California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Insurance

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$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 (Not Their Clients) Are Potentially Liable For Allegedly Overbilling Insurance Carrier

Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., 190 Cal. Rptr. 3d 599 (Cal. S. Ct. 2015) Hartford Casualty issued commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies to its insureds Noble Locks and J.R. Marketing. After the insureds were sued by a third party, Hartford issued reservation of rights letters based upon possible noncoverage under the policies … Continue Reading

Liability For Employer’s Harassment, False Imprisonment Of Employees Was Not Covered By Insurance

Jon Davler, Inc. v. Arch Ins. Co., 229 Cal. App. 4th 1025 (2014) After one of the owners of Jon Davler, Inc. (Christina Yang) found a used sanitary napkin in the women’s bathroom and blood around the toilet seat, she started yelling at the employees that they were “dirty” and demanded to know which of … Continue Reading

Employee Who Falsified Timesheets Was Ineligible For Unemployment Benefits

Irving v. CUIAB, 229 Cal. App. 4th 946 (2014) Jim L. Irving who worked as a probationary heavy truck driver for the Los Angeles Unified School District was terminated for, among other things, taking excessively long breaks and falsifying his time records. The Court of Appeal determined that Irving had committed misconduct and was thus ineligible … Continue Reading

Former CEO’s Qui Tam Action Was Improperly Dismissed Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

People ex rel. Strathmann v. Acacia Research Corp., 2012 WL 5233520 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Michael Strathmann filed a qui tam complaint against his former employer Acacia in which he alleged insurance fraud. In response, Acacia filed a special motion to strike the complaint pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16), … Continue Reading

State Farm Had No Duty To Defend Employer Against Employee’s Sexual Battery Claim

Shanahan v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 193 Cal. App. 4th 780 (2011) Cheryl Skigin (an attorney) sued her employer John M. Shanahan and various companies he owned for sexual battery, among other things. Shanahan settled the lawsuit for $700,000. Shanahan, who had a renter’s insurance policy with State Farm, sued State Farm for breach … Continue Reading

Claims Adjusters Were Properly Classified As Exempt Administrative Employees

Hodge v. Aon Ins. Servs., 192 Cal. App. 4th 1361 (2011) Plaintiffs in this case are claims adjusters employed by a third party administrator (Cambridge Integrated Services Group, Inc.). Depending on the entity with which it contracts and the terms of the contract, Cambridge adjusts general liability, vehicle-related and workers’ compensation claims. In their claim … Continue Reading

Swine Flu: Is Your Workplace Prepared?

As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 109 cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, in the United States. The World Health Organization has confirmed 331 cases of swine flu worldwide and has raised the pandemic threat level to Phase 5 on its six-step scale (Phase … Continue Reading

Employer Waived Insurance Coverage By Failing To Timely Notify Carrier Of Claim

Westrec Marina Mgmt., Inc. v. Arrowood Indemn. Co., 163 Cal. App. 4th 1387 (2008) Westrec sued its insurance carrier, Arrowood, after the carrier refused to provide a defense to an employment discrimination lawsuit on the ground that Westrec had failed to timely report the third-party claim as required under the terms of two successive directors … Continue Reading

Insurance Claims Adjusters Are Not Exempt From Overtime

Harris v. Superior Court, 154 Cal. App. 4th 164 (2007) Plaintiffs, members of four coordinated class actions filed against two insurance companies, alleged they were improperly classified as exempt employees in violation of the administrative exemption from the overtime requirements of California law. Applying the Administrative/Production Worker Dichotomy analysis, the Court of Appeal concluded that … Continue Reading

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

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

County Employee May Plead ERISA And, Alternatively, Breach Of Contract Claims In The Same Complaint

Coleman v. Standard Life Ins. Co., 288 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (E.D. Cal. 2003) Floyd Coleman, who was employed as a probation officer for the County of Sacramento, sued Standard Life Insurance Company after it denied him long-term disability benefits for his knee condition and chronic back pain. Coleman sued for a violation of ERISA … Continue Reading

Employee Who Sued Uninsured Employer Failed To Prove That Injury Occurred In The Course Of Employment

Huang v. L.A. Haute, 106 Cal. App. 4th 284 (2003) Ai Zhen Huang was employed as a housekeeper at the home of Brad Hunter, but was on the payroll of L.A. Haute, a furniture manufacturing business in which Hunter was a partner. Huang was employed for approximately two years before her employment was terminated on … Continue Reading
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