California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Class Actions

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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

Employee Who Signed Promissory Note To Pay For Losses May Proceed With Class Action Lawsuit

Gallano v. Burlington Coat Factory of Cal., LLC, 2021 WL 3616152 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021) Krizel Gallano, a former employee of Burlington Coat Factory, filed this putative class action in which she alleged that Burlington forces its employees to pay for business losses incurred for common on-the-job mistakes by “misusing” California’s shoplifting statute (Cal. Pen. … 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

Trial Court Properly Failed to Certify Signature Gatherers’ Class Action

Wilson v. The La Jolla Group, 61 Cal. App. 5th 897 (2021) The trial court declined to certify a class action filed by individuals who worked as signature gatherers for the La Jolla Group (“LJG”) on behalf of political campaigns and political action committees.  LJG classified these workers as independent contractors, though they alleged they were … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Overturns $100 Million Wage-Hour Judgment Entered Against Walmart

Magadia v. Wal-Mart Assocs., Inc., 999 F.3d 668 (9th Cir. 2021) In this class action, Roderick Magadia, a former Walmart employee, alleged violations of California’s meal-break and wage-statement requirements (Cal. Lab. Code §§ 226.7 and 226(a)).  After the district court (Judge Lucy H. Koh) determined that Magadia suffered no meal-break violation, it decertified the class, but … Continue Reading

Owner Was Not Personally Liable for Misclassification of Employees

Usher v. White, 64 Cal. App. 5th 883 (2021) The plaintiffs in this putative class action lawsuit (service technicians) alleged they had been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.  They amended their complaint to add Shirley White and her son Jeff White as individual defendants in the case, relying upon Cal. Lab. Code § 558.1, … Continue Reading

PAGA Has Failed Californians – Unless You’re A Plaintiff’s Lawyer That is

We have long reported about that modern marvel of well-intentioned legislation gone awry known as the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) – and we also have noted that in practice, PAGA stands for Pretty-much All Goes to the Attorneys.  A recently published report (the “Report”) from some of the former leaders of the California Department … 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

Per Diem Benefits Should Have Been Included As Compensation In Calculating Overtime Rate

Clarke v. AMN Servs., LLC, 987 F.3d 848 (9th Cir. 2021) Plaintiffs who worked as travelling clinicians for AMN (a healthcare staffing company) were paid a weekly per diem benefit for weeks in which they worked at facilities located more than 50 miles from their homes.  In this class action, plaintiffs argued that the per diem … 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

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
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