California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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Consider the True Implications of Waiving Arbitration

Employers: have you thought about the true implications of waiving arbitration? When considering how to end sexual harassment issues in the workplace, prioritizing training and policy review may be a better course. Read more in Anthony Oncidi’s latest column in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: https://lnkd.in/dcMBBFm… Continue Reading

November 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Non-Solicitation Provision Was An Unenforceable Restraint Employer Was Not Liable For Accident Involving Employee Who Was Talking On Her Cell Phone Injured Employee May Have Been … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Wage/Hour Requirements By Offering Productivity Pay

Certified Tire & Serv. Ctrs. Wage & Hour Cases, 28 Cal. App. 5th 1 (2018) Plaintiffs in this certified wage and hour class action contend that Certified Tire violated applicable minimum wage and rest period requirements by implementing a compensation program, which guaranteed its automotive technicians a specific hourly wage above the minimum wage but … Continue Reading

PAGA Claims Were Barred By Statute Of Limitations

Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 2018 WL 5629874 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Terri Brown brought a representative action against her employer, Ralphs Grocery Company, under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), alleging wage and hour violations. In 2009, Brown filed a notice with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) as required under PAGA … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Dynamex Opinion Only Applies To Independent Contractor Wage Order Claims

Garcia v. Border Transp. Group, LLC, 2018 WL 5118546 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Jesus Cuitlahuac Garcia, a taxicab driver, filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Border Transportation Group (“BTG”), alleging claims based upon the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; failure to pay minimum wage; failure … Continue Reading

Employer May Not Take Tip Credit For Employees Engaged In Non-Tipped Tasks

Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, 905 F.3d 610 (9th Cir. 2018) (en banc) Plaintiffs in this case alleged that their employers abused the tip credit provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by paying them a reduced tip credit wage and treating them as tipped employees when they were engaged in either non-tipped tasks … Continue Reading

Employee Who Declined Settlement Offer Was Not Entitled To Recover Attorney’s Fees

Martinez v. Eatlite One, Inc., 27 Cal. App. 5th 1181 (2018) Samantha Martinez, a sandwich maker and cashier, sued Eatlite (the owner of a Subway store) for employment discrimination in violation of public policy, gender and pregnancy discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace, violation of the California Constitution and negligent supervision and … Continue Reading

Dean Of Theological Seminary Was A “Ministerial Employee”

Sumner v. Simpson Univ., 27 Cal. App. 5th 577 (2018) Sarah Sumner was the dean of the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and was employed pursuant to a written employment agreement. Her employment was terminated by Robin Dummer in his capacity as acting provost of the university on the ground that Sumner had been insubordinate. Sumner … Continue Reading

Employer Was Not Liable For Accident Involving Employee Who Was Talking On Her Cell Phone

Ayon v. Esquire Deposition Solutions, LLC, 27 Cal. App. 5th 487 (2018) Brittini Zuppardo, a scheduling manager for Esquire Deposition Solutions, was talking on her cell phone while driving home from her boyfriend’s house when her vehicle struck Jessica Ayon, causing significant injuries. At the time of the accident, Zuppardo was speaking with Michelle Halkett, … Continue Reading

Employee Non-Solicitation Provision Was An Unenforceable Restraint

AMN Healthcare, Inc. v. Aya Healthcare Servs., Inc., 2018 WL 5669154 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) AMN and Aya are competitors in the business of providing travel nurses on a temporary basis to medical care facilities throughout the country. As a condition of employment with AMN, four of its “travel nurse recruiters” had signed a Confidentiality … Continue Reading

Viacom Sues Netflix for Employee Poaching

Viacom, like Fox before, asserts the streamer is knowingly interfering with contracts. Viacom has filed a lawsuit alleging that Netflix induced one of its employees to break contract to join the streaming giant. The case, lodged in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, continues to explode the issue of the legality of fixed-term employment contracts.Read … Continue Reading

September 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employer Must Obtain Written Authorization To Conduct Background Check Some Of California’s “Sanctuary State” Employer Obligations Are Struck Down No-Employment Provision In Settlement Agreement Is An Unenforceable Restraint  Court … Continue Reading

Employer Must Obtain Written Authorization To Conduct Background Check

Connor v. First Student, Inc., 2018 WL 3966434 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Eileen Connor worked as a school bus driver for Laidlaw Education Services, a company that was later acquired by First Student.  First Student retained a consumer reporting agency to conduct background checks on its employees.  The background reports elicited information about the employees, … Continue Reading

Some Of California’s “Sanctuary State” Employer Obligations Are Struck Down

United States v. California, 314 F. Supp. 3d 1077 (E.D. Cal. 2018) United States District Judge John A. Mendez issued an order enjoining California from enforcing parts of the California Immigration Workers Protection Act (Assembly Bill 450), a new state law that restricts private employers from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement.  Among other things, the … Continue Reading

No-Employment Provision In Settlement Agreement Is An Unenforceable Restraint 

Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Med. Group, 896 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2018) Donald Golden, M.D. is an emergency-room doctor formerly affiliated with the California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (“CEP”), a large consortium of over 1,000 physicians that manages or staffs many emergency rooms in California and other western states. Dr. Golden sued CEP for … Continue Reading

Court Affirms $500,000 Jury Award To Employee Who Stutters

Caldera v. California Department of Corr. & Rehab., 25 Cal. App. 5th 31 (2018) Augustine Caldera is a correctional officer at a state prison who stutters when he speaks.  Caldera alleged that the prison’s employees, including a supervisor, “mocked and mimicked” his stutter at least a dozen times over a period of two years.  Caldera … Continue Reading

Member Of Tribe Could Proceed With Whistleblower Suit

The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation v. United States Dep’t of the Interior, 2018 WL 3978542 (9th Cir. 2018) Ken St. Marks, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, informed the United States Department of the Interior (the “Department”) that he believed members of the Tribe’s governing body were misusing federal stimulus … Continue Reading

Professional Golf Caddies May Be Required To Wear Bibs Containing Advertisements

Hicks v. PGA Tour, Inc., 897 F.3d 1109 (9th Cir. 2018) Professional golf caddies sued the PGA Tour, contending they should not be compelled to wear bibs featuring advertising sold by the Tour and local hosts of the PGA tournaments.  The caddies allege contract, quasi-contract, publicity and unfair competition claims under California law, a false … Continue Reading

Employee May Recover For Breach Of Contract, But Not For “Theft Of Labor”

Lacagnina v. Comprehend Sys. Inc., 25 Cal. App. 5th 955 (2018) David Lacagnina sued his former employer for fraud, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and “theft of labor by false pretenses” in violation of Cal. Pen. Code §§ 484 and 496.  The jury awarded $556,446 in … Continue Reading

Attorneys Were Not Liable For Breach Of Confidential Settlement Agreement

Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter, 26 Cal. App. 5th 54 (2018) The attorneys for two individuals who had sued Monster Energy Company signed and approved as to “content and form” a confidential settlement agreement between the individuals and Monster.  During an interview with a reporter for lawyersandsettlements.com, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys disclosed information that … Continue Reading

Injured Employee Who Was Denied Prescription Drug Is Limited To Workers’ Comp Benefits

King v. CompPartners, Inc., 2018 WL 4017874 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Two physician-utilization reviewers acting on behalf of Kirk King’s employer determined that a treatment that had been recommended for King (an employee who had suffered an injury covered by workers’ compensation) was not “medically necessary” and decertified the prescription without providing for a weaning … Continue Reading

FLSA’s De Minimis Doctrine Does Not Apply To California “Off-The-Clock” Claims

Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 5 Cal. 5th 829 (2018) In this opinion, the California Supreme Court answered a legal question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:  “Does the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s de minimis doctrine…apply to claims for unpaid wages under California Labor Code sections 510, 1194 and 1197?”  … Continue Reading

Taco Bell Did Not Deny Meal Breaks By Providing Employee Discounts For Meals Eaten On Premises

Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp., 896 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 2018) In this putative class action, employees challenged a special offer that Taco Bell provided to its employees:  They could receive discounted meals and complimentary soft drinks so long as they ate the discounted meals on the premises of the restaurant.  On behalf of the … Continue Reading
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