California Employment Law Update
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September 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include:  Desperate Housewife’s Wrongful Termination Claim Should Have Been Dismissed Post-Employment Non-Compete Covenant Could Not Be Enforced Against Seller/Employee Of Company Former Church Ministers May … Continue Reading

Chamber of Commerce Releases Annual List of Job Killer Bills

With California’s unemployment rate hovering around 11%, both employees and employers are sensitive to proposed legislature that could further increase the burdens on businesses and hamper economic growth. With these concerns in mind,the California Chamber of Commerce has released it’s annual a list of “Job Killer Bills,” which consists of 23 proposed laws that could … Continue Reading

May 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include:  Employers Need Only Provide (Not Ensure) Meal And Rest Breaks  Employees Did Not Violate Federal Statute By Misappropriating Employer’s Computer Data Nurse’s ADA Disability … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Issues Long Awaited Opinion on Meal and Rest Breaks

This morning, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. Taking up two crucial issues that have spawned dozens of class action suits across the state, the Court answered the questions: (1) must an employer merely provide a meal break to employees or must it ensure that … Continue Reading

TV Writers and Proskauer Client CAA Reach Preliminary Agreement to Settle

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and representatives of a class of television writers today announced the settlement of a case alleging age discrimination in the representation of television writers. The case was the last of 23 separate class actions that were filed a decade ago by the writers against the major television networks, production studios, and … Continue Reading

Jury Awards Record $168 Million to Employee in Workplace Harassment Suit

A federal court jury on Wednesday awarded a record $168 million to a physician’s assistant who complained of multiple instances of sexual harassment by her supervisors in the cardiovascular surgery department at Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital. The verdict is believed to be the largest ever awarded to a single plaintiff in an employment case. The … Continue Reading

California Labor Commissioner Issues Long-Awaited Guidance On Wage Theft Prevention Act

Please visit the update to this entry, available here. On the eve of the implementation of California’s Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, the California Labor Commissioner has made available to employers a template Notice (Word / pdf) that complies with the requirements of new Labor Code § 2810.5. Beginning January 1, 2012, Section 2810.5 requires employers … Continue Reading

California Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 Triggers New Disclosure Requirements That Go Into Effect January 1st, 2012

Earlier this year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 469 (pdf), entitled the “Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011,” which adds Section 2810.5 to the Labor Code and requires employers to furnish to non-exempt employees, at the time of hiring, a notice specifying (among other things) the employee’s rate or rates of pay … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments in Brinker

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments in the landmark wage-and-hour case Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court on November 8 in San Francisco. In Brinker, the Court will decide whether employers must merely provide meal and rest breaks to their employees or actually ensure that breaks are taken, as well … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Reexamines Class Certification Standards After Dukes v. Walmart

In Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 19060 (9th Cir. Sept. 16, 2011), the Ninth Circuit reviewed the standards for class certification in an employment class action following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dukes v. Walmart. In Ellis,three named plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and backpay on behalf of a nationwide … Continue Reading

New California Law Prohibits Discrimination Based on Genetic Information

The number of protected classes under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), Cal. Gov’t Code § 12900 et seq., has risen by one. The FEHA, together with the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51, currently prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, and services provided by business establishments on the basis of … Continue Reading

Proskauer Wins Summary Judgment on Behalf of Paramount in Breach of Contract, Discrimination Case

The plaintiff was an Australian citizen working as an associate attorney for the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP on a work visa. In October 2009, Paramount extended to her a conditional offer of employment to serve as its Vice President, IT Legal, the offer being contingent upon the completion of a background investigation … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Class Action Rules, Rejecting Class Composed of 1.5 Million Wal-Mart Employees

In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, No. 10-277 (U.S. June 20, 2011), the Supreme Court vacated class certification of a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by 1.5 million current and former Wal-Mart employees because the plaintiffs failed to identify a specific, company-wide policy or practice of discrimination. Additionally, the Court held unanimously that the employees’ backpay claims … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules Unlicensed “Junior Accountants” May Be Exempt From Overtime

Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2011 WL 2342740 (9th Cir. June 15, 2011) (pdf) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff-junior accountants, noting that the district court’s holding would produce “significantly troubling results” and create “highly problematic precedent affecting several non-accounting … Continue Reading

New Government-Created SmartPhone “App” Now Available For Use As “iEvidence” To Assist Employees In Wage Disputes

As the federal government wades deeper into the realm of mobile "apps" (among the most useful, of course, the Smithsonian Institution’s “MEanderthal” app, which enables users to morph personal photos into prehistoric images of themselves), various U.S. agencies are promoting new apps that allow the public to access official information from “the palm of [one’s] … Continue Reading

The State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Presents 2011 Employment Law Update: A Mid-Year Review of Recent Developments

On Wednesday, June 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Anthony Oncidi of Proskauer and plaintiff-side attorney, Andrew Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP, will summarize the latest developments and discuss the practical implications of this year’s most significant employment decisions. Among other developments, attendees will hear about the new U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the “cat’s … Continue Reading

May 2011 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly posted May 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include:  State Limitations On Arbitration Agreements Are Preempted By Federal Law State Farm Had No Duty To Defend Employer Against Employee’s Sexual Battery Claim … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Tips the Scales Back Toward Arbitration

In a ruling that has garnered significant interest among employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held on Wednesday that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the California Supreme Court’s efforts to impose heightened unconscionability standards on class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements. This decision may also sound the death knell for similar restrictions imposed by California … Continue Reading

March 2011 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly posted March 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include:  NASA Employees’ Privacy Was Not Invaded By Background Check Pregnancy Harassment Claim Was Properly Dismissed, And Employee Waived Attorney-Client Privilege By Using Employer’s … Continue Reading

Your Lawyer Said What? — Court Rules Employee’s Communications with Lawyer Over Company Email Are Not Privileged

  A California court has ruled that an employee’s emails with her lawyer over the company’s computer system were not privileged because they “were akin to consulting with her lawyer in her employer’s conference room, in a loud voice, with the door open, so that any reasonable person would expect that their discussion of her … Continue Reading
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