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California Employment Law Blog

Tag Archives: preemption

California Court Approves Class Action Waivers In Employment Arbitration Agreements

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, FAA, Wage and Hour

The plaintiff in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, brought a putative class action and a representative action under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) for various wage and hour violations. During his employment, Iskanian agreed that he would not assert class action or representative action claims against his employer and, instead, agreed to submit… Continue Reading

ADA “Impliedly Amended” The National Bank Act’s Termination-at-Pleasure Clause

Posted in ADA, Disability, Employment Law Notes, FEHA

Quinn v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 196 Cal. App. 4th 168 (2011) Robert Quinn, a former senior vice president of U.S. Bank, alleged he was denied accommodation, harassed and terminated because of a physical disability in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. U.S. Bank obtained summary judgment from the trial court on the ground… Continue Reading

Arizona Law Requiring Use Of E-Verify Is Upheld

Posted in E-Verify, Employment Law Notes, Employment Verification, Immigration, Supreme Court

Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 563 U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 1968 (2011) In 1996, Congress created E-Verify, which is “an internet-based system that allows an employer to verify an employee’s work-authorization status.” In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which allows Arizona to suspend or revoke the licenses necessary to do business… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Allow Parallel Federal and State Wage-and-Hour Class Actions to Proceed

Posted in Class Actions, Wage and Hour

On November 3, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear an appeal brought by a Harrah’s Las Vegas casino dealer challenging the District Court’s ruling that her proposed state wage-and-hour class action was preempted by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In so doing, the Ninth Circuit chose not to revisit the… Continue Reading

Detention Officers’ State Law Wage Claims Were Not Subject To Exclusive Federal Remedy

Posted in Class Actions, Employment Law Notes, Immigration, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Services, 172 Cal. App. 4th 654 (2009) Gustavo Naranjo worked as a detention officer for Spectrum, which provides security services in holding facilities and detention centers throughout Los Angeles County under a contract with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The terms of Spectrum’s contract with ICE rely on wage and… Continue Reading

Bank VP’s Discrimination Claims Were Not Preempted By Federal Law

Posted in Discrimination, Employment Law Notes

Ramanathan v. Bank of America, 155 Cal. App. 4th 1017 (2007) Padmanabhan Ramanathan alleged he was discriminated against and harassed as a result of his religion (Hindu), race (Asian) and national origin. In its summary judgment motion, the Bank asserted that Ramanathan was a “Vice President” who served “at the pleasure” of the board of… Continue Reading

Union Employees’ Tort Claims Against Employer Were Not Preempted By Federal Law

Posted in Employment Law Notes

Ward v. Circus Circus Casinos, 473 F.3d 994 (9th Cir. 2007) During a meeting to distribute leaflets and inform other union members of the progress on contract negotiations, one employee, Al Williams, stood on a chair and spoke about union members’ defending their employment rights, which resulted in other participants’ chanting and shouting phrases such… Continue Reading

California Statute Barring Recipients Of State Funds From Pro Or Anti-Union Advocacy Is Unconstitutional

Posted in Employment Law Notes, New and Proposed Laws and Legislation, NLRA, Union Issues

Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Lockyer, 364 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004) In 2000, California enacted Assembly Bill No. 1889 (Government Code §§ 16645-16649) which, among other things, prohibits private employers "receiving state funds in excess of $10,000 in any calendar year" from using such funds to "assist, promote, or deter union organizing."… Continue Reading

Employee’s $400,000 Jury Verdict Against Urine- Testing Lab Is Upheld

Posted in Drug Policies, Employment Law Notes, FAA, Wrongful Termination

Ishikawa v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 343 F.3d 1129 (9th Cir. 2003) Yasuko Ishikawa, a Delta Airlines flight attendant, was terminated for failing a drug-detection urine test. Because the test had been performed negligently and had no validity, Delta rehired Ishikawa and paid her her lost income. Ishikawa also sued LabOne, the urine-testing laboratory, for negligence,… Continue Reading

Union Employees’ Wage Claims Were Not Preempted By Federal Law

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Employment Law Notes, Union Issues

Adams v. Pacific Bell Directory, 111 Cal. App. 4th 93 (2003) Forty-two employees of Pacific Bell Directory (all of whom were members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) filed a lawsuit alleging that the company’s practice of debiting employees’ commissions was unlawful under Labor Code Section 221 and Business and Professions Code Section 17200. The… Continue Reading

Union Employee’s Discrimination, Public Policy Claims Were Not Preempted By Federal Labor Law

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, FEHA, Union Issues, Wrongful Termination

Smith v. IBEW, Local 11, 109 Cal. App. 4th 1637 (2003) Donald Smith was terminated from his job as a union organizer for Local 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Smith alleged that his employment was terminated in violation of the public policy against age and disability discrimination and in violation of the… Continue Reading

Audio Recording Engineer’s State Law Claims Were Preempted By Federal Labor Law

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Employment Law Notes, Union Issues

Levy v. Skywalker Sound, 108 Cal. App. 4th 753 (2003) Robert M. Levy worked as an audio recording engineer for Skywalker Sound in Marin County beginning in 1995. When Levy was hired, he was told that the scoring stage was a “non-union room” and that his position at Skywalker Sound would not be a union… Continue Reading

Claims For Severance Benefits Were Not Preempted By ERISA

Posted in Employee Benefits, Employment Contracts, Employment Law Notes, ERISA

Winterrowd v. American General Annuity Ins. Co., 321 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2003) Three commissioned sales employees were laid off after their employer’s parent company was acquired by American General Corporation. As commissioned salespeople, the employees were not eligible for severance benefits under the employer’s Job Security Plan. However, the employees were offered and did… Continue Reading

ERISA Preempts Certain Claims Asserted By Deceased Employee’s Estate Against Employer

Posted in Employment Law Notes, ERISA

Bui v. AT&T, 310 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 2002) Nga Bui brought this action on behalf of her deceased husband’s estate against various parties, including his former employers, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Bui’s husband, Hung M. Duong, died at Erfan Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after undergoing two unsuccessful operations and suffering two myocardial infarctions…. Continue Reading

Discrimination Claims Not Preempted By Section 301 Of The LMRA

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Leaves of Absence, Reasonable Accommodation

Humble v. Boeing Co., 305 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2002) Su Humble, a union member who was employed as a fabrication bench mechanic for Boeing, suffered an on-the-job injury to her shoulder. After taking a series of medical leaves of absence over the course of approximately 15 months, Humble was told that there were no… Continue Reading

Dismissal Of Employees’ Breach Of Contract Claims Was “On The Merits”

Posted in Employment Law Notes, ERISA

Stewart v. U.S. Bancorp, 297 F.3d 953 (9th Cir. 2002) The employees in this case sued their employer for breach of contract and violation of the Oregon wage law when they were given eight weeks’ severance pay instead of the 12 months’ severance that was provided to “middle management.” The employer removed the case to… Continue Reading