California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Leaves of Absence

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Trial Court Abused Its Discretion In Refusing To Compel Employer To Produce Data Sought By EEOC

EEOC v. McLane Co., 857 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 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 to the … Continue Reading

In-Home Supportive Services Workers Entitled To Paid Sick Leave

This bill, on and after July 1, 2018, entitles a provider of in-home supportive services who works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment to paid sick days. The bill requires the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with stakeholders, to convene a workgroup to implement … Continue Reading

Paid Family Leave Benefits Increased

Beginning January 1, 2018, the amount of paid family leave benefits increases from 55 percent of earnings to 60 or 70 percent of earnings, depending on the employee’s income (subject to a maximum weekly benefit limit). In addition, the current seven-day waiting period to receive benefits is eliminated. (AB 908.)… Continue Reading

New Notice Regarding Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault And Stalking Protections

Existing law prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for specified purposes related to addressing the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This bill requires employers to inform each employee … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate ADA When It Failed To Return Employee To Full-Time Position Following Medical Leave

Mendoza v. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, 2016 WL 1459214 (9th Cir. 2016) Alice Mendoza worked as a full-time bookkeeper for a small parish church. She took sick leave for 10 months, during which time the pastor of the church took over the bookkeeping duties himself and determined that Mendoza’s job could be … Continue Reading

San Francisco Approves City Ordinance Providing For Fully Paid Parental Leave

In yet another recent development on the hot topic of paid family leave, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved local legislation requiring businesses to provide employees with up to 6 weeks of fully paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child.  With this ordinance, San Francisco becomes the first … Continue Reading

School Activity And Sick Leave Protections Expanded

This law provides additional circumstances under which employees may take school activities leave. California school activities leave now includes the addressing of a child care provider emergency, a school emergency, finding, enrolling, and reenrolling a child in a school or with a child care provider. The pool of eligible employees is expanded to include employees … Continue Reading

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644 (Cal. S. Ct. 2015) Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the injury, Richey applied for and was granted a medical leave … Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 WL 632228 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Tony Nealy worked as a solid waste equipment operator for the City of Santa Monica before injuring his knee in July 2003 while moving a large bin full of food waste. Nealy was temporarily totally disabled due to the injury until 2005 … Continue Reading

California Employees May Soon Be Entitled to Paid Sick Leave

California Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto A.B. 1522, a recently passed bill that would require businesses employing at least one person in California to provide employees with paid sick leave and to comply with new recordkeeping and informational requirements. If signed by the governor, the bill will become effective … Continue Reading

Employer May Seek Its Own Evaluation Of Employee’s Fitness For Duty Following FMLA Leave

White v. County of Los Angeles, 2014 WL 1478701 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Susan White worked as a Senior District Attorney Investigator with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Following the death of her brother-in-law, White began experiencing emotional difficulties on the job and was observed acting erratically in the workplace with “very high … Continue Reading

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs New Laws Affecting California Employers

Minimum Wage Increase Gov. Brown has signed into law a measure that will increase California’s minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. So, California employers must prepare for a 25% increase in the minimum wage over the next two … Continue Reading

State Assembly Committee Considers Expanding CFRA Leave Mandate

On March 28, 2012, a California Assembly committee considered a bill that would expand the scope of California’s Family Rights Act (CFRA). These proposed expansions to CFRA could potentially increase the amount of unpaid leave time taken by employees in California and would almost certainly add to the challenges already faced by California employers seeking … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate CFRA by Transferring Employee upon Her Return from 19-Week Stress Leave

Rogers v. County of Los Angeles, 198 Cal. App. 4th 480 (2011) After 19 weeks of medical leave, Katrina L. Rogers returned to her job as the personnel officer in the executive office responsible for rendering administrative and other support services to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. During her LOA, Rogers’ doctor told … Continue Reading

Termination Of Employee On FMLA Leave Who Submitted Inadequate Medical Information Did Not Violate Federal Law

Lewis v. United States, 641 F.3d 1174 (9th Cir. 2011) Janet Lewis worked for the United States Air Force as the director of a child development center on the Elmendorf Air Force Base. In 2006, Lewis requested 120 days of leave without pay pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The employer requested a … Continue Reading

Employee With Bipolar Disorder Who Threatened Co-Workers Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Her Disability

Wills v. Superior Court, 194 Cal. App. 4th 312 (2011) Linda Wills, who worked as a clerk for the Orange County Superior Court, was terminated from her employment after she told co-workers she was going to add them to her “Kill Bill” list and forwarded a cell phone ringtone to several people, including a co-worker, … Continue Reading

Asset Purchase Did Not Create Successor Liability Under FMLA

Sullivan v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., 623 F.3d 770 (2010) Christina Sullivan was the manager of a Factory 2-U store before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Dollar Tree later purchased Factory 2-U’s existing leasehold on the store where Sullivan was employed. Prior to the anniversary of her hire by Dollar Tree, Sullivan’s mother became … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Retroactive Application of Pregnancy Discrimination Act

In a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court has held that AT&T did not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) when it based its calculation of employees’ pensions in part on a pre- PDA accrual rule that treated pregnancy leave less favorably than other forms of disability leave. AT&T Corp v. Hulteen, No. 07-543 (May … 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

Federally Chartered Credit Union Not Immune From Punitive Damages

McGee v. Tucoemas Fed. Credit Union, 153 Cal. App. 4th 1351 (2007) Kimberly McGee, a former vice president of lending for the credit union, took a leave of absence for surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The credit union allegedly told McGee that if she did not return to work within four … Continue Reading

Airline Was Not The Joint Employer Of Service Workers For Purposes Of FMLA/CFRA

Moreau v. Air France, 356 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2003) Stephane Moreau worked as the Assistant Station Manager for Air France at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Moreau requested a 12-week leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act to assist his ill father in France. Air France … Continue Reading

Military Leave Benefits Are Not Owed To Employee Who Serves In Another State’s Militia

Opinion of Att’y Gen. Bill Lockyer, No. 02-213, 2003 WL 174019 (Jan. 24, 2003) In this opinion, the California Attorney General determined that employees who are residents of and employed in California are not entitled to the employment-related benefits established under California Military & Veterans Code § 395.05 for leaves of absence occasioned by service … Continue Reading
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