California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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Los Angeles City Council Approves Sweeping Vaccine Ordinance for Indoor Establishments

Following New York City and San Francisco, Los Angeles is the latest city to require proof of vaccination for individuals entering indoor portions of establishments.  This ordinance, which the Los Angeles City Council approved in an 11-to-2 vote, takes effect November 4, 2021.  However, beginning October 21, 2021, the ordinance requires businesses and City facilities … Continue Reading

San Francisco Jury Hits Tesla with $137 Million Race Harassment Verdict

On Monday afternoon, a San Francisco federal court jury awarded $137 million to a Black former elevator operator who worked at Tesla’s Fremont facility for approximately one year before quitting his employment in 2016. After just four hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Owen Diaz $6.9 million in emotional distress damages and $130 million in punitive … Continue Reading

New California Law Imposes Strict Limits on Warehouse Distribution Centers (This Means You, Amazon!)

A new California law, effective January 1, 2022, closely regulates productivity quotas for warehouse distribution centers.  AB 701 applies to employers of 100 or more employees at a single warehouse distribution center or 1,000 or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state and purports to address warehouse safety concerns by … Continue Reading

September 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Rejects “Paramour Preference” Liability Arising From Supervisor’s Affair With Another Employee $3.5 Million Emotional Distress Award Was “Shockingly Disproportionate” To Evidence Of Harm … Continue Reading

Family Member In-Home Supportive Services Worker Is Ineligible For Unemployment Benefits

Skidgel v. CUIAB, 2021 WL 3671434 (Cal. S. Ct. 2021) Tamara Skidgel was an in-home supportive services (IHSS) provider who was being paid under the state’s IHSS program to care for her own daughter.  In this lawsuit, Skidgel alleged that she had been an IHSS provider for her daughter since May 2013 and expected to … Continue Reading

Dutch Executive “Publicly Presented” Himself As An Executive Of California Company

Swenberg v. Dmarcian, Inc., 2021 WL 3856599 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021) Charles Swenberg sued Martijn Groeneweg (among others), alleging various claims related to his ownership interest in and employment with dmarcian, Inc. Groeneweg (a Dutch citizen) filed a motion to quash service for lack of personal jurisdiction over him in the State of California. The … Continue Reading

California Jury Awards Employees $7.6 Million in Latest Gargantuan Wrongful Termination Verdict

A Los Angeles jury has ordered an apartment building owner and property management company to pay $7.6 million to two former live-in apartment managers who claimed to have been wrongfully terminated and discriminated against based upon a medical condition and disability (thyroid cancer). Albert Garcia and his wife Stephanie Garcia sued Gresham Apartments Investors, owners … Continue Reading

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
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