California Employment Law Update
Tony Oncidi

Tony Oncidi

Partner

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the 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.

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We’re #1 Again! California Tops “Judicial Hellhole” List!

The American Tort Reform Foundation has just released its annual report on “Judicial Hellholes.”  The Report claims that in California, the legislature and courts “extend liability at almost every given opportunity,” including fostering “no-injury” litigation in the form of class action and PAGA (Private Attorneys General Act) lawsuits in the workplace. California takes the number … Continue Reading

The Electric Scooter Craze: What Can Employers Do to Protect Themselves from Potential Liability?

If you haven’t ridden one yet, it’s likely you’ve had one fly by you on the sidewalk. Electric scooters – or e-scooters – have quickly descended upon most major cities in America. These app-based scooters let a user ride across the city at up to 15 m.p.h. and then discard the scooter wherever the rider happens … Continue Reading

Consider the True Implications of Waiving Arbitration

Employers: have you thought about the true implications of waiving arbitration? When considering how to end sexual harassment issues in the workplace, prioritizing training and policy review may be a better course. Read more in Anthony Oncidi’s latest column in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: https://lnkd.in/dcMBBFm… Continue Reading

November 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Non-Solicitation Provision Was An Unenforceable Restraint Employer Was Not Liable For Accident Involving Employee Who Was Talking On Her Cell Phone Injured Employee May Have Been … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Wage/Hour Requirements By Offering Productivity Pay

Certified Tire & Serv. Ctrs. Wage & Hour Cases, 28 Cal. App. 5th 1 (2018) Plaintiffs in this certified wage and hour class action contend that Certified Tire violated applicable minimum wage and rest period requirements by implementing a compensation program, which guaranteed its automotive technicians a specific hourly wage above the minimum wage but … Continue Reading

PAGA Claims Were Barred By Statute Of Limitations

Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 2018 WL 5629874 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Terri Brown brought a representative action against her employer, Ralphs Grocery Company, under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), alleging wage and hour violations. In 2009, Brown filed a notice with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) as required under PAGA … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Dynamex Opinion Only Applies To Independent Contractor Wage Order Claims

Garcia v. Border Transp. Group, LLC, 2018 WL 5118546 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Jesus Cuitlahuac Garcia, a taxicab driver, filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Border Transportation Group (“BTG”), alleging claims based upon the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; failure to pay minimum wage; failure … Continue Reading

Employer May Not Take Tip Credit For Employees Engaged In Non-Tipped Tasks

Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, 905 F.3d 610 (9th Cir. 2018) (en banc) Plaintiffs in this case alleged that their employers abused the tip credit provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by paying them a reduced tip credit wage and treating them as tipped employees when they were engaged in either non-tipped tasks … Continue Reading

Employee Who Declined Settlement Offer Was Not Entitled To Recover Attorney’s Fees

Martinez v. Eatlite One, Inc., 27 Cal. App. 5th 1181 (2018) Samantha Martinez, a sandwich maker and cashier, sued Eatlite (the owner of a Subway store) for employment discrimination in violation of public policy, gender and pregnancy discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace, violation of the California Constitution and negligent supervision and … Continue Reading

Dean Of Theological Seminary Was A “Ministerial Employee”

Sumner v. Simpson Univ., 27 Cal. App. 5th 577 (2018) Sarah Sumner was the dean of the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and was employed pursuant to a written employment agreement. Her employment was terminated by Robin Dummer in his capacity as acting provost of the university on the ground that Sumner had been insubordinate. Sumner … Continue Reading

Employer Was Not Liable For Accident Involving Employee Who Was Talking On Her Cell Phone

Ayon v. Esquire Deposition Solutions, LLC, 27 Cal. App. 5th 487 (2018) Brittini Zuppardo, a scheduling manager for Esquire Deposition Solutions, was talking on her cell phone while driving home from her boyfriend’s house when her vehicle struck Jessica Ayon, causing significant injuries. At the time of the accident, Zuppardo was speaking with Michelle Halkett, … Continue Reading

Employee Non-Solicitation Provision Was An Unenforceable Restraint

AMN Healthcare, Inc. v. Aya Healthcare Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 5669154 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) AMN and Aya are competitors in the business of providing travel nurses on a temporary basis to medical care facilities throughout the country. As a condition of employment with AMN, four of its “travel nurse recruiters” had signed a Confidentiality … Continue Reading

California Has a New Governor – Will it Make Much Difference for Employers?

After Jerry Brown’s second set of 8 years in office (1975-83 and 2011-19), employers now look to Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom for what’s in store for them in the Golden State.  (Although Jerry Brown wasn’t a particularly good friend of employers, he often was the only friend they had in Sacramento, vetoing some of the more … Continue Reading

Court Provides Further Clarification of CA’s New Independent Contractor Test

On May 1, we reported about the Dynamex Operations W., Inc. v. Superior Court opinion in which the California Supreme Court adopted a new standard (the “ABC test”) for determining if a worker may properly be classified as an employee or independent contractor.  Last Monday, the California Court of Appeal clarified that the “ABC” test … Continue Reading

Viacom Sues Netflix for Employee Poaching

Viacom, like Fox before, asserts the streamer is knowingly interfering with contracts. Viacom has filed a lawsuit alleging that Netflix induced one of its employees to break contract to join the streaming giant. The case, lodged in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, continues to explode the issue of the legality of fixed-term employment contracts.Read … Continue Reading

“Bill Bites” – More New Labor and Employment Laws in California

In addition to the #MeToo inspired legislation, which we covered in a recent blog post, Governor Brown signed several other pieces of legislation amending existing laws and imposing new requirements regarding employment. Here are our “Bill Bites,” which provide a snapshot of the new laws PAGA Does Not Apply to Construction Workers: Assembly Bill 1654 … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs Slew Of #MeToo-Inspired Laws

This weekend Governor Brown signed many laws that were authored and gained traction in response to the #MeToo movement: New Restrictions On Confidentiality Of Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Settlements Senate Bill 820 prohibits confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of factual information involving allegations of sexual misconduct – unless the party alleging … Continue Reading

California Imposes New Mediation Disclosure Requirement On Attorneys

Earlier this month, Governor Brown signed new legislation (SB 954), which requires lawyers to provide their clients with a printed disclosure describing the confidentiality restrictions applicable to mediation.  This disclosure must be provided to a client as soon as reasonably possible before the client agrees to participate in a mediation.  Lawyers also will be required … Continue Reading

Could “CEO Action Pledge” Lead to Unintended Consequences?

The #MeToo movement has propelled employers across the U.S. to look not only at their policies for dealing with discrimination and harassment but also at their efforts to hire and promote employees from traditionally underrepresented groups. More than 450 CEOs and presidents across 85 industries have signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a … Continue Reading

September 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employer Must Obtain Written Authorization To Conduct Background Check Some Of California’s “Sanctuary State” Employer Obligations Are Struck Down No-Employment Provision In Settlement Agreement Is An Unenforceable Restraint  Court … Continue Reading

Employer Must Obtain Written Authorization To Conduct Background Check

Connor v. First Student, Inc., 2018 WL 3966434 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Eileen Connor worked as a school bus driver for Laidlaw Education Services, a company that was later acquired by First Student.  First Student retained a consumer reporting agency to conduct background checks on its employees.  The background reports elicited information about the employees, … Continue Reading
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