Nishiki v. Danko Meredith, APC, 25 Cal. App. 5th 883 (2018)

Taryn Nishiki worked as office manager and paralegal for a law firm before resigning her employment via email on Friday, November 14, 2014.  At the time of her resignation, Nishiki was owed $2,880.31 for her accrued but unused vacation time.  On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the firm mailed Nishiki a handwritten check that contained an inconsistency:  The amount of the check as written in numerals was “$2,880.31,” but the amount as spelled in words was “Two thousand eight hundred and 31/100” – which was $80 short.  Eight days later, Nishiki informed the firm she could not deposit the check because of the inconsistency between the numerical and written amounts.  On Friday, December 5, 2014, the firm mailed Nishiki a corrected check in the amount of $2,880.31.  Nishiki filed a complaint with the labor commissioner seeking, among other things, waiting time penalties in the amount of $7,500 (for 30 days at the rate of $250 per day).  The hearing officer granted Nishiki 17 days of waiting time penalties x $250 per day = $4,250.

The employer appealed the award to the superior court and after a trial de novo, the superior court awarded Nishiki the $4,250 in waiting time penalties plus $86,160 in attorneys’ fees.  The Court of Appeal in this opinion reduced the number of waiting-time penalty days from 17 to nine (the period between when the firm had notice of the error on the check and the date on which it sent the corrected check), but otherwise affirmed the lower court and determined that Nishiki was entitled to the additional attorneys’ fees she incurred for the appeal.  See also Burkes v. Robertson, 2018 WL 3974399 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) (employer’s failure to file a timely request for waiver of undertaking due to indigency deprived trial court of jurisdiction to hear appeal of $81,565.34 labor commissioner award to employee).

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.