California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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New Restriction on Background Checks in California

The California Court of Appeal has ruled that date of birth and/or a driver’s license number cannot be used to identify individuals in an electronic search of the criminal index of court records.  All of Us or None v. Hamrick.  This ruling complicates and further restricts how and even whether (from a practical standpoint) employers … Continue Reading

July 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Board of Directors Quota Law May Be Unconstitutional 2:1 Ratio of Punitive to Compensatory Damages Was Appropriate High School Football Coach’s Title VII Claim Was … Continue Reading

Alleged Employer Violation of a Local Ordinance Cannot Support a Wrongful Discharge Claim

The California Court of Appeal has determined that a wrongful discharge claim cannot be based upon an alleged violation of a municipal ordinance.  Bruni v. The Edward Thomas Hospitality Corporation. The California Supreme Court has previously ruled that wrongful termination claims must be based upon a violation of a “fundamental public policy.”  In the years … Continue Reading

California Mulls More Job Killer Bills, Major Tax Hikes

Last week, New York announced new tax increases that will subject certain of its residents to higher personal income tax rates than even Californians pay.  Before the pages on that bill had cooled, the California legislature was well on its way to showing it would not relinquish its top-of-the-heap status without a fight by proposing … Continue Reading

March 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Trial Court Properly Dismissed Employee’s CFRA And Disability Discrimination Claims LAUSD Teacher Can Proceed With Claim For Disability Allegedly Caused By School’s Wi-Fi System Supreme … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Applies Dynamex Retroactively And Offers “Guidance”

Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc., 986 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir 2021) Following the California Supreme Court’s answer in the affirmative to the certified question from the Ninth Circuit as to the retroactive effect of Dynamex Ops. W. Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018), the Ninth Circuit in this opinion amended and reissued its … Continue Reading

Chamber of Commerce Urges California to Ease Restrictions on Employers

  The California Chamber of Commerce and nearly 200 other organizations joined in a January 13 letter to the Governor and the leadership of the state Senate and Assembly, urging them to stave off a growing exodus of businesses by loosening the regulatory yoke on California employers. In the letter, the Chamber encouraged that the Governor “take … Continue Reading

California Employers May Be Required to Subsidize Backup Childcare

Last Thursday, Assembly Bill 1179 was introduced to require California employers with 1,000 or more to provide “backup ” for children under 14. To be eligible for the benefit, employees who work in California would need to have been employed by the company for at least 30 days. If passed and signed into law, this … Continue Reading

Uber/Lyft Drivers Win Latest Round in California

The California Supreme Court has denied a petition for writ of mandate filed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The SEIU, which was hoping to unionize Uber and Lyft drivers in the wake of AB 5, (read more of our AB 5 coverage here, here, and here), argued that voter-approved Proposition 22 (which permits … Continue Reading

Nike “Just Does It” – Retail Employees Will Wear Transparent Masks

Last summer, Nike began requiring its retail employees to wear masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. A few weeks later, Cali Bunn entered one of its San Diego-area stores to purchase some shoes. Ms. Bunn is deaf and, like other deaf and hearing-impaired customers, relies on her ability to read other’s lips to communicate. … Continue Reading

$10 Million Lawsuit over January 6th Capitol Riot-Related Firing

On January 26, 2021, a computer programmer and coder named Leah Snyder filed a lawsuit against her former employer (Snyder v. Alight Solutions LLC (8:21-cv-00187)), alleging she was wrongfully terminated after she posted photos of herself at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In her complaint Snyder alleges that her former employer, an Illinois-based based … 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

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

September 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Entitled To $17.2 Million For Wrongful Termination/Defamation “Continuing Violation” Theory Saves Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claim Tortious Interference With At-Will Contract Requires Independently Wrongful Act … Continue Reading

CUIAB Should Have Considered Additional Evidence In Support Of Unemployment Claim

Land v. CUIAB, 2020 WL 5200858 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Justin Land’s employer terminated his employment as a field service specialist based upon his “violation of company policy,” involving his failure to finish a job or return the next day to finish it because he “just forgot”; Land also gave out his personal phone number … Continue Reading

California Amends Independent Contractor Law (Again) – New Exemptions for Music Industry Workers, Freelance Writers and Photographers

Last Friday, September 4, Governor Newsom signed AB 2257, which includes a slew of modifications to the now-infamous AB5, which went into effect this year and codified the strict ABC independent contractor test, which we have addressed previously in this blog. With this new amendment, there are now more than 100 exemptions and limitations to … Continue Reading

“Oh, We Were Just Leaving!”: California Court Halts Order Requiring Uber and Lyft to Reclassify Drivers

Last week, Uber Technologies, Inc. and Lyft, Inc. announced that they would suspend ridesharing operations in the State of California in response to an August 10, 2020 San Francisco Superior Court judge’s preliminary injunction, requiring the companies to reclassify their California drivers as “employees” within 10 days.  The order came in the context of a … 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

CalChamber Releases its Annual List of “Job Killer” Bills Proposed by the California Legislature

The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified 10 recently introduced “job killer” bills that have been proposed by the California legislature. Worth noting are the following: AB 196 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Establishes “Conclusive Presumption” of Injury. Conclusively presumes that contraction of COVID-19 by all “essential workers” is a workplace injury, which will greatly increase the … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Employers May Face Even More Juror Hostility After Pandemic

As if there weren’t enough to worry about, Los Angeles employers may face an even tougher challenge to prevail at trial in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics suggests in its latest study. On May 4th, Dispute Dynamics surveyed Los Angeles County residents and people nationwide, inquiring about their … Continue Reading

$13M UCLA Case Exposes Calif. Employment Litigation Flaws

In Pinter-Brown v. Regents of the University of California,[1] the California Court of Appeal’s Second Appellate District recently reversed a blockbuster $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown. Pinter-Brown went to trial against University of California, Los Angeles, on claims of … Continue Reading
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