California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Class Actions

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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

January 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Bank Employee Who Was Harassed By A Customer Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Laid-Off Employee Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Age … Continue Reading

California Law Applies To Non-California Residents Working Off The Coast

Gulf Offshore Logistics, LLC v. Superior Court, 58 Cal. App. 5th 264 (2020) Non-California resident crew members of the “Adele Elise” (a vessel that provides services to oil platforms located off the coast of California) filed this putative class action alleging multiple violations of California wage and hour law. The owner/operators of the vessel (all … Continue Reading

CAFA-Removed Case Is Remanded Based On Insufficient Amount In Controversy

Harris v. KM Indus., Inc., 980 F.3d 694 (9th Cir. 2020) KM Industrial removed from state to federal court the putative wage/hour class action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), asserting that the amount in controversy exceeded $5 million. Plaintiff’s motion to remand was based on the argument that KMI unreasonably assumed that the … Continue Reading

Statute Of Limitations Tolled By Related Class Actions

Hildebrandt v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 58 Cal. App. 5th 128 (2020) Von Hildebrandt filed a putative class action against Staples asserting that he and other general managers of Staples had been misclassified as exempt from overtime and that, accordingly, they were owed compensation for unpaid overtime, missed rest and meal periods, inaccurate wage … Continue Reading

Employer’s Counsel Admitted Pro Hac Vice Should Not Also Have Represented Employee Witnesses

Big Lots Stores, Inc. v. Superior Court, 57 Cal. App. 5th 773 (2020) Big Lots, an Ohio corporation, applied to have Ohio counsel (Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP) admitted to represent it in a putative class action pending in California. The trial court granted the application but when it learned that attorneys from the … Continue Reading

November 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation” Court Affirms Dismissal Of Trade Secrets Claim Brought Against Apple Employer Gets No Relief From $1.6 … Continue Reading

Employees Compensated Solely By Commission Are Not Paid A “Salary” And Are Non-Exempt

Semprini v. Wedbush Secs., Inc., 2020 WL 6557549 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Joseph Semprini and another employee filed this putative class action against Wedbush for various wage and hour violations based upon an alleged misclassification of similarly situated financial advisors who were treated as exempt employees. Wedbush classified its California financial advisors as exempt from … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds FINRA Class Action Waiver Provision

Laver v. Credit Suisse Secs. (USA), LLC, 976 F.3d 841 (9th Cir. 2020) Christopher Laver filed a putative class action against Credit Suisse, alleging breach of contract and other state law claims.  Credit Suisse responded with a motion to dismiss in favor of arbitration premised upon FINRA’s Employee Dispute Resolution Program, which among other things … 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

Trial Court Properly Refused To Certify Rest Break Class Action

Davidson v. O’Reilly Auto Enter., LLC, 968 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2020) Kia Davidson worked as a delivery specialist at one of O’Reilly’s stores in San Bernardino. In this putative class action, Davidson alleged that she and other employees did not receive their rest breaks as required by state law based upon the fact that … Continue Reading

Amount In Controversy Satisfied CAFA Minimum

Salter v. Quality Carriers, Inc., 2020 WL 5361459 (9th Cir. 2020) Clayton Salter, a truck driver, filed this putative class action against his employer, Quality Carriers and Quality Distribution, alleging that he and the other class members had been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. Quality removed the action to federal court, asserting the … Continue Reading

Class Action Claims Were Moot After Class Representative Settled His Individual Claims

Brady v. AutoZone Stores, 960 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2020) Michael Brady sued AutoZone Stores for alleged violations of Washington State’s meal break laws.  After several years of litigation, the district court denied Brady’s motion for class certification; Brady then settled his individual claims with AutoZone.  Although the settlement agreement stated that it was “not … Continue Reading

Non-Severability Clause In Arbitration Agreement Invalidated Entire Agreement

Kec v. Superior Court, 2020 WL 3869721 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Nichole Kec brought individual, class and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims against her employer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al.  Kec had signed a predispute contractual waiver of class actions and any “other representative action,” including a PAGA claim. The arbitration agreement further … Continue Reading

Class Action Was Improperly Removed To Federal Court Under CAFA

Adams v. West Marine Prods., Inc., 958 F.3d 1216 (9th Cir. 2020) Adrianne Adams filed a putative wage and hour class action in state court, which her former employer (West Marine) removed to federal court under the federal Class Action Fairness Act “CAFA”.  Invoking the discretionary home state controversy exception to CAFA jurisdiction, the district … 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

May 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Reverses $13 Million Gender Discrimination Verdict Entered Against UCLA Court Affirms $2.9 Million Verdict Against Employer That Failed To Obtain Green Card For Employee … Continue Reading

Employees Who Were Required To Call-In Prior To Shift Were Entitled To Reporting-Time Pay

Herrera v. Zumiez, Inc., 953 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2020) Alexa Herrera filed this putative class action against her employer, alleging that Zumiez failed to provide reporting-time pay to employees at its California retail stores for their “Call-In” shifts. Employees scheduled for a Call-In shift were required to make themselves available to work during the … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate FCRA By Providing Disclosure Along With Other Materials

Luna v. Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport, Inc., 2020 WL 1969409 (9th Cir. 2020) Leonard Luna filed this putative class action, alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) because his former employer had provided him a FCRA disclosure statement simultaneously with other employment materials and had failed to provide a standalone FCRA … Continue Reading

March 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Time Spent By Employees In Exit Searches Is Compensable Prior Pay Is Not A Defense To An Equal Pay Act Claim Constructive Termination And Joint … Continue Reading

Employee Can Sue Employer That Was Not Released In Prior Class Action

Grande v. Eisenhower Med. Ctr., 44 Cal. App. 5th 1147 (2020) Lynn Grande was assigned through a temporary staffing agency (FlexCare) to work as a nurse at Eisenhower Medical Center. Grande was a named plaintiff in a class action prosecuted against FlexCare in which she alleged she had not received her required meal and rest … Continue Reading
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