California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: attorney’s fees

Employer Entitled To Recover Its Attorney’s Fees In Discrimination Case

Villanueva v. City of Colton, 160 Cal. App. 4th 1188 (2008) After Daniel Villanueva was demoted from Lead Operator to Operator II, he sued the city for discrimination based on race, national origin, ethnicity or skin color and for retaliation for his having complained about the alleged discrimination. The trial court granted summary judgment to … Continue Reading

$1.1 Million In Attorney’s Fees Awarded Following Recovery Of $30,300 Discrimination Judgment

Harman v. City and County of San Francisco, 158 Cal. App. 4th 407 (2007) This case, which was originally filed in federal court in 1999, involved allegations of race and sex discrimination by Allen Harman and two other white males who were employed as airfield safety officers at the San Francisco International Airport. After the … Continue Reading

Sales Representative’s $480,000 Wrongful Termination Award Is Affirmed

Casella v. SouthWest Dealer Services, 157 Cal. App. 4th 1127 (2007) Zachary Casella was employed as a sales representative for SouthWest Dealer Services, which sells its aftermarket auto products to auto dealerships and helps train auto dealership finance and insurance salespeople on how to promote and sell SouthWest’s products. Casella moved from New York to … Continue Reading

FedEx Drivers Were Employees For Purposes Of Obtaining Reimbursement For Expenses

Estrada v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., 154 Cal. App. 4th 1 (2007) Anthony Estrada, a former driver for FedEx, alleged unfair business practices under Business & Professions Code § 17200, contending that the pick-up and delivery drivers were improperly classified as “independent contractors” rather than employees and, as a result, they were owed reimbursement … Continue Reading

Employee Could Not Recover Attorney’s Fees Incurred In Labor Commissioner Proceeding

Sampson v. Parking Service 2000.Com, Inc., 117 Cal. App. 4th 212 (2004) George Sampson filed a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner) in which he sought unpaid overtime, vacation pay, tips and penalties. After a two-day administrative hearing (at which Sampson was represented by an attorney), the hearing … Continue Reading

Employer Was Liable For Discriminating Against Employee Who Filed Workers’ Compensation Claim

Crown Appliance v. WCAB, 115 Cal. App. 4th 620 (2004) Crown Appliance petitioned the Court of Appeal for a writ of review, following a determination by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) that Crown had discriminated against its employee, Morton Wong, for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Wong sustained an industrial injury to his left … Continue Reading

Employee Was Required To Pay Taxes On Part Of $8.73 Million Wrongful Termination Settlement

Banaitis v. CIR, 340 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 2003) In his tort claims against his former employer (Bank of California) and its successor (Mitsubishi Bank), Sigitas Banaitis alleged wrongful discharge and interference with his employment agreement. After losing at trial in Oregon state court (where Banaitis obtained a $6.27 million verdict in his favor) and … Continue Reading

Attorney’s Fees May Be Assessed Against Employee Who Fails To Improve On Labor Commissioner’s Award

Smith v. Rae-Venter Law Group, 29 Cal. 4th 345 (2002) Following Timothy L. Smith’s resignation as an associate with the Rae-Venter Law Group (RVLG), he filed a claim with the Labor Commissioner and obtained an award for unpaid vacation pay, some miscellaneous deductions and expense reimbursements and statutory prejudgment interest. Smith also sought but failed … Continue Reading

Court May Assess Attorneys’ Fees Against Employer And In Favor Of Labor Commissioner

Lolley v. Campbell, 28 Cal. 4th 367 (2002) Chris Lolley filed a claim with the California Labor Commissioner to recover unpaid overtime wages and penalties. The Labor Commissioner awarded the employee $27,216, and the employer appealed to the superior court. At Lolley’s request, the Labor Commissioner determined that Lolley could not afford counsel and agreed … Continue Reading

Court Approves $27 Million Fee Award To Attorneys In Microsoft Benefits Suit

Vizcaino v. Microsoft Corp., 290 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2002) In this class action, eight former “freelance” Microsoft workers alleged that the company had improperly deprived them of employee benefits, including participation in the Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Nine years after the case was filed, the parties settled the matter when Microsoft agreed to pay … Continue Reading

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