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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The Wait is (Almost) Over! California Greenlights Resumption of Music, Film and Television Production

  On Friday June 5, Gov. Newsom announced that California has authorized the music, film and television production industries to reopen on or after this coming Friday, June 12, 2020.  The same day, Gov. Newsom announced the reopening of fitness facilities, day camps, and several other industries. Although the State Public Health Officer had been … Continue Reading

Lights, Camera, PPE: Hollywood Guilds and Studios Take Action On Resuming Production

As we discussed in a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in April, the entertainment industry faces unique challenges as it plans to resume operations.  On May 20, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom suggested that California would release guidelines for reopening the entertainment industry by Memorial Day.  However, to date, California’s Public Health Officer has not … Continue Reading

May 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Reverses $13 Million Gender Discrimination Verdict Entered Against UCLA Court Affirms $2.9 Million Verdict Against Employer That Failed To Obtain Green Card For Employee … Continue Reading

Employees Who Were Required To Call-In Prior To Shift Were Entitled To Reporting-Time Pay

Herrera v. Zumiez, Inc., 953 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2020) Alexa Herrera filed this putative class action against her employer, alleging that Zumiez failed to provide reporting-time pay to employees at its California retail stores for their “Call-In” shifts. Employees scheduled for a Call-In shift were required to make themselves available to work during the … Continue Reading

Lyft Was Not Liable For Accident Involving One Of Its Drivers

Marez v. Lyft, Inc., 2020 WL 2108643 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) While driving a car rented through Lyft’s “Express Drive Program,” Jonathan Guarano struck the plaintiffs and caused significant injuries. Plaintiffs sued Lyft under the doctrine of respondeat superior, but the trial court granted summary judgment to Lyft on the ground that at the time … Continue Reading

Racial Discrimination/Sexual Harassment Case Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distrib. Servs., 47 Cal. App. 5th 532 (2020) Bonnie Ducksworth and Pamela Pollock are customer service representatives at Tri-Modal Distribution Services who alleged a failure to promote based upon racial discrimination by two staffing agencies used by Tri-Modal; Pollock also alleged sexual harassment. The trial court granted the staffing agencies’ motion for … Continue Reading

Unlimited Vacation Policy Failed To Properly Compensate Employees

McPherson v. EF Intercultural Fndn., Inc., 47 Cal. App. 5th 243 (2020) In this case of first impression, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment (except for the amount of damages and attorneys’ fees awarded) and held that the unlimited vacation policy at issue in this case was not as described and that … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate FCRA By Providing Disclosure Along With Other Materials

Luna v. Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport, Inc., 2020 WL 1969409 (9th Cir. 2020) Leonard Luna filed this putative class action, alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) because his former employer had provided him a FCRA disclosure statement simultaneously with other employment materials and had failed to provide a standalone FCRA … Continue Reading

Court Should Not Have Dismissed Self-Represented Employee’s Claims

Nuño v. California State Univ., 47 Cal. App. 5th 799 (2020) Anthony Nuño, an assistant college professor, represented himself in this lawsuit against California State University, Bakersfield, in which he alleged harassment, retaliation and discrimination based upon his race and sexual orientation. The trial court sustained defendants’ demurrer and granted plaintiff additional time to file … Continue Reading

Court Orders Higher Prevailing-Plaintiff Attorneys’ Fees In Disability Discrimination Case

Caldera v. California Dep’t of Corrs. & Rehab., 2020 WL 2109751 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Augustine Caldera is a correctional officer at a state prison who stutters when he speaks. Caldera alleged that the prison’s employees, including a supervisor, “mocked and mimicked” his stutter at least a dozen times over a period of two years. … Continue Reading

After-Acquired Evidence Was Properly Used To Defeat ADA Claim

Anthony v. TRAX Int’l Corp., 955 F.3d 1123 (9th Cir. 2020) After Sunny Anthony filed suit, alleging she was terminated because of her disability, the employer (TRAX) learned that contrary to her representation on her employment application, she lacked the bachelor’s degree that was required of all technical writers under the employer’s government contract. The … Continue Reading

Court Affirms $2.9 Million Verdict Against Employer That Failed To Obtain Green Card For Employee

Reynaud v. Technicolor Creative Servs. USA, Inc., 46 Cal. App. 5th 1007 (2020) Plaintiffs Michael and Fiona Reynaud (both British citizens) sued Michael’s former employer, Technicolor, for negligence based upon its failure to timely obtain a green card for Michael, which would have permitted him to remain in the United States. Although Technicolor had agreed … Continue Reading

Court Reverses $13 Million Gender Discrimination Verdict Entered Against UCLA

Pinter-Brown v. The Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 2020 WL 1950808 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) The California Court of Appeal reversed a $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown, who sued for alleged gender discrimination and age discrimination and harassment … Continue Reading

CalChamber Releases its Annual List of “Job Killer” Bills Proposed by the California Legislature

The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified 10 recently introduced “job killer” bills that have been proposed by the California legislature. Worth noting are the following: AB 196 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Establishes “Conclusive Presumption” of Injury. Conclusively presumes that contraction of COVID-19 by all “essential workers” is a workplace injury, which will greatly increase the … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Employers May Face Even More Juror Hostility After Pandemic

As if there weren’t enough to worry about, Los Angeles employers may face an even tougher challenge to prevail at trial in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics suggests in its latest study. On May 4th, Dispute Dynamics surveyed Los Angeles County residents and people nationwide, inquiring about their … Continue Reading

$13M UCLA Case Exposes Calif. Employment Litigation Flaws

In Pinter-Brown v. Regents of the University of California,[1] the California Court of Appeal’s Second Appellate District recently reversed a blockbuster $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown. Pinter-Brown went to trial against University of California, Los Angeles, on claims of … Continue Reading

How Will COVID-19 Affect Future Jury Trials?

When courts begin to ramp-up operations and start to impanel juries again for the thousands of backlogged civil and criminal trials, the composition of the jury pool may look different, suggests Dispute Dynamics. Dan Gallipeau and Jill Huntley Taylor at Dispute Dynamics conducted a 300-participant nationwide study last week to determine what, if any, effect … Continue Reading

California Will Presume COVID-19 Infections Arose From On-Site Work Performed After March 19

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption that workers who are still reporting to their employer’s workplace and who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Specifically, the Order provides that any COVID-19-related illness of an employee shall be “presumed to arise out … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Reverses $13 Million Gender Discrimination Verdict

Today, the California Court of Appeal reversed a blockbuster $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown (see our coverage of the February 2018 verdict here).   Dr. Pinter-Brown sued for alleged gender discrimination and unlawful retaliation.  The appellate court determined that … Continue Reading

Los Angeles City Council to Require Businesses to Rehire Former Employees

UPDATED April 29: Mayor Garcetti has signed the Ordinance. Employers who have laid off workers due to COVID-19 may soon be required to rehire the laid off workers before they can hire any new employees. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a measure giving specified workers a “right of recall.” Employees who work in … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Issues Two New Public Orders On COVID-19

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued two new public orders in response to COVID-19’s continued growth and effect on essential businesses. Both of these public orders go into effect on Friday, April 10. The first order contains provisions relating to grocery retail store, drug retail store, and food delivery employees. It mandates: Grocery … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Issues New Sick Leave Rules

On March 27, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new ordinance that would have required Los Angeles employers to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental sick leave relating to COVID-19.  The broadly-worded ordinance provoked opposition from some in the business community.  Last night, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a Public Order Under … Continue Reading
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