California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: wrongful termination

It’s Time to Think About Arbitration Agreements Again Following Recent $15 Million+ Employee Verdicts

Jury panels in the Los Angeles Superior Court (which is often referred to as “The Bank” by the plaintiffs’ bar) have recently delivered multimillion-dollar verdicts to former-employee plaintiffs.  Many employers doing business in California already have insulated themselves from such disasters by adopting comprehensive arbitration regimes, which would require that such cases be heard by a retired … Continue Reading

Employee Could Proceed With Wrongful Termination Claim Based Upon Work-Related Injury

Prue v. Brady Co./San Diego, Inc., 196 Cal. Rptr. 3d 68 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Adam Prue alleged wrongful termination of his employment based upon a work related injury, which violated the public policy set forth in Labor Code § 132a. The trial court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that … Continue Reading

California Moves to Reinstate Large Emotional Distress Damage Awards in “Mixed Motive” Cases

As regular readers of this blog know, it has been a busy summer for employment-related legislation in the California Legislature (see here and here). Yet of all the bills currently wending their way through the legislative process, none would affect California employment law more than Senate Bill 655. If enacted, SB 655 would modify the … Continue Reading

Employee’s Wrongful Termination And Defamation Claims Were Properly Dismissed

McGrory v. Applied Signal Tech., 212 Cal. App. 4th 1510 (2013) John McGrory alleged his employment was terminated because he is male and because he participated in his employer’s internal investigation. He also alleged defamation associated with a statement the vice president of human resources made to another employee about why McGrory had been terminated. … Continue Reading

$114,000 Pregnancy Discrimination Award Is Reversed Based On Erroneous Jury Instructions

Veronese v. Lucasfilm Ltd., 2012 WL 6628544 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Julie Gilman Veronese sued Lucasfilm on a number of theories, including pregnancy discrimination, failure to prevent pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Following 11 days of trial and three days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of … Continue Reading

Wrongful Termination Claim Based Upon Workers’ Compensation Filing Was Properly Dismissed

Dutra v. Mercy Med. Ctr. Mt. Shasta, 209 Cal. App. 4th 750 (2012) Michelle Dutra sued Mercy Medical Center for wrongful termination in violation of public policy based upon Cal. Labor Code § 132a (prohibiting discrimination against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim). After a jury was selected, the trial court granted … Continue Reading

Minimal Allegations Were Sufficient To State Claim For Age Discrimination

Sheppard v. David Evans & Assoc., 694 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2012) Kathryn Sheppard filed a brief, two-and-a-half page complaint in federal court alleging discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) and wrongful termination under Oregon state law. The district court dismissed Sheppard’s complaint with prejudice under FRCP 8(a)(2) after concluding she had … Continue Reading

Former Lockheed Engineer May Proceed With False Claims Act Lawsuit

Hooper v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 2012 WL 3124970 (9th Cir. 2012) Nyle J. Hooper brought suit against Lockheed Martin under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (the “FCA”). Hooper filed suit in the District Court for the District of Maryland, which transferred the suit at Lockheed’s request to the Central District of … 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

Teacher/Minister’s Disability Discrimination Claim Is Barred By The First Amendment

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 680 (2012) Cheryl Perich was a “called” teacher for the church and also had the formal title of “Minister of Religion, Commissioned.” After Perich developed narcolepsy, the church replaced her with a lay teacher and eventually terminated her employment for “insubordination … Continue Reading

January 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Insurance Claims Adjusters May Be Exempt Administrative Employees Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative Employee-Attorney’s $440,000 Verdict Against … Continue Reading

“Me Too” Evidence Was Relevant to and Admissible in Discrimination Lawsuit

Pantoja v. Anton, 198 Cal. App. 4th 87 (2011) Lorraine Pantoja sued attorney Thomas J. Anton and his firm for wrongful termination, violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), battery, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. By the time of the trial, only the FEHA claims remained. In their motions in … Continue Reading

$700,000 Verdict Affirmed In Favor Of Wrongfully Terminated Therapist

Boston v. Penny Lane Centers, Inc., 170 Cal. App. 4th 936 (2009) LaToya Boston worked as a therapist and treatment coordinator for Penny Lane, a social services agency that operates group homes for juveniles and offers therapy for children and families. When Boston was first hired, Penny Lane maintained staffing ratios of one staff member … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor’s Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Varisco v. Gateway Science & Eng’g, Inc., 166 Cal. App. 4th 1099 (2008) Gateway engaged Al Varisco to provide construction inspection services on two projects it was doing for the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”). Gateway retained Varisco pursuant to a letter agreement whereby he was to be paid $75 per hour for the … Continue Reading

Television Station Did Not Discriminate Against Caucasian News Anchor

Hicks v. KNTV Television, Inc., 160 Cal. App. 4th 994 (2008) Bradford Hicks, a white man, was the 5:00 p.m. weeknight news anchor for KNTV. After KNTV chose not to renew Hicks’ contract, it selected an African-American man to fill the position Hicks had vacated. Hicks alleged race discrimination and wrongful termination, asserting that KNTV … Continue Reading
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