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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California Class Actions and PAGA (“Prettymuch All is Going to the Attorneys”) Claims Continue to Overwhelm the State

We have reported before about the huge jury verdicts that get handed out in California with alarming regularity and California’s sustained #1 ranking as the “Top Judicial Hellhole” in the nation. A corollary problem continues unabated: The prevalence of class actions and lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Though California accounts for 12% … Continue Reading

LA Times Wins Lawsuit Against Former Freelancer

The California Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal of a former freelancer’s defamation and employment-related claims against the Times. Frederick Theodore Rall III, a political cartoonist and blogger for the paper, brought claims for defamation, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotion distress, and retaliation, among others, stemming from the Times’ decision to disassociate itself with Rall … Continue Reading

January 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception” City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City Prevailing Employer Should Not Have … Continue Reading

School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception”

Biel v. St. James School, 2018 WL 6597221 (9th Cir. 2018) Kristen Biel was fired from her fifth grade teaching position at St. James Catholic School after she told the school that she had breast cancer and would need to miss work to undergo chemotherapy. Following her termination, Biel alleged that the school had violated … Continue Reading

City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City

City of San Diego v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 6629322 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) As part of an internal affairs investigation regarding the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential police report, the San Diego Police Department questioned detective Dana Hoover regarding communications she had had with an attorney who was representing her in an employment-related lawsuit … Continue Reading

Prevailing Employer Should Not Have Been Awarded CCP § 998 Costs

Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., 29 Cal. App. 5th 74 (2018) Felix Huerta sued Kava Holdings dba Hotel Bel-Air after the hotel terminated him and another restaurant server who was involved in an altercation during work. The trial court granted Kava’s motion for nonsuit as to Huerta’s claim for retaliation under the Fair Employment and … Continue Reading

Employer May Be Liable For Accident Caused By On-Call Employee

Moreno v. Visser Ranch, Inc., 2018 WL 6696021 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Ray David Moreno, a passenger riding in a truck that his father (Ernesto Moreno) was driving, was injured when the truck left the roadway, hit an embankment and rolled over. Ray sued his father, the corporation that employed his father and an affiliated … Continue Reading

Employer’s Rounding Policy Complied With California Law

Donohue v. AMN Servs., LLC, 2018 WL 6445360 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) AMN used a computer-based timekeeping system for all nonexempt employees, including plaintiffs/nurse recruiters. The timekeeping system rounded recruiters’ punch times (both punch in and punch out) to the nearest 10-minute increment. To establish the proper hourly compensation, AMN converted each 10-minute increment to … Continue Reading

Wage Order Permitting Hospital Employees To Waive Meal Break Is Valid

Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 2018 WL 6442036 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Plaintiff health care workers formerly employed by Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center alleged that they usually worked shifts of 12 hours or more. A hospital policy allowed employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their … Continue Reading

Employees Who Voluntarily Used Company Vehicle Are Not Entitled To Travel Time

Hernandez v. Pacific Bell Tel. Co., 29 Cal. App. 5th 131 (2018) Employees of Pacific Bell who install and repair video and internet services in customers’ homes asserted a putative class action against the company for allegedly unpaid compensation for time they spent traveling in an employer-provided vehicle (loaded with equipment and tools) between their … Continue Reading

Employees Are Entitled To Additional Compensation For Shortened Meal Periods

Kaanaana v. Barrett Bus. Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 6261482 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) The employees in this case (belt sorters who worked at two publicly owned and operated recycling facilities under contracts with Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts) alleged the employers’ failure to pay the prevailing wage and to provide full 30-minute meal periods. The … Continue Reading

Property Inspectors’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied Certification

McCleery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6583916 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Plaintiffs/property inspectors alleged they were improperly hired as independent contractors by insurance companies and sought payment of unpaid minimum wages, overtime, meal and rest breaks, employee expense reimbursements as well as compliance with various other Labor Code provisions. The trial court concluded that … Continue Reading

A California Jury Strikes Again – Hands Out $11 Million Verdict

A Los Angeles jury awarded more than $11 million to two former employees who claimed they were sexually harassed and retaliated against for complaining about the harassment. Megan Meadowcroft and Amber Brown, who worked at the Keyways Vineyard and Winery in Temecula, California, alleged they had been harassed by the general manager, Carlos Pineiro. Meadowcroft … Continue Reading

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
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