California Employment Law Update
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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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Airline Employees Whose Base of Work Is In California Must Receive Legally Compliant Wage Statements

Ward v. United Airlines, Inc., 2020 WL 3495310 (Cal. S. Ct. 2020) Plaintiffs are pilots and flight attendants for United Airlines, which is based outside California.  Although they reside in California, they perform most of their work in airspace outside of California’s jurisdiction.  The employees are not paid according to California wage law, but pursuant … Continue Reading

Dark Day For Hollywood – Law Prohibiting Online Publication Of Actors’ Ages Is Struck Down

IMDb.com Inc. v. Becerra, 962 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 2020) The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of IMDb.com, a website that lists, among other things, the actual ages of actors and actresses.  At issue was whether a 2016 California law (Assembly Bill 1687), which prohibits commercial online … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Revives Ashley Judd’s Sexual Harassment Claim Against Harvey Weinstein

In 2018, actress Ashley Judd (“Judd”) sued producer Harvey Weinstein (“Weinstein”) for sexual harassment, defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition.  Judd alleges that during a meeting with Weinstein to discuss casting opportunities, she was directed to his hotel room where he appeared in a bathrobe and tried to coerce her into … Continue Reading

COVID Alert: California Releases “Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening”

California Governor Gavin Newsom has released a 32-page “Employer Playbook” that’s designed to help employers “plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.” The Playbook contains general guidance applicable to all industries, such as how to manage an outbreak, record cases, and enforce mask requirements. … Continue Reading

Even a Worldwide Pandemic Is No Excuse For Blowing A Class Certification Deadline!

For years, federal courts in California have been inundated with wage and hour class actions.  Because these cases often clogged district court dockets for months (and, sometimes, even years) on end, the Central District of California issued the former Local Rule 23-3, which set a 90-day deadline to file a motion for class certification from … Continue Reading

Safety Concerns Regarding COVID-19 Infection Could Lead to More Plaintiff-Friendly Juries

Employers may face juries that seek to hold them responsible if an employee contracts COVID-19, the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics suggests in its latest study. Dispute Dynamics surveyed 321 individuals, inquiring about their most up-to-date attitudes in the context of being called as a potential juror during/following the pandemic. 46% of the participants indicated … Continue Reading

Please join us for a complimentary Webinar on Employment-Related Claims in the Wake of COVID-19

As businesses reopen and employers continue to adjust to the new reality created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to anticipate the types of employment-related claims that may arise. On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT, please join Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Department for a complimentary webinar as we provide an overview … Continue Reading

Mask On, Roll Camera: LA County Greenlights Hollywood Production Restart

As we previously reported, last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s State Public Health Officer cleared the music, film and television industry to resume work no earlier than this Friday, June 12, 2020, subject to county-by-county approval.  On June 10, 2020, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, announced that she was … Continue Reading

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
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