California Employment Law Update
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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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California Updates Its Pay Data Reporting Requirements – Reports are due by March 31, 2021!

SB 973, enacted on September 30, 2020, requires private employers of 100 or more employees (with at least one employee in California) to report pay and demographic data to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) by March 31, 2021 and annually thereafter. The DFEH recently has updated its FAQs to provide more details … Continue Reading

The ABCs of Independent Contractor Classification: California Supreme Court Holds Strict Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively

On January 14, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided, at the request of the Ninth Circuit, that its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th 903 (2018) applies retroactively. Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. (SC S258191 1/14/21). Dynamex adopted the “ABC test” for determining whether a worker is an employee … Continue Reading

No Reservations! A Beverly Hills Dining Institution Provides a Reminder to Adhere to Health Officer Orders

As recently reported by the Los Angeles Times, People, and a slew of other national and local media outlets, famed Beverly Hills restaurant, La Scala, recently faced significant public backlash after sending out invitations to a Prohibition-themed, indoor New Year’s Eve celebration.  The invitation, which was distributed to select customers, read: “We are considering taking … Continue Reading

Oracle Joins “Texit” – The Growing Exodus From California to Texas

Joining Tesla, Hewlett-Packard and Charles Schwab, Oracle, the world’s largest database management company, has announced that it will move its corporate headquarters from California to Texas.  “We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work,” the company said in its SEC filing. … Continue Reading

California Named a Top “Judicial Hellhole” … Again

Consistent with our reporting from the past few years, California is once again listed among the American Tort Reform Foundation’s (ATRF) “Top Judicial Hellholes” in the United States. This year, California finished with a Bronze Medal as just the third most hellish (behind Pennsylvania and New York City), improving on its first place finish in … Continue Reading

As COVID-19 Cases Overwhelm the Golden State, Cal/OSHA Imposes More Burdens on Employers

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as “Cal/OSHA,” recently issued new emergency temporary standards to protect workers from COVID-19 (the “Emergency Temporary Standards”), which were approved by the Office of Administrative Law earlier this week.  The Emergency Temporary Standards, which are now in effect, apply to virtually all California employers, employees, and … Continue Reading

“See Ya Later, California!” Hewlett-Packard Moves its HQ from Silicon Valley to Texas

Following in the footsteps of scores of other employers that have relocated to more business-friendly states, Hewlett-Packard announced Wednesday that it’s moving its global headquarters from San Jose, CA to Houston, TX and with it, thousands of jobs.  Citing “business needs, cost reduction opportunities, and team members’ preferences for the future of work,” HP plans … Continue Reading

November 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation” Court Affirms Dismissal Of Trade Secrets Claim Brought Against Apple Employer Gets No Relief From $1.6 … Continue Reading

Employees Compensated Solely By Commission Are Not Paid A “Salary” And Are Non-Exempt

Semprini v. Wedbush Secs., Inc., 2020 WL 6557549 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Joseph Semprini and another employee filed this putative class action against Wedbush for various wage and hour violations based upon an alleged misclassification of similarly situated financial advisors who were treated as exempt employees. Wedbush classified its California financial advisors as exempt from … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds FINRA Class Action Waiver Provision

Laver v. Credit Suisse Secs. (USA), LLC, 976 F.3d 841 (9th Cir. 2020) Christopher Laver filed a putative class action against Credit Suisse, alleging breach of contract and other state law claims.  Credit Suisse responded with a motion to dismiss in favor of arbitration premised upon FINRA’s Employee Dispute Resolution Program, which among other things … Continue Reading

Google Employees’ PAGA Claims Are Not Preempted By The NLRA

Doe v. Google, Inc., 54 Cal. App. 5th 948 (2020) Google requires its employees to comply with various confidentiality policies, including policies that allegedly prevent employees from using or disclosing the “skills, knowledge, and experience” they obtained at Google for purposes of competing with Google; policies that prevent employees from disclosing violations of state and … Continue Reading

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Trade Secrets Claim Brought Against Apple

Hooked Media Group, Inc. v. Apple Inc., 55 Cal. App. 5th 323 (2020) Hooked Media, a startup company that Apple expressed interest in acquiring, sued Apple after Apple passed on the deal but three of Hooked’s most important employees (including two engineers and the Chief Technical Officer) left to work for Apple. Hooked sued for … Continue Reading

Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation”

Tilkey v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2020 WL 6268474 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Allstate terminated Michael Tilkey, a 30-year employee who sold life insurance, after Tilkey’s arrest in Arizona following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend; he was arrested for “criminal damage deface, possession or use of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct, disruptive behavior.”  Domestic violence … Continue Reading

Podcast: What the Biden Presidency Could Mean for Employers

Following last week’s historic presidential election and a forthcoming transition of power, Proskauer’s Anthony Oncidi and Laura Fant join XpertHR Legal Editor David Weisenfeld for a podcast conversation on the changes employers can expect after President-elect Biden takes office in January. Employers – listen now in order to plan ahead for what could be significant … Continue Reading

State-by-State Real-Time Updates on Employment and Privacy-Related Rules, Regulations, Orders and Guidance

As jurisdictions continue to respond to COVID-19 with new rules, regulations, orders and guidance, employers must ensure that they adhere to these requirements as they manage business operations. To assist multi-state employers as they navigate these developments, we have created ProTrack COVID-19, a state and local tracker tool. Our proprietary tracker allows employers to search … Continue Reading

California Expands Jury Rolls

Gov. Newsom has signed Senate Bill 592 (“SB 592”) into law.  Effective next year, SB 592 requires jury commissioners across the state to include anyone who files state taxes in the pool of prospective jurors.  Currently, prospective jurors are summoned from lists of registered California voters and licensed drivers, which total approximately 47 million people.  While … Continue Reading

California Expands Its Already Generous Leave Requirements To Cover Even Smaller Employers

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the flurry of associated leave issues, Gov. Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 1383 (“SB 1383”) into law, which provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to employers with as few as five employees.  Beginning on January 1, 2021, when SB 1383 takes … Continue Reading

California Mandates Diversity Quotas for Corporate Boards

On September 30, 2020, Gov. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 979 (“AB 979”) into law.  The new statute, which adds section 301.4 to the Corporations Code, is aimed at increasing representation from communities of color and the LGBT community on the boards of publicly traded companies.  The law follows in the footsteps of earlier legislation that … Continue Reading

September 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Entitled To $17.2 Million For Wrongful Termination/Defamation “Continuing Violation” Theory Saves Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claim Tortious Interference With At-Will Contract Requires Independently Wrongful Act … Continue Reading

CUIAB Should Have Considered Additional Evidence In Support Of Unemployment Claim

Land v. CUIAB, 2020 WL 5200858 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Justin Land’s employer terminated his employment as a field service specialist based upon his “violation of company policy,” involving his failure to finish a job or return the next day to finish it because he “just forgot”; Land also gave out his personal phone number … Continue Reading

Litigant’s Attorney Is Entitled To Fees As “Prevailing Party” In UTSA Case

Aerotek, Inc. v. The Johnson Group Staffing Co., 2020 WL 5525180 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) The law firm Porter Scott, P.C., defended its client The Johnson Group Staffing (TJG) through two rounds of litigation against claims asserted by TJG’s chief competitor Aerotek. In the litigation, Aerotek alleged that TJG (whose founder came from Aerotek) misappropriated … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Refused To Certify Rest Break Class Action

Davidson v. O’Reilly Auto Enter., LLC, 968 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2020) Kia Davidson worked as a delivery specialist at one of O’Reilly’s stores in San Bernardino. In this putative class action, Davidson alleged that she and other employees did not receive their rest breaks as required by state law based upon the fact that … Continue Reading
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