California Employment Law Update
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Tony Oncidi


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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January 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Bank Employee Who Was Harassed By A Customer Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Laid-Off Employee Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Age … Continue Reading

Laid-Off Employee Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Age

Foroudi v. The Aerospace Corp., 57 Cal. App. 5th 992 (2020) The Aerospace Corporation hired David Foroudi as a senior project engineer when he was 55 years old. Several years later, Foroudi was among the lowest-ranked employees based upon his managers’ assessment of his deficiencies in interpersonal communication skills and limited background in navigation relating … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Willfully Interfere With Employee’s FMLA Rights

Olson v. United States, 980 F.3d 1334 (9th Cir. 2020) Andrea Olson provided reasonable accommodation services to employers such as the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to facilitate their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Olson began experiencing anxiety and requested, among other things, that she be allowed to telework to reduce her time spent … Continue Reading

California Law Applies To Non-California Residents Working Off The Coast

Gulf Offshore Logistics, LLC v. Superior Court, 58 Cal. App. 5th 264 (2020) Non-California resident crew members of the “Adele Elise” (a vessel that provides services to oil platforms located off the coast of California) filed this putative class action alleging multiple violations of California wage and hour law. The owner/operators of the vessel (all … Continue Reading

CAFA-Removed Case Is Remanded Based On Insufficient Amount In Controversy

Harris v. KM Indus., Inc., 980 F.3d 694 (9th Cir. 2020) KM Industrial removed from state to federal court the putative wage/hour class action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), asserting that the amount in controversy exceeded $5 million. Plaintiff’s motion to remand was based on the argument that KMI unreasonably assumed that the … Continue Reading

PAGA Notice Was Sufficient To Support Claims

Rojas-Cifuentes v. Superior Court, 2020 WL 7488653 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Miguel Angel Rojas-Cifuentes filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim against his former employer, American Modular Systems, Inc. (AMS), in which he alleged violations of the law that requires employers to keep accurate time and payroll records and to compensate employees “for substantial … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations Tolled By Related Class Actions

Hildebrandt v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 58 Cal. App. 5th 128 (2020) Von Hildebrandt filed a putative class action against Staples asserting that he and other general managers of Staples had been misclassified as exempt from overtime and that, accordingly, they were owed compensation for unpaid overtime, missed rest and meal periods, inaccurate wage … Continue Reading

Employer’s Counsel Admitted Pro Hac Vice Should Not Also Have Represented Employee Witnesses

Big Lots Stores, Inc. v. Superior Court, 57 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2020) Big Lots, an Ohio corporation, applied to have Ohio counsel (Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP) admitted to represent it in a putative class action pending in California. The trial court granted the application but when it learned that attorneys from the … Continue Reading

Bank Employee Who Was Harassed By A Customer Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim

Christian v. Umpqua Bank, 2020 WL 7777882 (9th Cir. 2020) Jennifer Christian, a former employee of Umpqua Bank, alleged she was sexually harassed by one of the bank’s customers in violation of Title VII and Washington state law.  Among other things, the customer dropped off “small notes” stating that Christian was the “most beautiful girl … Continue Reading

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

UPDATED February 18, 2021: The portal is now open and can be accessed on DFEH’s pay data reporting homepage along with the guide, template, and example. UPDATED February 3, 2021: The DFEH has released a User Guide, reporting Template, and reporting Example. The portal will be available on February 16, 2021. SB 973, enacted on … 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