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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Federal Court Strikes Down California’s “Request Arbitration, Go to Jail” Law

On January 31, 2020, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller enjoined California from enforcing AB 51. This new legislation prohibits employers from requiring their employees to sign arbitration agreements.  Last week, the court issued its detailed written opinion explaining the basis for its decision. As we predicted, the Court found that AB 51 is … Continue Reading

Federal Court Blocks “Request Arbitration, Go to Jail” Law in California

As we reported previously [here], Assembly Bill 51, which would impose criminal penalties upon employers seeking to have their employees sign arbitration agreements, has been challenged in federal court.  Today, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller enjoined the state from enforcing AB 51 indefinitely.  So, employers in California may request that employees and … Continue Reading

January 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Church Affiliate Is Exempt From FEHA Liability, But Liable for $1.9 Million On Other Theories Disability Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims Were Properly Dismissed Employer That … Continue Reading

Employer’s Wage Statement Failed To Provide Legal Name Of Employer

Noori v. Countrywide Payroll & HR Solutions, Inc., 2019 WL 7183403 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Mohammed Noori sued his former employer for violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226(a) (setting forth certain very specific statutory requirements for itemized wage statements) based on the fact that the wage statements identified “CSSG” as the “name of the … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification Of Meal/Rest Break Claims

Cacho v. Eurostar, Inc., 2019 WL 7180349 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) David Cacho and Regina Silva asserted class claims against their former employer (Eurostar), alleging Eurostar violated California wage and hour laws by failing to provide employees with required meal and rest breaks and compelling to employees to work off the clock at Eurostar’s Warehouse … Continue Reading

Court Properly Refused To Dissolve Injunction Involving Trade Secret Misappropriation

Global Protein Prods., Inc. v. Le, 42 Cal. App. 5th 352 (2019) Global Protein Products, Inc. (“GPP”) successfully sued its former employee Kevin K. Le for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition and obtained a stipulated permanent injunction against him and his company from “acquiring, disclosing, using, or attempting or threatening … Continue Reading

Defamation and Wrongful Termination Claims Against the Los Angeles Times Were Properly Dismissed

Rall v. Tribune 365, LLC, 2019 WL 6887261 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Frederick Theodore Rall III, a political cartoonist and blogger, sued the Los Angeles Times after it published a “note to readers” and (later) a more detailed report questioning the accuracy of a blog post that Rall wrote for the Times. Rall then sued … Continue Reading

Employer That “Mistakenly” Terminated Employee On Disability Leave May Be Liable For Discrimination

Glynn v. Superior Court, 42 Cal. App. 5th 47 (2019) John Glynn worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative before he commenced a medical leave of absence for a serious eye condition (myopic macular degeneration). Glynn’s doctor provided a medical certification designating his work status as “no work” because Glynn “can’t safely drive.” Although the employer’s … Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Doe v. Department of Corr. & Rehab., 2019 WL 6907515 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) John Doe, who worked as a psychologist at Ironwood State Prison, alleged discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a disability; Doe also alleged that the employer violated FEHA in that it failed to accommodate his two alleged disabilities (asthma and dyslexia) … Continue Reading

Church Affiliate Is Exempt From FEHA Liability, But Liable for $1.9 Million On Other Theories

Mathews v. Happy Valley Conference Ctr., 2019 WL 6769659 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Jeremiah Mathews worked as a maintenance supervisor and cook for Happy Valley Conference Center, which is a subordinate affiliate of Community of Christ (a church). Mathews alleged his employment was terminated in retaliation for his having reported harassment of a younger male … Continue Reading

Uber and Postmates File Lawsuit Challenging California’s New Independent Contractor Law (AB-5)

On Monday, Uber, Postmates and two of their drivers filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Central District of California, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and a determination that AB-5 is unconstitutional. AB-5 is set to become effective on Wednesday, January 1st and will have a major impact on California’s freelance workforce as well … Continue Reading

California’s “Request Arbitration, Go to Jail” Law is Blocked Until at Least January 10, 2020

As we reported previously, the California legislature recently passed and Gov. Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 51, which would impose criminal penalties upon employers seeking to have their employees sign arbitration agreements – it is in short the “Request Arbitration, Go to Jail” law.  Today, United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller granted a … Continue Reading

Adjusting To The “New Normal” With AB 5 – A World Without Independent Contractors

On January 1, 2020, California’s new worker classification law known as Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”), goes into effect.  AB 5 codifies the three-factor “ABC” test adopted by the California Supreme Court in its 2018 Dynamex decision. The bulk of newly added Section 2750.3 of the California Labor Code describes the various categories of workers … Continue Reading

California’s Arbitration Ban Challenged in Federal Court

As expected, California’s effort to ban employers from requiring employees and applicants to sign an arbitration agreement has been challenged in federal court.  The lawsuit was filed by a business coalition that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation. AB-51 was signed into law in October along with a constellation of other … Continue Reading

“OK, Boomer!”: Not Okay In the Office

As recently highlighted by the New York Times, a new phrase emblematic of the real or perceived “War Between the Generations” has gone viral: “OK, Boomer!”  The phrase, popularized on the Internet and, in particular, Twitter by Generation Z and Millennials, has been used to dismiss baby boomers’ thoughts and opinions, sometimes viewed by younger … Continue Reading

November 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Upholds Whistleblower Verdicts In Favor Of Fired Parking Ticket Hearing Examiners College Professor Was Retaliated Against For Complaining About Hostile Environment Discriminatory Failure-To-Hire Claim Must … Continue Reading

Determination Of Class Certification Motion Should Be Based On Dynamex’s “ABC Test”

Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit, Inc., 2019 WL 4942213 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) Francisco Gonzales filed this putative class action against his former employer, San Gabriel Transit (“SGT”), alleging that he and 550 other drivers were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. The trial court denied class certification on the ground that Gonzales had … Continue Reading

Employer’s “Service Charge” May Be A Gratuity Owed To Employees

O’Grady v. Merchant Exchange Prods., Inc., 2019 WL 5617001 (Cal. Ct. App. 2019) In this putative class action, banquet server and bartender Lauren O’Grady alleged that her employer’s practice of automatically imposing a 21 percent “service charge” to every food and beverage banquet bill constituted a gratuity that had to be fully paid to nonmanagerial … Continue Reading

Employer Must Have Written Meal Period Agreement, Which Includes A Revocation Clause

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Servs., Inc., 40 Cal. App. 5th 444 (2019) Spectrum contracts with federal agencies to take temporary custody of federal prisoners and ICE detainees who must travel offsite for medical treatment and other appointments; Spectrum’s officers provide continuous supervision until the individuals are returned to their custodial locations. Spectrum had a policy … Continue Reading
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