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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Telemarketers Were Independent Contractors, Not Agents Of Company

Jones v. Royal Admin. Servs., 2017 WL 3401317 (9th Cir. 2017) Charles Jones and Josh Watson (individuals whose cell phones are registered on the national do-no-call registry) sued Royal Administration Services for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for calls that were made by telemarketers who were employed by All American Auto Protection (“AAAP”), … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted Based On Plaintiffs’ Procedurally Defective Separate Statement

Rush v. White Corp., 13 Cal. App. 5th 1086 (2017) In this case (which does not involve employment issues), the trial court granted and the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants based upon plaintiffs’ “procedurally defective separate statement of facts.”  According to the Court, “Plaintiffs’ separate statement in response [to defendants’ separate statement … Continue Reading

Certification Of Claims Examiners’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied

Kizer v. Tristar Risk Mgmt., 13 Cal. App. 5th 830 (2017) Plaintiffs Valerie Kizer and Sharal Williams filed this putative class action, alleging their former employer had misclassified them and other similarly situated claims examiners as exempt from overtime. The trial court denied the class certification motion on the ground that plaintiffs had failed to … Continue Reading

Claims For Retaliation And Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Light v. California Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, 14 Cal. App. 5th 75 (2017) Melony Light worked as an assistant, office technician and eventually a staff services analyst at the Ocotillo Wells District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Light alleged that she had been retaliated against for having been a witness in … Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Alamillo v. BNSF Ry. Co., 2017 WL 3648514 (9th Cir. 2017) Antonio Alamillo, who worked as a locomotive engineer for BNSF, missed several calls and was suspended on at least two occasions before being terminated. Around the same time, Alamillo began to suspect he was experiencing a medical problem and was soon diagnosed with obstructive … Continue Reading

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Merrick v. Hilton Worldwide, Inc., 2017 WL 3496030 (9th Cir. 2017) Sixty-year-old Charles Merrick was terminated from his job as Director of Property Operations at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel as part of a reduction in force. Merrick sued for age discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other things. The … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations For Filing DFEH Complaint Runs From The Last Day Of Employment

Aviles-Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Cmty. Coll. Dist., 2017 WL 3712199 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez was employed as a professor for the Los Angeles Community College District (“LACCD”). Although Aviles-Rodriguez was notified on March 5, 2014 that his tenure had been denied by the Board of Trustees of the LACCD, his employment did not end … Continue Reading

PAGA Employee Can Obtain Contact Information For All Employees Statewide

Williams v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. 5th 531 (2017) Michael Williams was an employee of Marshalls of CA in Costa Mesa, California. After slightly more than a year of employment, Williams brought a representative action against Marshalls under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), alleging Marshalls had failed to provide its … Continue Reading

Vacation Policy May Lawfully Require “Waiting Period” Of One Year Before Benefits Begin To Accrue

Minnick v. Automotive Creations, Inc., 13 Cal. App. 5th 1000 (2017) Nathan Minnick, who had worked for only six months before his employment ended, sued his former joint employers under PAGA, alleging their vacation policy violated state law because it required employees who worked for less than one year to forfeit their vested vacation pay. The … Continue Reading

Malicious Prosecution Action Against Former Employer’s Law Firm Was Properly Dismissed

Parrish v. Latham & Watkins LLP, 3 Cal. 5th 767 (2017) In a prior litigation, FLIR Systems, Inc. and Indigo Systems Corp. (collectively, “FLIR”) brought suit against their former employees, William Parrish and E. Timothy Fitzgibbons (the “Former Employees”), for, among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets. The Former Employees defeated those claims and then … Continue Reading

Employer Can Recover $90,000 In Costs From Employee Who Rejected Multiple Settlement Offers

Sviridov v. City of San Diego, 2017 WL 3493855 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Aleksei Sviridov, a former police officer for the City of San Diego, was terminated from his job in 2007, reinstated in 2008 and then failed to return to work thereafter, which resulted in a second termination. Following years of litigation and three … Continue Reading

Jobseeker Website May Be Compelled To Disclose Identity Of Anonymous Posters Who Criticized Employer

 ZL Technologies, Inc. v. Does 1-7, 13 Cal. App. 5th 603 (2017) ZL Technologies brought suit, alleging libel per se and online impersonation, against seven anonymous individuals who represented themselves as current or former ZL employees and who posted critical reviews of ZL’s management and work environment on Glassdoor (a website where workers can post … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Think About Arbitration Agreements Again Following Recent $15 Million+ Employee Verdicts

Jury panels in the Los Angeles Superior Court (which is often referred to as “The Bank” by the plaintiffs’ bar) have recently delivered multimillion-dollar verdicts to former-employee plaintiffs.  Many employers doing business in California already have insulated themselves from such disasters by adopting comprehensive arbitration regimes, which would require that such cases be heard by a retired … Continue Reading

July 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: California Supreme Court Resolves Day-Of-Rest Questions; Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA; Trial Court Abused Its Discretion In Refusing To Compel Employer To Produce Data … Continue Reading

Employee Is Not Entitled To Attorney’s Fees For Breach Of Contract Claim

Shames v. Utility Consumers’ Action Network, 2017 WL 2807920 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Michael Shames filed this lawsuit against the Utility Consumers’ Action Network (“UCAN”), alleging various causes of action stemming from the termination of his employment. Although his amended complaint alleged UCAN’s breach of contract for its failure to pay him multiple bonus payments, … Continue Reading

Mortgage Underwriters Are Not Exempt From FLSA Overtime Requirements

McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Sav. Bank, 2017 WL 2855084 (9th Cir. 2017) Mortgage underwriters at Provident Savings Bank review mortgage loan applications using guidelines established by Provident and investors in the secondary mortgage loan market, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. In this lawsuit for unpaid overtime arising under the federal Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

Foreign National Who Worked For Travel Tour Company Was An Employee, Not An Intern Or Exempt Manager

Kao v. Joy Holiday, 2017 WL 2590653 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Ming-Hsiang Kao was employed by Joy Holiday (a travel tour company) initially performing IT-related duties and then eventually as its office manager. While he was still in Taiwan, Kao worked with Jessy Lin (one of the owners of Joy Holiday) as a tour organizer. … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred By Failing To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Rest Periods

Bartoni v. American Med. Response W., 11 Cal. App. 5th 1084 (2017) Current and former employees of an ambulance service company sued their employer for unpaid meal and rest periods. The complaint alleges claims on behalf of a putative class as well as non-class claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). The … Continue Reading

Punitive Damages Claim Against Employer Is Dismissed Absent Action By “Managing Agent”

CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court, 11 Cal. App. 5th 1255 (2017) Hector Contreras was employed as a truck driver by CRST when the truck he was driving collided with the car of Matthew and Michael Lennig. In this writ proceeding, CRST sought summary adjudication of the Lennigs’ prayer for punitive damages. The Court of Appeal … Continue Reading

Attorney Work Product Belongs To Law Firm, Not Former Attorney Employee

Tucker Ellis LLP v. Superior Court, 2017 WL 2665188 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Evan C. Nelson, who is a California attorney specializing in asbestos defense, was employed as a trial attorney by Tucker Ellis in the firm’s Mass Tort & Product Liability Practice Group. The firm promoted Ellis to the position of “non-capital partner” approximately … Continue Reading

Trial Court Abused Its Discretion In Refusing To Compel Employer To Produce Data Sought By EEOC

EEOC v. McLane Co., 857 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 2017) Damiana Ochoa filed a charge with the EEOC alleging sex discrimination (based on pregnancy) in violation of Title VII, when, after she tried to return to her job following maternity leave, her employer (McLane Co.) informed her that she could not come back to the … Continue Reading

Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA

Arias v. Raimondo, 2017 WL 2676771 (9th Cir. 2017) José Arnulfo Arias worked as a milker for Angelo Dairy. The dairy did not complete and file a Form I-9 when it hired Arias. According to the appellate court, “[i]nstead of complying with federal law, the Angelos wielded it as a weapon to confine Arias in … Continue Reading
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