California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Retaliation

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Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA

Arias v. Raimondo, 2017 WL 2676771 (9th Cir. 2017) José Arnulfo Arias worked as a milker for Angelo Dairy. The dairy did not complete and file a Form I-9 when it hired Arias. According to the appellate court, “[i]nstead of complying with federal law, the Angelos wielded it as a weapon to confine Arias in … Continue Reading

New Notice Requirement For Domestic Violence Victims’ Rights To Go Into Effect (July 1, 2017)

As we previously blogged, Assembly Bill 2337 (approved by the Governor last fall) will go into effect on July 1, 2017, and California employers will be required to give written notice of workplace rights that must be provided to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Labor Commissioner has just posted a form … Continue Reading

New Transgender Identity and Expression Regulations (July 1, 2017)

In May 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) approved new regulations regarding transgender identity and expression in the workplace. The regulations become effective July 1, 2017. The new rules further expand the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) role in preventing discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of gender … 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

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

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

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

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

Indian Tribe Did Not Waive Its Sovereign Immunity By Removing Lawsuit To Federal Court

Bodi v. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, 2016 WL 4183518 (9th Cir. 2016) The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians is a federally-recognized Indian tribe located on the Shingle Springs Rancheria in California. Beth A. Bodi, a member of the tribe, worked at the tribe’s full-service health clinic. Bodi’s employment was terminated after she … Continue Reading

Terminated Employee Could Proceed With Tortious Interference Claims Against Apple

Popescu v. Apple Inc., 2016 WL 3578970 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Dan Popescu sued Apple Inc. for damages after he was fired by his employer, Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC. Popescu alleged that Apple took affirmative steps to convince Constellium to fire him in retaliation for his resistance to Apple’s alleged anticompetitive conduct. The trial … Continue Reading

Outside Counsel’s Investigation Of Sexual Harassment Was Privileged

City of Petaluma v. Superior Court, 2016 WL 3342543 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Andrea Waters, who worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Petaluma, alleged she was harassed and discriminated against based upon her sex. Waters also claimed she suffered retaliation after she complained about the treatment. Waters took a leave of … Continue Reading

Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With “Associational Disability Discrimination” Claim

Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., 246 Cal. App. 4th 180 (2016) Luis Castro-Ramirez sued his former employer, Dependable Highway Express, Inc., for “associational disability discrimination,” failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and wrongful termination. Castro-Ramirez’s son requires daily dialysis, and Castro-Ramirez must administer the treatment … Continue Reading

EEOC Sufficiently Conciliated Class Claims Before Bringing Suit, And Employee Stated Hostile Environment Claim

Arizona ex rel. Horne v. The Geo Group, 2016 WL 945634 (9th Cir. 2016) Alice Hancock was employed by Geo as a correctional officer at the Arizona State Prison. Geo contracts with the Arizona Department of Corrections to maintain and operate two facilities in the state. Hancock filed a charge of discrimination and harassment based … Continue Reading

New California Regulations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment and Pregnancy Disability Leave

New California anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and pregnancy disability leave regulations go into effect on April 1, 2016.  The substantive law regarding these issues has not changed.  However, the new amendments enumerate detailed requirements regarding anti-harassment policies and investigations, and institute additional notice and recordkeeping requirements. Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Regulations The new anti-discrimination and harassment regulations clarify … Continue Reading

Nuclear Plant Maintenance Manager’s Whistleblower Claim Was Properly Dismissed

Sanders v. Energy Northwest, 2016 WL 560809 (9th Cir. 2016) David W. Sanders, a maintenance manager for Energy Northwest (a nuclear power plant), claimed his employment was terminated in retaliation for his objection to the severity level designation of an internal “condition report” that was generated by other employees at the plant. Sanders filed a … Continue Reading

Court Reverses $1 Million Discrimination Verdict Entered Against LA Fire Department

Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles, 241 Cal. App. 4th 1390 (2015) Jabari Jumaane, an African-American firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department, sued the City of Los Angeles for racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Following a 34-day jury trial, the jury found for Jumaane on his claims and awarded him more than $1 million … Continue Reading

Terminated Actress Was Not Required To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Suing For Retaliation

Sheridan v. Touchstone Television Prods., LLC, 2015 WL 6153287 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Nicollette Sheridan sued Touchstone after her contract on Desperate Housewives was not renewed, alleging that her termination was in retaliation for her complaint about a battery allegedly committed by show creator Marc Cherry. The trial court sustained Touchstone’s demurrer to the complaint … Continue Reading

Court Affirms $118,000 Verdict In Favor Of Fired Employee Who Reported A Crime To The Police

Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., 240 Cal. App. 4th 1167 (2015) Rosa Lee Cardenas was terminated from her employment as a dental hygienist after she made a report to the police department that a coworker may have stolen her wedding ring at her workplace. Cardenas sued her employer (Dr. Fanaian) on the grounds that … Continue Reading

Retaliation Against Family Members Of Whistleblowers Prohibited

This law prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who is a family member of an employee who has or is perceived to have engaged in protected conduct or made a protected complaint (such as whistleblowing). Additionally, the law excludes certain entities, such as certain household goods carriers, from the imposition of joint liability on … Continue Reading

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (i) the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provisions provide for individual liability against board members; and (ii) the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provision … Continue Reading

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in addition to the other six new laws that we reported on in September: Signed legislation: Sick Leave: Accrual And Limitations Language … Continue Reading

Federal Air Marshal Could Proceed With Whistleblower Lawsuit

Dep’t of Homeland Sec. v. MacLean, 574 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 913 (2015) Robert J. MacLean became a federal air marshal for the TSA in 2001. In that role, MacLean was assigned to protect passenger flights from potential hijackings. In July 2003, the Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential advisory about a potential hijacking … Continue Reading
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