California Employment Law Update

Monthly Archives: July 2006

Statute Of Limitations On Malpractice Claim Tolled During Period Of Attorney’s Failure To Communicate With Client

Gonzalez v. Kalu, 140 Cal. App. 4th 21 (2006) Gabriela Gonzalez, who worked as a cleaner for a building maintenance company, hired an attorney to represent her in a matter involving a possible sexual harassment claim against her employer. The attorney sent a letter to Gonzalez’s employer asserting the employer’s liability, threatening to file a … Continue Reading

Major League Baseball Did Not Violate Title VII By Providing Benefits To Former Negro League Players

Moran v. Selig, 447 F.3d 748 (9th Cir. 2006) Seeking to make partial amends for its exclusion of African-American baseball players prior to 1947 (when Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier”), MLB voluntarily decided to provide certain benefits, including medical coverage and a supplemental income plan, to qualifying African-Americans players who had been in the … Continue Reading

Primary Employer Was Liable For OSHA Violation For Failure To Have Injury Prevention Program

Sully-Miller Contracting Co. v. California OSHA Bd., 138 Cal. App. 4th 684 (2006) Sully-Miller, an asphalt-paving company, leased one of its employees, Jeff Moreno, to Manhole Adjusting, Inc., as a roller operator. While working at Manhole’s worksite, Moreno was fatally injured when he was thrown from the roller because it lacked an operable seatbelt. OSHA … Continue Reading

Temporary County Employee Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Her Disability

Jenkins v. County of Riverside, 138 Cal. App. 4th 593 (2006) Evelyn Jenkins worked as a full-time “Office Assistant II” for the County for six years before her employment was terminated. During the entire six years, Jenkins was classified as a “temporary employee.” After taking a workers’ compensation leave of absence and having surgery for … Continue Reading

Employee Who Received Settlement For Defamation Claims Was Liable For Back Taxes

Polone v. CIR, 499 F.3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2006) Gavin Polone sued his former employer, United Talent Agency, alleging, among other things, wrongful termination and defamation. In settlement of the defamation claim, Polone agreed to accept $4 million in four equal, six-month installments, beginning on May 3, 1996. Congress amended Section 104 of the Internal … Continue Reading

Names And Addresses Of Putative Plaintiffs In Class Action Are Protected By Privacy Rights

Tien v. Superior Court, 139 Cal. App. 4th 528 (2006) In this wage and hour class action litigation against Tenet Healthcare Corporation, plaintiffs sought from Tenet the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all of the putative members of the class, which Tenet estimated to be approximately 50,000 people. The parties subsequently agreed that a … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Enjoins California Employee From Competing With His Former Employer

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. v. Batra, 430 F. Supp. 2d 158 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) While working as Global General Brand Manager for Estée Lauder, Shashi Batra (a resident of San Francisco) signed a non-compete agreement that prohibited him from competing with the company anywhere in the world for a period of 12 months after his … Continue Reading

“Friends” Typist Was Not Subjected To Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Productions, 38 Cal. 4th 264 (2006) Amaani Lyle was terminated after four months of working as a typist in the writers’ room of the producers of the television show “Friends.” Following her termination because she could not type (contended the producers), Lyle asserted, among other things, that she had been … Continue Reading

Receptionist Whose Job Was Filled While She Was On A 7-Month “Stress Leave” Was Not Discriminated Against

Williams v. Genentech, 139 Cal. App. 4th 357 (2006) Rochelle Williams, a receptionist at Genentech, was criticized by her supervisors for mishandling an incident involving company security. (Instead of following the company’s established procedure for dealing with a security alert, Williams spoke to a security officer in a “code of her own devise” – “Hurry … Continue Reading