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:

White v. Smule, Inc., 2022 WL 503811 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022)

Kenneth White alleged that while he was interviewing for a job with Smule (a developer and marketer of consumer applications), Smule told him it “was planning aggressive expansion over the course of the next few years and needed an experienced project manager to lead in building out and managing teams of project managers”

Singh v. Southland Stone, U.S.A., Inc., 186 Cal.App.4th 338 (2010)

Gurpreet Singh moved from India to California to work as a general manager for Southland Stone. After Singh resigned and returned to India, he filed suit against Southland and its president (Ravinder S. Johar), alleging various contract and tort claims. The jury awarded Singh more than $980,000 for past and future noneconomic damages, economic damages, unpaid wages and punitive damages. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in part (as to the denial of the breach of contract claim and the award of $6,800 in wages whose payment defendants conditioned upon Singh’s signing a release), but otherwise reversed the judgment. The Court reversed the judgment on the claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (because Singh was employed at will) and the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (because it was barred by the exclusive remedy of the Workers’ Compensation Act) and ordered the trial court to enter judgment for defendants on those claims.

Stillwell v. The Salvation Army, 167 Cal. App. 4th 360 (2008)

Arthur Stillwell sued The Salvation Army (“TSA”) for breach of an implied agreement to terminate his employment only for good cause. The jury found that TSA breached an implied agreement with Stillwell and awarded him more than $155,000 – but it also determined that Stillwell had executed an enforceable agreement that rendered his

Bernard v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 158 Cal. App. 4th 304 (2007)

William Bernard had an insurance agency, representing certain State Farm insurance companies. Bernard alleged he was forced to resign when he was unable to carry out the physical requirements of the sales program following injuries he sustained in a car collision. Among other things, Bernard sued State Farm for breach

Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc., 39 Cal. 4th 384 (2006)

Brook Dore, who was employed as a management supervisor, countersigned an employment agreement (in the form of a letter) that characterized his employment as “at-will,” which was defined as the right of either party to terminate the employment “at any time.” Although the trial court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment, the court

Blitz v. Fluor Enterprises, Inc., 115 Cal. App. 4th 185, 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 833 (2004)

Mr. Blitz had been employed in a financial position at Raytheon in New Jersey for 12 years before he was contacted by a member of Fluor’s management team and offered a job in California. Before resigning his position with Raytheon and moving to California, Blitz told Fluor that

Ali v. L.A. Focus Publication, 112 Cal. App. 4th 1477 (2003)

Najee Ali, who worked as the community affairs columnist for L.A. Focus Publication, was terminated after he expressed support while a guest on a local radio program for Antonio Villaraigosa, a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, and criticized United States Representative Maxine Waters for supporting another candidate, James Hahn, in the upcoming

Liu v. Amway Corp., 347 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2003)

Xin Liu lost her job as a scientist in the Concentrate Development Department of the Nutrilite Division of Amway approximately 18 months after she was hired. Liu, who was on a leave of absence following her pregnancy, was informed that her position had been eliminated during a downsizing that followed a merger of her

Appling v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 340 F.3d 769 (9th Cir. 2003)

The State Farm agents in this case alleged that the company had terminated them in breach of their independent contractor agreements. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the termination provision did not require good cause and, in fact,