California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Leaves of Absence

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Employer May Seek Its Own Evaluation Of Employee’s Fitness For Duty Following FMLA Leave

White v. County of Los Angeles, 2014 WL 1478701 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Susan White worked as a Senior District Attorney Investigator with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Following the death of her brother-in-law, White began experiencing emotional difficulties on the job and was observed acting erratically in the workplace with “very high … Continue Reading

March 2014 California Employment Law Notes

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was harassed by his supervisors who called him “queer,” “fagot [sic],” “homo,” and “gay porn star” and was subjected to … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs New Laws Affecting California Employers

Minimum Wage Increase Gov. Brown has signed into law a measure that will increase California’s minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. So, California employers must prepare for a 25% increase in the minimum wage over the next two … Continue Reading

State Assembly Committee Considers Expanding CFRA Leave Mandate

On March 28, 2012, a California Assembly committee considered a bill that would expand the scope of California’s Family Rights Act (CFRA). These proposed expansions to CFRA could potentially increase the amount of unpaid leave time taken by employees in California and would almost certainly add to the challenges already faced by California employers seeking … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate CFRA by Transferring Employee upon Her Return from 19-Week Stress Leave

Rogers v. County of Los Angeles, 198 Cal. App. 4th 480 (2011) After 19 weeks of medical leave, Katrina L. Rogers returned to her job as the personnel officer in the executive office responsible for rendering administrative and other support services to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. During her LOA, Rogers’ doctor told … Continue Reading

Termination Of Employee On FMLA Leave Who Submitted Inadequate Medical Information Did Not Violate Federal Law

Lewis v. United States, 641 F.3d 1174 (9th Cir. 2011) Janet Lewis worked for the United States Air Force as the director of a child development center on the Elmendorf Air Force Base. In 2006, Lewis requested 120 days of leave without pay pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The employer requested a … Continue Reading

Employee With Bipolar Disorder Who Threatened Co-Workers Was Not Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Her Disability

Wills v. Superior Court, 194 Cal. App. 4th 312 (2011) Linda Wills, who worked as a clerk for the Orange County Superior Court, was terminated from her employment after she told co-workers she was going to add them to her “Kill Bill” list and forwarded a cell phone ringtone to several people, including a co-worker, … Continue Reading

Asset Purchase Did Not Create Successor Liability Under FMLA

Sullivan v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., 623 F.3d 770 (2010) Christina Sullivan was the manager of a Factory 2-U store before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Dollar Tree later purchased Factory 2-U’s existing leasehold on the store where Sullivan was employed. Prior to the anniversary of her hire by Dollar Tree, Sullivan’s mother became … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Retroactive Application of Pregnancy Discrimination Act

In a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court has held that AT&T did not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) when it based its calculation of employees’ pensions in part on a pre- PDA accrual rule that treated pregnancy leave less favorably than other forms of disability leave. AT&T Corp v. Hulteen, No. 07-543 (May … Continue Reading

Swine Flu: Is Your Workplace Prepared?

As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 109 cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, in the United States. The World Health Organization has confirmed 331 cases of swine flu worldwide and has raised the pandemic threat level to Phase 5 on its six-step scale (Phase … Continue Reading

Federally Chartered Credit Union Not Immune From Punitive Damages

McGee v. Tucoemas Fed. Credit Union, 153 Cal. App. 4th 1351 (2007) Kimberly McGee, a former vice president of lending for the credit union, took a leave of absence for surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The credit union allegedly told McGee that if she did not return to work within four … Continue Reading

Airline Was Not The Joint Employer Of Service Workers For Purposes Of FMLA/CFRA

Moreau v. Air France, 356 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2003) Stephane Moreau worked as the Assistant Station Manager for Air France at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Moreau requested a 12-week leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act to assist his ill father in France. Air France … Continue Reading

Military Leave Benefits Are Not Owed To Employee Who Serves In Another State’s Militia

Opinion of Att’y Gen. Bill Lockyer, No. 02-213, 2003 WL 174019 (Jan. 24, 2003) In this opinion, the California Attorney General determined that employees who are residents of and employed in California are not entitled to the employment-related benefits established under California Military & Veterans Code § 395.05 for leaves of absence occasioned by service … Continue Reading

Discrimination Claims Not Preempted By Section 301 Of The LMRA

Humble v. Boeing Co., 305 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2002) Su Humble, a union member who was employed as a fabrication bench mechanic for Boeing, suffered an on-the-job injury to her shoulder. After taking a series of medical leaves of absence over the course of approximately 15 months, Humble was told that there were no … Continue Reading

Company’s Family Leave Policy Did Not Supersede At-Will Agreement

Tomlinson v. Qualcomm, Inc., 97 Cal. App. 4th 934 (2002) While working on a reduced schedule as part of a family leave of absence, Lona Tomlinson was selected for layoff and terminated. Tomlinson asserted that her termination violated the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Cal. Gov’t Code § 12945.2, based on her contention that employees who are … Continue Reading
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