California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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California Enacts New Protections Against National Origin Discrimination

The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved new amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), strengthening the protections afforded to applicants and employees, including individuals who are undocumented, on the basis of their national origin.  Although the FEHA already prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of national origin, these new … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employers in Upholding Arbitration Agreements Containing Class Action Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in class or collective actions against their employer. Ruling 5-4 in favor of an employer’s right to … Continue Reading

Two Recent Jury Verdicts Award $6 Million and $7.97 Million To Wrongfully Terminated Employees

Two recent verdicts from California Superior Court juries have awarded former employees $6 million and $7.9 million, respectively, in compensatory damages after a finding of wrongful termination. Martinez v. Rite Aid Corp. On March 27, 2018, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found Rite Aid Corporation liable for just over $6 million after deciding … Continue Reading

Lower Court Should Have Certified Registered Nurses’ Class Action

Sali v. Corona Reg’l Med. Ctr., 2018 WL 2049680 (9th Cir. 2018) Marilyn Sali and Deborah Spriggs sued Corona Regional Medical Center on behalf of seven putative classes of registered nurses who were allegedly underpaid their wages; not paid for all overtime hours worked; and not provided accurate wage statements, among other things. The district … Continue Reading

Employer’s Action Against Opposing Attorney Was Properly Dismissed On Anti-SLAPP Grounds

MMM Holdings, Inc. v. Reich, 21 Cal. App. 5th 167 (2018) MMM sued Marc Reich, an attorney who had represented a former employee of MMM/MSO of Puerto Rico (Jose Valdez) in a whistleblower qui tam action against the company, for conversion, civil theft, etc., after Reich refused to turn over 26,000 electronically stored documents that … Continue Reading

Employee Was Permitted To Voluntarily Dismiss Breach Of Contract Action

Shapira v. Lifetech Resources, LLC, 2018 WL 1804993 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Achikam Shapira sued his former employer for breach of an employment contract. The case proceeded to a bench trial. After the parties rested but before submitting their closing arguments in brief form, Shapira requested that the trial court dismiss his action pursuant to … Continue Reading

Title VII Claim Must Be Filed Within 90 Days Of Receipt Of Right-To-Sue Letter

Scott v. Gino Morena Enterprises, LLC, 2018 WL 1977123 (9th Cir. 2018) Taylor Scott sued GME in state court for sexual harassment and retaliation. Because Scott worked at a barbershop located on the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, her state court action was removed to federal court under the federal enclave doctrine. After … Continue Reading

Staffing Company Was Not Liable For Failure To Provide Meal Periods

Serrano v. Aerotek, Inc., 21 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2018) Norma Serrano brought this putative class action against her employer (Aerotek), which placed her as a temporary employee with its client (Bay Bread). Serrano alleged violations of the Labor Code and of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) based upon, among other things, Aerotek’s alleged … Continue Reading

Auto Dealership Service Advisors Are Exempt From Federal Overtime Requirements

Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 584 U.S. ­­­___, 138 S. Ct. 1134 (2018) An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exempts from its overtime requirements “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements.” The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) subsequently issued an opinion letter and … Continue Reading

Community College District Failed To Reasonably Accommodate Disabled Employee

Hernandez v. Rancho Santiago Cmty. Coll. Dist., 2018 WL 2057468 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Marisa Hernandez worked on and off as an assistant for the District for a number of years without any complaints about her performance. Eight months into her 12-month probationary period (after which point she would become a “permanent employee”), Hernandez took … Continue Reading

Delivery Drivers Were Improperly Classified As Independent Contractors

Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 1999120 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Two delivery drivers for Dynamex filed this putative class action on behalf of similarly situated drivers, alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees for purposes of Industrial Wage Commission Order No. 9 (governing the transportation industry). At … Continue Reading

May 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Delivery Drivers Were Improperly Classified As Independent Contractors Employer May Not Avoid Title VII Liability Based Upon Employees’ Salary History Community College District Failed To Reasonably Accommodate … Continue Reading

California Abandons 30-Year-Old Test For Determining Independent-Contractor Status, Broadens Definition Of “Employee”

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, making it even harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors (rather than employees). The previous standard used for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors had been in place since 1989 and was … Continue Reading

California Legislature Mulls New Package Of “Job Killer” Bills

By Anthony J. Oncidi and Nayirie Kuyumjian The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a new raft of recently introduced “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list of 27 proposed laws includes measures that would impose additional penalties for an employer’s failure to pay wages; increase the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Changes Federal Pay Equity Rules

By Anthony J. Oncidi and Nayirie Kuyumjian           On Monday, the Ninth Circuit issued a significant opinion, Rizo v. Yovino, 2018 WL 1702982 (9th Cir. April 9, 2018), authored by the late “liberal lion” Judge Stephen Reinhardt, holding that an employer’s consideration of prior salary information cannot serve as a justification … Continue Reading

March 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Former LA Times Columnist’s Age/Disability Discrimination Judgment Upheld, New Trial On Damages Ordered; Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection Does Not Apply Absent Prior Notice To The SEC; California Rejects Federal Rule … Continue Reading

Former LA Times Columnist’s Age/Disability Discrimination Judgment Upheld, New Trial On Damages Ordered

Simers v. Los Angeles Times Commc’ns, LLC, 18 Cal. App. 5th 1248 (2018) T.J. Simers, a well-known sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, alleged disability and age discrimination and constructive discharge – Simers, who had suffered a “mini-stroke” from which he quickly recovered, quit his job after his column was suspended and he was … Continue Reading

California Rejects Federal Rule For Calculating Overtime Rate For Employees Who Earn Flat Sum Bonus

Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp. of Cal., 2018 WL 1146645 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Hector Alvarado, who worked as a warehouse associate for Dart, is a member of a putative class of employees who, in addition to their normal hourly wages, received a $15 per day attendance bonus if they were scheduled to work on … Continue Reading

$48,000 Judgment Affirmed In Favor Of Former Parks & Recreation Employee

Hurley v. California Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, 2018 WL 989506 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Delane Hurley worked as a staff services analyst who sued her employer, the Department of Parks & Recreation (“DPR”), and her former supervisor Leda Seals for harassment based on sex and sexual orientation in violation of the Fair Employment and … Continue Reading

Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection Does Not Apply Absent Prior Notice To The SEC

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, 583 U.S. ___, 2018 WL 987345 (2018) Paul Somers alleged that his former employer Digital Realty terminated his employment after he reported to senior management suspected securities-law violations by the company. Somers neither alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) of his concerns prior to his termination nor did … Continue Reading

Urging Other Employees To Quit And Sue Employer Is Protected Conduct Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

Bel Air Internet, LLC v. Morales, 2018 WL 1045222 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Bel Air Internet sued two of its former employees, Albert Morales and Flavio Delabra, for encouraging their fellow employees to quit and sue the company for alleged employment violations rather than sign a release of claims as Bel Air had requested. Bel … Continue Reading

Unsuccessful Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Is Not Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc., 19 Cal. App. 5th 558 (2017) William Bustos sued his former employer for disability discrimination. A jury determined that Bustos’ actual or perceived physical condition was a substantial motivating reason for his termination, but nevertheless returned defense verdicts on all of his claims. After the trial, Bustos sought an award … Continue Reading
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