California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Class Actions

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Employer Need Not Reimburse Travel Expenses for Drug Test

A federal appeals court recently affirmed a summary judgment entered in favor of WinCo Foods in a class action alleging that WinCo should have reimbursed successful job applicants for the time and travel expenses they incurred in obtaining a drug test as a pre-condition of employment.  In Johnson v. WinCo Foods, LLC, the court agreed … Continue Reading

May 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Former UCLA Physician Can Proceed With Whistleblower Claims Former Employee Adequately Alleged Disability Under The ADA California Resident May Rely Upon Labor Code § 925 … Continue Reading

Court Improperly Remanded Action To State Court Based On Amount In Controversy Under CAFA

Jauregui v. Roadrunner Transp. Servs., Inc., 28 F.4th 989 (9th Cir. 2022) Griselda Jauregui filed this putative class action in California state court against Roadrunner Transportation Services on behalf of all current and former hourly workers in California. The complaint alleged numerous violations of California wage and hour law. Roadrunner removed the case to federal … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Not Have Dismissed PAGA Claims On Unmanageability Grounds

Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., 76 Cal. App. 5th 685 (2022) In this PAGA case, the trial court relied upon Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 68 Cal. App. 5th 746 (2021) in which the Court of Appeal held that trial courts have inherent authority to strike unmanageable PAGA claims. The Court of … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rules Meal and Rest Break Premiums Constitute “Wages” Potentially Triggering Penalties for Violations

In a much anticipated ruling, on May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Naranjo et al. v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.  Previously, the Court of Appeal held that unpaid premium payments for meal period violations did not entitle employees to additional penalties for either inaccurate wage statements or failure to timely … Continue Reading

Spring Showers Bring Job Killer Bills to California

Pablo Neruda once said “you can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Likewise, California businesses’ protests against oppressive employment legislation don’t seem to stem the tide of the Legislature’s latest batch of anti-employer bills. The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a host of recently introduced “Job Killer” Bills … Continue Reading

Gone Surfing: Could California Be the First State to Adopt a Four-Day Workweek?

In recent years, countries such as Iceland and Belgium and some domestic companies have experimented with the concept of four-day workweeks.  Now, a new bill proposed by California Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Evan Low (D-San Jose), Assembly Bill 2932 (“AB 2932”), proposes to make a four-day workweek the new normal in California for … Continue Reading

March 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: California Relaxes Standard For Proving Whistleblower Claims At-Will Employee Can Proceed With Labor Code § 970 Claim Doctor Proved Age/Race/Gender Discrimination Former Owner of Company Is … Continue Reading

Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Wage Hour Claims Involving Rounding

Cirrincione v. American Scissor Lift, Inc., 73 Cal. App. 5th 619 (2022) Jason Cirrincione filed a putative class action lawsuit against his former employer for various wage and hour violations, including failure to pay overtime and minimum wages, meal and rest breaks, waiting time penalties, Cal. Labor Code § 2802, etc. These claims were predicated … Continue Reading

Heightened Standard Of Fairness Required For Approval Of Class Action Settlement

Peck v. Swift Transp. Co. of Ariz., 2022 WL 414692 (9th Cir. 2022) In evaluating a settlement of a class action involving Cal. Labor Code § 2802 (employer indemnity for employee expenses), the district court stated that “the parties engaged in arm’s-length, serious, informed and non-collusive negotiations between experienced and knowledgeable counsel … after mediation … Continue Reading

Congress Passes Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration and Class Action Waivers for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims

On February 10, 2022, the Senate passed H. 4445, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (the “Act”), by a voice vote.  The bill had previously passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 335-97. The White House has indicated President Biden will sign the bill. If enacted, the Act would amend the … Continue Reading

House Passes Bill Barring “Mandatory Arbitration” in Sexual Assault and Harassment Cases

On February 7, 2022, in a 335-97 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill (“Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act”), which would prohibit “mandatory arbitration” in sexual assault and harassment cases arising or accruing on or after the date of enactment.  This bill also invalidates joint, class, or … Continue Reading

January 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Manicurist Can Proceed With Hostile Work Environment Claim “Volunteers for Nonprofits Are Not Employees” – Court Affirms Order In Favor Of The American Film Institute … Continue Reading

“Volunteers for Nonprofits Are Not Employees” – Court Affirms Order In Favor Of The American Film Institute

Woods v. American Film Institute, 2021 WL 5978072 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021) Laurie Woods worked for four days as a volunteer at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles. She alleges that she worked between 12 and 14 hours each of those days and that she and the other volunteers she purported to represent in … Continue Reading

Volunteers May Work For Nonprofits Without Compensation

The California Court of Appeal has definitively resolved an issue that was until now somewhat ambiguous:  Can volunteers in fact volunteer their time for nonprofit organizations without receiving pay or other forms of compensation?  The answer is YES.  Woods v. American Film Institute, Case No. B307220 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2021). Laurie Woods worked … Continue Reading

November 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Resurrects California’s Anti-Arbitration Statute In-House Counsel’s Claim For Breach Of Oral Promise Of Contingency Fee Was Barred By Statute Employee Can Proceed With … 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

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
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