California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Unfair Competition

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Missed Meal Break Class Action Was Properly Certified

Safeway, Inc. v. Superior Court, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2015) Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit alleged claims against Safeway and Vons for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to provide itemized pay statements, unfair business practices under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General … Continue Reading

Second-Place Bidder On Public Works Contract Could Proceed With Tortious Interference Claim

Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. v. American Asphalt South, Inc., 2015 WL 738675 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Between 2009 and 2012, American Asphalt South, Inc. (“American”) outbid Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. (“Allan”) or Doug Martin Contracting, Inc. (“Martin”) on 23 public works contracts totaling more than $14.6 million to apply a slurry seal protective … Continue Reading

Unfair Competition Claim Against Trucking Company is Not Preempted By Federal Law

People v. Pac Anchor Transp., Inc., 2014 WL 3702674 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) The People on behalf of the State of California filed this unfair competition law (“UCL”) action against Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors and for other alleged violations of California labor and unemployment insurance laws.  In response, Pac … Continue Reading

Unfair Competition Claim Against Franchisor Was Properly Dismissed

Aleksick v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 205 Cal. App. 4th 1176 (2012) Kimberly Aleksick, who worked as a clerk at a 7-Eleven store, sued 7-Eleven (the franchisor of the store where Aleksick was employed) for violation of the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). Aleksick alleged that 7-Eleven, which provides payroll services to its franchisees, violated the UCL by … Continue Reading

PAGA Judgment Is Mostly Affirmed In Employee’s Favor

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Mgmt., Inc., 203 Cal. App. 4th 1112 (2012) Leander Thurman sued Bayshore for alleged violations of the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) and the Unfair Competition Law and, following a bench trial, a judgment was entered imposing civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against Bayshore in the total amount of … Continue Reading

California Overtime Requirements Apply To Work Performed By Non-Resident Employees

Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 662 F.3d 1265 (2011) Three Oracle instructors (all non-residents of California) filed this class action to recover allegedly unpaid overtime under California law for work they performed while in California. Two of the instructors were residents of Colorado and one was a resident of Arizona; all of them worked in their … Continue Reading

Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative

Pirjada v. Superior Court, 201 Cal. App. 4th 1074 (2011) Putative class representative Obaidul H. Pirjada filed a complaint on behalf of himself and a putative class of all security guards who had been employed in California by Pacific National Security, Inc. during the preceding four years. The complaint alleged a failure to provide meal-and-rest … Continue Reading

Prevailing Employer Should Have Been Permitted To Recover Its Costs from Employee

Plancich v. UPS, Inc., 198 Cal. App. 4th 308 (2011) Larry Plancich sued UPS for failure to pay overtime, meal and rest breaks; failure to keep, maintain and furnish accurate wage statements, and unfair competition, among other claims. The trial court ruled in favor of UPS on the unfair competition claim and a jury found … Continue Reading

California Overtime Rules Apply To Out-of-State Residents Who Work In The State

Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 51 Cal. 4th 1191 (2011) In this case, the California Supreme Court answered three questions certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as follows: (1) California’s overtime law applies to work performed in California for a California employer by nonresident workers; (2) the Unfair … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Extends California’s Overtime Laws To Non-Resident Employees

In Sullivan v. Oracle, No. S170577 (Cal. June 30, 2011), the California Supreme Court today resolved three important questions posed by the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding California law: (1) Does the California Labor Code apply to overtime work performed in California for a California-based employer by out-of-state plaintiffs, such that … Continue Reading

“Explicit Mutual Wage Doctrine” Barred Janitor’s Claim For Additional Unpaid Overtime

Arechiga v. Dolores Press, Inc., 192 Cal. App. 4th 567 (2011) Carlos Arechiga worked as a janitor for Dolores Press for almost seven years at which time his employment was terminated. Although Arechiga filed a complaint alleging various causes of action, only his claim for violation of the Unfair Competition Law went to trial. Arechiga, … 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

Employer Could Proceed With Defamation And Interference Claims Against Employees Who Protested Their Termination

Overhill Farms, Inc. v. Lopez, 190 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2010) After the IRS notified Overhill Farms that 231 of its then-current employees had provided invalid social security numbers, Overhill contacted the employees identified by the IRS, advised them that their social security numbers were invalid according to the IRS, and provided them with the … Continue Reading

Late-Payment Penalty Claim Is Subject To Three-Year Statute Of Limitations

Pineda v. Bank of America, 50 Cal. 4th 1389 (2010) Although plaintiff Jorge A. Pineda gave two weeks’ notice of his resignation from Bank of America, the bank did not pay him his final wages on his last day of employment, as required by Cal. Labor Code § 202, but instead paid him four days … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Liability on Waiting Time Penalties

On November 18, the California Supreme Court in Pineda v. Bank of America, No. S170758 (Cal. Nov. 18, 2010) (pdf) clarified two issues regarding so-called “waiting time penalties” (i.e., penalties under California Labor Code Section 203 associated with the late payment of final wages upon termination of employment). First, the Court ruled that a three-year statute … Continue Reading

Reporters Were Entitled To Judgment In Wage And Hour Class Action

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, 623 F.3d 743 (2010) Plaintiffs (reporters for the Chinese Daily News) alleged they were non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California state law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the reporters, finding journalists are not subject to the creative … Continue Reading

Class Representative’s Settlement And Dismissal Of His Own Claims Did Not Bar His Appeal On Behalf Of The Class

Narouz v. Charter Communications, LLC, 591 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 2010) Hani Narouz filed a complaint against Charter Communications in which he alleged causes of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, as well as statutory violations of the California Labor Code for failure to pay wages, provide meal periods, maintain accurate itemized … Continue Reading

Class Action Pleading Requirements Need Not Be Satisfied To Assert Private Attorneys General Act Claim

Arias v. Superior Court, 2009 WL 1838973 (Cal. S. Ct. 2009) Jose Arias sued his former employer, Angelo Dairy, for a number of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including five claims that he asserted on behalf of himself as well as other current and former employees under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). The … Continue Reading

Sales Representative Was Not Entitled To Post-Termination Commissions

Nein v. HostPro, Inc., 174 Cal. App. 4th 833 (2009) Randy Nein was employed by HostPro as a salesperson. In December 2000, he approached AT&T and suggested that HostPro provide web-hosting services to some of AT&T’s business customers. The transaction was still being negotiated a year later when Nein’s employment was terminated. He filed this … Continue Reading

Court Overturns $86 Million Judgment Awarded In Favor Of Starbucks Baristas

Chau v. Starbucks Corp., 174 Cal. App. 4th 688 (2009) Jou Chau, a former Starbucks “barista,” brought a class action against the company, challenging Starbucks’ policy of permitting shift supervisors to share in tips that customers place in a collective tip box. Chau alleged the policy violated California’s Unfair Competition Law based on a violation … Continue Reading

Class Action Pleading Requirements Need Not Be Satisfied To Assert Private Attorneys General Act Claim

Arias v. Superior Court, 2009 WL 1838973 (Cal. S. Ct. 2009) Jose Arias sued his former employer, Angelo Dairy, for a number of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including five claims that he asserted on behalf of himself as well as other current and former employees under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). The … Continue Reading

Complaint Alleging Violation Of UTSA, Unfair Competition Was Not Subject To Dismissal Under Anti-SLAPP Law

World Fin. Group, Inc. v. HBW Ins. & Fin. Services, Inc., 172 Cal. App. 4th 1561 (2009) WFG filed a complaint against its direct competitor, HBW, and six of its agents for alleged breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, unfair competition, interference with prospective economic advantage and unjust enrichment. In response, HBW filed … Continue Reading

Employee May Not Recover Penalties As Restitution Under Unfair Competition Law

Pineda v. Bank of Am., N.A., 170 Cal. App. 4th 388 (2009) Jorge Pineda filed this class action against Bank of America for unpaid wages and for “waiting-time” penalties under Labor Code § 203. Although Pineda gave the bank two weeks’ advance notice of his resignation, the bank failed to pay him his final pay … Continue Reading

California Overtime Requirements Apply To Work Performed By Non- Resident Employees

Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 547 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. 2008) Three Oracle instructors (all non-residents of California) filed this class action to recover allegedly unpaid overtime under California law for work they performed while in California. Two of the instructors were residents of Colorado and one was a resident of Arizona; all of them worked … Continue Reading
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