California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: California Labor & Employment Law

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Labor Commissioner’s Anti-Retaliation Jurisdiction Expanded

This law expands the Labor Commissioner’s power to commence an investigation of an employer – with or without a retaliation complaint being filed – when retaliation by the employer against an employee is suspected during the course of adjudicating a wage claim, a field inspection or in instances of suspected immigration-related threats in violation of the Labor … Continue Reading

Employer May Be Liable For Sexual Harassment By Nonemployee Trespasser

M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Mgmt. LLC, 2017 WL 4831603 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) M.F., a housekeeping employee who worked for a hotel, alleged she had been raped while working on the employer’s premises by a drunk, nonemployee trespasser whom the employer knew or should have known was on the premises and who had “aggressively … Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation Decision Barred Employees’ FEHA Claims

Ly v. County of Fresno, 2017 WL 4546059 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Three Laotian correctional officers were allegedly subjected to racial and national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation by their employer, the County of Fresno. The employees filed suit in court under the FEHA while simultaneously pursuing their workers’ compensation remedies before the Workers’ Compensation … Continue Reading

Employer Was Not Liable For Marital Status Discrimination Or Failure To Investigate

Nakai v. Friendship House Ass’n of Am. Indians, Inc., 15 Cal. App. 5th 32 (2017) Orlando Nakai was employed for over 20 years by Friendship House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program providing treatment services to Native Americans. His employment was terminated by the program’s CEO (who also happened to be his mother-in-law) after his … Continue Reading

Whistleblower’s Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Levi v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 15 Cal. App. 5th 892 (2017) Dr. Leah Levi, a neuro-ophthalmologist, alleged retaliation under California’s Whistleblower Protection Act (“CWPA”) against the University, her former employer. Dr. Levi alleged that her supervisor (Dr. Robert Weinreb) had a conflict of interest related to his wife’s position in the department … Continue Reading

Employer’s Violation Of PAGA Need Not Be Knowing And Intentional

Lopez v. Friant & Assocs., LLC, 15 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2017) Eduardo Lopez filed this action seeking recovery of civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) for his employer’s failure to include the last four digits of its employees’ Social Security numbers or employee identification numbers on itemized … Continue Reading

Taxicab Driver May Have Been An Employee Rather Than An Independent Contractor

Linton v. DeSoto Cab Co., 15 Cal. App. 5th 1208 (2017) DeSoto Cab Co. had required Darnice Linton to pay a “gate fee” in exchange for his obtaining a taxicab to drive for each of his shifts. Linton alleged that he is an employee (not an independent contractor) and that by charging him “gate fees,” … Continue Reading

DOL’s Interpretation Of Tip Credit Regulation Does Not Merit Judicial Deference

Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, 869 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2017) Alec Marsh, who worked as a server for J. Alexander’s, alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) based upon the employer’s failure to pay him the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Marsh further alleged that he received more than $30 … Continue Reading

Employer Is Not Liable For Injuries Caused By Employee Who Was En Route To Work

Morales-Simental v. Genentech, Inc., 2017 WL 4700383 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Vincent Inte Ong was driving to work at Genentech when his vehicle collided with another vehicle, which resulted in the death of Marisol Morales. In this personal injury lawsuit, Morales’s survivors alleged that Ong was acting within the course and scope of his employment … Continue Reading

California Enacts “Ban the Box” Legislation

On Saturday, October 14, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1008 into law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2018.  Known as the “Ban the Box” legislation, in reference to the box applicants are asked to check if they have any prior criminal convictions, the new law prohibits employers with … Continue Reading

Employer’s Victory In Workers’ Compensation Proceeding Leads To Dismissal Of Discrimination Claims

A recent California Court of Appeal opinion reminds employers of the need to carefully monitor parallel workers’ compensation proceedings involving litigants who also have civil claims pending against the employer. Ly v. County of Fresno, 2017 WL 4546059 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2017). Three Laotian correctional officers filed Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) … Continue Reading

New Mandatory California Training on Gender Identity Harassment

On Oct. 15, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 396 into law, expanding the scope of mandatory sexual harassment training employers must provide to their supervisory employees.  Currently, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of prescribed training and education … Continue Reading

California Expands Parental Leave Protections

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 63 into law, expanding parental leave protections to those individuals who work for employers with at least 20 employees.  Under the new law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2018, employers with at least 20 employees must allow an employee who has more than … Continue Reading

California Enacts Statewide Law Restricting Inquiries into Applicants’ Salary History

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a statewide salary history inquiry law that will largely restrict employers in the state from seeking and relying upon salary history information from applicants during the hiring process. The law, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018 and will apply to all private and public … Continue Reading

California Becomes a “Sanctuary State,” Restricts Employer Cooperation With Federal Immigration Authorities

On Thursday, October 5th, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law nearly a dozen new immigration-related bills, including AB 450, which prohibits employers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the absence of a judicial warrant or court order.  Among other things, the new law: Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent’s … Continue Reading

September 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Jobseeker Website May Be Compelled To Disclose Identity Of Anonymous Posters Who Criticized Employer; Employer Can Recover $90,000 In Costs From Employee Who Rejected Multiple Settlement Offers; … Continue Reading

Telemarketers Were Independent Contractors, Not Agents Of Company

Jones v. Royal Admin. Servs., 2017 WL 3401317 (9th Cir. 2017) Charles Jones and Josh Watson (individuals whose cell phones are registered on the national do-no-call registry) sued Royal Administration Services for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for calls that were made by telemarketers who were employed by All American Auto Protection (“AAAP”), … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted Based On Plaintiffs’ Procedurally Defective Separate Statement

Rush v. White Corp., 13 Cal. App. 5th 1086 (2017) In this case (which does not involve employment issues), the trial court granted and the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants based upon plaintiffs’ “procedurally defective separate statement of facts.”  According to the Court, “Plaintiffs’ separate statement in response [to defendants’ separate statement … Continue Reading

Certification Of Claims Examiners’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied

Kizer v. Tristar Risk Mgmt., 13 Cal. App. 5th 830 (2017) Plaintiffs Valerie Kizer and Sharal Williams filed this putative class action, alleging their former employer had misclassified them and other similarly situated claims examiners as exempt from overtime. The trial court denied the class certification motion on the ground that plaintiffs had failed to … Continue Reading

Claims For Retaliation And Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Light v. California Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, 14 Cal. App. 5th 75 (2017) Melony Light worked as an assistant, office technician and eventually a staff services analyst at the Ocotillo Wells District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Light alleged that she had been retaliated against for having been a witness in … Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Alamillo v. BNSF Ry. Co., 2017 WL 3648514 (9th Cir. 2017) Antonio Alamillo, who worked as a locomotive engineer for BNSF, missed several calls and was suspended on at least two occasions before being terminated. Around the same time, Alamillo began to suspect he was experiencing a medical problem and was soon diagnosed with obstructive … Continue Reading

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Merrick v. Hilton Worldwide, Inc., 2017 WL 3496030 (9th Cir. 2017) Sixty-year-old Charles Merrick was terminated from his job as Director of Property Operations at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel as part of a reduction in force. Merrick sued for age discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other things. The … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations For Filing DFEH Complaint Runs From The Last Day Of Employment

Aviles-Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Cmty. Coll. Dist., 2017 WL 3712199 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez was employed as a professor for the Los Angeles Community College District (“LACCD”). Although Aviles-Rodriguez was notified on March 5, 2014 that his tenure had been denied by the Board of Trustees of the LACCD, his employment did not end … Continue Reading