California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Attorney’s Fees

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Employee Who Dismissed Claims Upon Receipt Of Settlement Can Recover Costs As Prevailing Party

DeSaulles v. Community Hosp. of the Monterey Peninsula, 62 Cal. 4th 1140 (2016) Maureen deSaulles agreed to dismiss her causes of action for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in exchange for a settlement payment from her former employer in the amount of $23,000. The trial … Continue Reading

Employer Was Entitled To Obtain Reimbursement Of Short-Term Employee’s Training Costs

USS-POSCO Indus. v. Case, 197 Cal. Rptr. 3d 791 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Floyd Case voluntarily enrolled in a three-year, employer-sponsored educational program. Case agreed in writing that if he quit his job within 30 months of completing the program, he would reimburse his employer (UPI) a prorated portion of the program costs. Two months … Continue Reading

Employer And Employee Were Each Prevailing Parties On Different Claims

Sharif v. Mehusa, Inc., 2015 WL 5969679 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Mahta Sharif sued her former employer (Mehusa) for unpaid overtime, unpaid wages and violation of California’s Equal Pay Act (“EPA”). While Sharif prevailed on her EPA claim, Mehusa prevailed on the overtime and wage claims. Sharif sought reimbursement of her attorney’s fees pursuant to … Continue Reading

Court Properly Enjoined Plaintiffs’ Lawyers From Distributing $5 Million In Fees To Themselves

Lofton v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 2014 WL 5358364 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) The Initiative Law Group (“ILG”) represented more than 600 plaintiffs in a class action filed in Los Angeles against Wells Fargo that was initially certified and then was later decertified. After decertification, ILG continued to represent the plaintiffs in their individual lawsuits … Continue Reading

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to … Continue Reading

New IRS Guidance On Tax Treatment Of Attorney’s Fees

The IRS recently released a memorandum advising taxpayers on the proper tax characterization of attorney’s fee payments in connection with a settlement of or judgment in an employment dispute. Courts have long held that payments to plaintiffs for their attorney’s fees pursuant to a fee shifting statute belong to the plaintiff, not the attorney.  Thus, … Continue Reading

California Further Restricts Employer Recovery of Prevailing Party Attorney’s Fees

California has amended Labor Code § 218.5 to limit the circumstances under which an employer may recover its attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party in a lawsuit in which an employee has sued for nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions (SB 462).  Prior to enactment of Senate Bill 462, the prevailing … Continue Reading

Employee Was Not Entitled To Indemnity For Fees Incurred In Defending Against Employer’s Lawsuit

Nicholas Labs., LLC v. Chen, 199 Cal. App. 4th 1240 (2011) Nicholas Labs sued its former employee, Christopher Chen, for breach of contract, conversion, negligence, money had and received, unjust enrichment, etc., after discovering that, while employed by Nicholas Labs, Chen had engaged in a business that made him a competitor of Nicholas Labs and … Continue Reading
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