California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Sexual Harassment

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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

House of Cards: What Employers Can Learn From Kevin Spacey’s Alleged Missteps

Kevin Spacey’s legal troubles have taken a costly turn as the production companies behind Netflix’s House of Cards recently asked a California court to confirm an arbitration award of almost $31 million against Spacey for breach of contract. In 2017, eight House of Cards crew members came forward to accuse Spacey of sexual harassment and … Continue Reading

Is the Customer Always Right? How Employers Should Respond to Patron Misconduct

As anyone who has worked in a customer-facing job can tell you, dealing with difficult customers often comes with the territory. However, when customer behavior crosses a line into illegal conduct like sexual harassment, both the customer and the employer may find themselves in hot water. Wynn Las Vegas, a Nevada hotel, learned the hard … 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

Bank Employee Who Was Harassed By A Customer Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim

Christian v. Umpqua Bank, 2020 WL 7777882 (9th Cir. 2020) Jennifer Christian, a former employee of Umpqua Bank, alleged she was sexually harassed by one of the bank’s customers in violation of Title VII and Washington state law.  Among other things, the customer dropped off “small notes” stating that Christian was the “most beautiful girl … 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

Ashley Judd May Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Against Harvey Weinstein

Judd v. Weinstein, 967 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 2020) Actor Ashley Judd brought this sexual harassment claim against motion picture producer Harvey Weinstein under Cal. Civil Code § 51.9, which prohibits such harassment in the context of a “business, service, or professional relationship” between the plaintiff and a physician, psychotherapist, dentist, attorney, real estate agent, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Revives Ashley Judd’s Sexual Harassment Claim Against Harvey Weinstein

In 2018, actress Ashley Judd (“Judd”) sued producer Harvey Weinstein (“Weinstein”) for sexual harassment, defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition.  Judd alleges that during a meeting with Weinstein to discuss casting opportunities, she was directed to his hotel room where he appeared in a bathrobe and tried to coerce her into … 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

Racial Discrimination/Sexual Harassment Case Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distrib. Servs., 47 Cal. App. 5th 532 (2020) Bonnie Ducksworth and Pamela Pollock are customer service representatives at Tri-Modal Distribution Services who alleged a failure to promote based upon racial discrimination by two staffing agencies used by Tri-Modal; Pollock also alleged sexual harassment. The trial court granted the staffing agencies’ motion for … 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

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Laws

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law several new measures that employers will need to comply with by January 1, 2020 and that will generally make it easier for employees to sue their employers.  Specifically: AB 9 extends the statute of limitations period for employees to file claims of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation … Continue Reading

California Jury Awards $11 Million In Latest Blockbuster Sexual Harassment Verdict

For the second time this calendar year, a Los Angeles jury ordered an employer to pay $11 million to an employee who claimed to have been sexually harassed. And, once again, the amount of punitive damages ($8 million) dwarfed the amount of compensatory damages ($3.1 million) by a margin of more than two-to-one. On Friday, … Continue Reading

Proskauer Releases New Survey of Workplace Issues in the #MeToo Era

The current landscape in the #MeToo Era has heightened the need for leaders at every business organization to ensure that sound and strategically aligned practices for preventing, receiving, and responding to harassment, discrimination and other workplace related claims are in place. Proskauer has just released its findings from a broad-based survey of employers around the … Continue Reading

Consider the True Implications of Waiving Arbitration

Employers: have you thought about the true implications of waiving arbitration? When considering how to end sexual harassment issues in the workplace, prioritizing training and policy review may be a better course. Read more in Anthony Oncidi’s latest column in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: https://lnkd.in/dcMBBFm… Continue Reading

California Has a New Governor – Will it Make Much Difference for Employers?

After Jerry Brown’s second set of 8 years in office (1975-83 and 2011-19), employers now look to Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom for what’s in store for them in the Golden State.  (Although Jerry Brown wasn’t a particularly good friend of employers, he often was the only friend they had in Sacramento, vetoing some of the more … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs Slew Of #MeToo-Inspired Laws

This weekend Governor Brown signed many laws that were authored and gained traction in response to the #MeToo movement: New Restrictions On Confidentiality Of Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Settlements Senate Bill 820 prohibits confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of factual information involving allegations of sexual misconduct – unless the party alleging … Continue Reading

New California Statute Shields Victims/Employers from Defamation Claims

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2770 (Assembly Member Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks), an act to amend Section 47 of the Civil Code.  The bill should protect both sexual harassment victims and employers against defamation claims from alleged harassers. The bill was sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce and passed the Legislature with unanimous, bipartisan … Continue Reading

Negligent Hiring Claim May Be Covered By CGL Insurance Policy

Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Constr. Co., 233 Cal. Rptr. 3d 487 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018) Ledesma & Meyer Construction Company (“L&M”) contracted with the San Bernardino Unified School District to manage a construction project at a middle school where a 13-year-old student (“Jane Doe”) was allegedly sexually abused by Darold Hecht, … Continue Reading
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