California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Employment Law Notes

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California Enacts New Protections Against National Origin Discrimination

The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved new amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), strengthening the protections afforded to applicants and employees, including individuals who are undocumented, on the basis of their national origin.  Although the FEHA already prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of national origin, these new … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employers in Upholding Arbitration Agreements Containing Class Action Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in class or collective actions against their employer. Ruling 5-4 in favor of an employer’s right to … Continue Reading

Two Recent Jury Verdicts Award $6 Million and $7.97 Million To Wrongfully Terminated Employees

Two recent verdicts from California Superior Court juries have awarded former employees $6 million and $7.9 million, respectively, in compensatory damages after a finding of wrongful termination. Martinez v. Rite Aid Corp. On March 27, 2018, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found Rite Aid Corporation liable for just over $6 million after deciding … Continue Reading

California Abandons 30-Year-Old Test For Determining Independent-Contractor Status, Broadens Definition Of “Employee”

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, making it even harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors (rather than employees). The previous standard used for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors had been in place since 1989 and was … Continue Reading

November 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Newly Enacted California Statutes Statewide “Ban-the-Box” Legislation; Parental Leave Protections Expanded; California Becomes A “Sanctuary State”; Mandatory Training To Prevent Gender Identity Harassment; New Restrictions On Inquiries Into … 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

July 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: California Supreme Court Resolves Day-Of-Rest Questions; Employer’s Attorney May Be Liable For Retaliation Under FLSA; Trial Court Abused Its Discretion In Refusing To Compel Employer To Produce Data … Continue Reading

San Francisco Issues Guidance for the Application of the City’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance

The City of San Francisco recently published new FAQs addressing provisions of its Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”).  The Ordinance, which went into effect on January 1, 2017 for employers with 50 or more employees, will begin to apply to employers with 35 or more and 20 or more employees on July 1, 2017 … Continue Reading

California Labor Commissioner Issues New Guidance on Paid Sick Leave

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office recently issued new guidance regarding the application and administration of the state’s paid sick leave law.  The new guidance addresses the interplay between the law and grandfathered employer part time off (“PTO”) plans, as well as the interaction between employers’ disciplinary policies on employees’ use of paid sick leave. Grandfathered PTO … Continue Reading

May 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Who Suffered From “Altered Mental State” Need Not Be Allowed To Rescind Her Resignation; Garbage Truck Employee Who Failed To Provide Proof Of Right To … Continue Reading

March 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Routine Hugging Over 12-Year Period May Have Caused Hostile Work Environment; Racial Harassment Claim Based On Comments Made During “Creative Process” Was Properly Dismissed; Employer May Have … Continue Reading

January 2017 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2017 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: $90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods; Security Guard Class Action Should Not Have Been Decertified; Discrimination Claims … Continue Reading

October 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted October 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Newly Enacted California Statutes Minimum Wage Increases; Equal Pay Act Expanded; No Disclosure Of Juvenile Criminal History Required (Including Rape And Murder); California Employees Guaranteed Access … Continue Reading

September 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Employer’s Class Action Waiver; Prompt Final Pay Provisions Of California Labor Code Apply To Retiring Employees; Race Discrimination Claim Was Not Barred … Continue Reading

July 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney’s Fees From EEOC; Former Employee Who Accessed Employer’s Computers Was Properly Imprisoned; Outside Counsel’s Investigation Of Sexual … Continue Reading

May 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted May 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With “Associational Disability Discrimination” Claim; Employees Are Entitled To Suitable Seating If The Tasks Being Performed Reasonably … Continue Reading

March 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Nuclear Plant Maintenance Manager’s Whistleblower Claim Was Properly Dismissed; Employer Was Entitled To Obtain Reimbursement Of Short-Term Employee’s Training Costs; Department Of Labor’s Rule Extending Tip … Continue Reading

January 2016 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2016 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Reverses $1 Million Discrimination Verdict Entered Against LA Fire Department; Former HR Manager Could Proceed With FLSA Retaliation Claim; Employee Could Proceed With Wrongful … Continue Reading

November 2015 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2015 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Newly Enacted California Statutes Paid Sick Leave Law Is Amended; E-Verify Use Is Restricted; Grocery Workers Protections Clarified; Labor Commissioner’s Enforcement Capabilities Expanded; PAGA Cure Period Provided; Retaliation … Continue Reading

September 2015 Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2015 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: The Word “Alien” Is Stricken From The California Labor Code (SB 432); Grocery Workers Must Be Given Preferential Treatment Following a “Change In Control” (AB 359); Employment Protections For … Continue Reading

July 2015 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2015 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employee’s Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A “Disability” Muslim Applicant Can Proceed With Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Unpaid Interns Who Are “Primary Beneficiaries” Of … Continue Reading

Employee’s Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A “Disability”

Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical assistant in Sutter’s Shared Services Department. Higgins-Williams reported to her treating physician that she was stressed because of interactions at work with human resources and her manager. Her physician diagnosed Higgins-Williams with “adjustment disorder with anxiety,” and Sutter … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Against City

Hirst v. City of Oceanside, 236 Cal. App. 4th 774 (2015) Kimberli Hirst, an employee of American Forensic Nurses, Inc., sued the City of Oceanside after she was allegedly sexually harassed by an Oceanside police officer while providing phlebotomist services on behalf of the Oceanside Police Department. A jury awarded Hirst $1.5 million, which the … Continue Reading
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