tatitlek Support Servs., Inc., 2017 WL 696008 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) The Lynns sued TSSI in this wrongful death action arising from an automobile accident involving TSSI’s temporary employee, Abdul Formoli. The Lynns contend that the “going and coming” rule, precluding employer vicarious liability, does not apply based upon the nature of Formoli’s … Continue Reading

Employer Violated FCRA By Including Liability Waiver In Disclosure Statement

Syed v. M-I, LLC, 846 F.3d 1034 (9th Cir. 2017) When Sarmad Syed applied for a job with M-I, he was given a “Pre-employment Disclosure Release,” which informed him that his credit history and other information could be collected and used as a basis for the employment decision; the document also stated that by signing … Continue Reading

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

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
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