California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Workplace Violence

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Workplace Violence Injunction Was Improperly Entered Against Out-Of-State Resident

ViaView, Inc. v. Retzlaff, 2016 WL 3626708 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) ViaView filed a petition for a workplace violence restraining order against Thomas Retzlaff, a resident of Texas, who had filed a motion to quash the petition for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion to quash and granted a permanent injunction … Continue Reading

Thou Shalt Not Bully – Employers Must Educate Supervisors about “Abusive Conduct”

California businesses that have 50 or more employees are already required to train supervisors on legally prohibited sexual harassment. Following California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent signing of A.B. 2053, that training must now also include education on preventing “abusive conduct” in the workplace, even if the conduct is not based on a protected characteristic nor … Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Patients Are Not Liable for Injuries They May Inflict on Home Health Care Workers

Gregory v. Cott, 2014 WL 3805478 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Carolyn Gregory was injured while providing in-home care for Lorraine Cott, an Alzheimer’s disease patient.  Gregory received workers’ compensation benefits but sued the Cotts for negligence and premises liability and asserted a claim against Lorraine for battery.  The trial court granted a defense motion for … Continue Reading

$125,000 Verdict And $550,000 Fee Award Affirmed For Negligent Supervision And Violation Of Civil Code § 51.7 (Freedom From Violence)

Ventura v. ABM Indus., Inc., 2012 WL 6636255 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Sylvia Ventura worked as a janitor for ABM. Ventura alleged a history of harassment and an act of violence by her supervisor, Carlos Manzano, and ratification by ABM. The jury awarded Ventura $100,000 in compensatory damages for past mental suffering. The trial court … Continue Reading

Desperate Housewife’s Wrongful Termination Claim Should Have Been Dismissed

Touchstone Television Prods. v. Superior Court, 208 Cal. App. 4th 676 (2012) Touchstone had an agreement with actress Nicollette Sheridan that gave it the exclusive option to renew Sheridan’s contract on an annual basis for an additional six seasons (after the first season) of the television show “Desperate Housewives.” Sheridan sued Touchstone for wrongful termination … Continue Reading

Injunction Against Workplace Violence May Be Supported By Hearsay Evidence

Kaiser Found. Hospitals v. Wilson, 201 Cal. App. 4th 550 (2011) The trial court considered hearsay evidence in issuing injunctions under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 527.8, prohibiting Jeff Wilson (the husband of a terminated Kaiser employee) from committing acts of violence or making threats of violence against two Kaiser employees. The trial court considered … Continue Reading

Criminal Conviction Of Former Employee Who Threatened Company Officials Is Upheld

United States v. Sutcliffe, 505 F.3d 944 (9th Cir. 2007) Sutcliffe, a computer technician, was convicted of three counts of making interstate threats (via the Internet) to injure another and five counts of transferring social security numbers with the intent to aid and abet unlawful activity. Global Crossing terminated Sutcliffe’s employment shortly after he was hired … Continue Reading

Security Service Is Not Liable For Assault Allegedly Committed By Unsupervised Employee

Plancarte v. Guardsmark, LLC, 118 Cal. App. 4th 640 (2004) Eveilia Plancarte alleged that Toufik Kadah, a Guardsmark security guard, was responsible for assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, all of which allegedly occurred while she was working as a janitor in a building in which Kadah was working as a … Continue Reading

Employer Was Not Necessarily Liable For Employee’s Actions That Caused Injury To Police Officer

Yamaguchi v. Harnsmut, 106 Cal. App. 4th 472 (2003) San Francisco Police Officer Tadao Yamaguchi and his wife, Tracy, sued Chaiyut Harnsmut and his wife, among others, for injuries Yamaguchi sustained when one of Harnsmut’s employees (Wisan Vatanavkovarun) threw scalding hot oil on Yamaguchi in the midst of an altercation that Wisan was having with … Continue Reading

Employer Subjected To Threats Of Workplace Violence Was Entitled To Injunction

USS-Posco Indus. v. Edwards, 111 Cal. App. 4th 436 (2003) Ezell Edwards was terminated from his employment as a mill worker at USS-Posco Industries’ (UPI’s) tin mill after he made generalized threats of violence against UPI, including a statement that “they’re going to have to change the company’s name from USS-Posco to USSColumbine.” The trial … Continue Reading

Employee Who Failed To Report “Illegal Activities” Was Not Terminated In Violation Of Public Policy

Rivera v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 331 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 2003) After John Rivera, who worked for Amtrak as a night watchman, threatened to “blow people away” in Amtrak’s San Jose office, the local police went to his home and found drugs, drug paraphernalia and an unregistered assault rifle with ammunition. Rivera was terminated … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Public Policy In Favor Of Self-Defense By Terminating Employee For Fighting

Escalante v. Wilson’s Art Studio, Inc., 109 Cal. App. 4th 692 (2003) Wilson’s Art Studio terminated Hector Escalante’s employment as a printer after he was physically attacked by another employee, but failed to leave the scene, deciding instead to go back to fight. In his wrongful termination lawsuit, Escalante, an at-will employee, alleged that Wilson’s … Continue Reading
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