California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: breach of contract

September 2018 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2018 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employer Must Obtain Written Authorization To Conduct Background Check Some Of California’s “Sanctuary State” Employer Obligations Are Struck Down No-Employment Provision In Settlement Agreement Is An Unenforceable Restraint  Court … Continue Reading

Employee May Recover For Breach Of Contract, But Not For “Theft Of Labor”

Lacagnina v. Comprehend Sys. Inc., 25 Cal. App. 5th 955 (2018) David Lacagnina sued his former employer for fraud, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and “theft of labor by false pretenses” in violation of Cal. Pen. Code §§ 484 and 496.  The jury awarded $556,446 in … Continue Reading

Attorneys Were Not Liable For Breach Of Confidential Settlement Agreement

Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter, 26 Cal. App. 5th 54 (2018) The attorneys for two individuals who had sued Monster Energy Company signed and approved as to “content and form” a confidential settlement agreement between the individuals and Monster.  During an interview with a reporter for lawyersandsettlements.com, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys disclosed information that … Continue Reading

Change In Retirees’ Health Benefits Did Not Constitute Age Discrimination, But May Be A Breach Of Contract

Harris v. County of Orange, 2018 WL 4211161 (9th Cir. 2018) This case arises from a restructuring of two benefit plans that the County of Orange provides to its retirees.  The retirees allege they have an implied contractual right to receive the benefits provided to them throughout their retirement.  Although the district court dismissed the … Continue Reading

Employee Was Permitted To Voluntarily Dismiss Breach Of Contract Action

Shapira v. Lifetech Resources, LLC, 2018 WL 1804993 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Achikam Shapira sued his former employer for breach of an employment contract. The case proceeded to a bench trial. After the parties rested but before submitting their closing arguments in brief form, Shapira requested that the trial court dismiss his action pursuant to … Continue Reading

Urging Other Employees To Quit And Sue Employer Is Protected Conduct Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

Bel Air Internet, LLC v. Morales, 2018 WL 1045222 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Bel Air Internet sued two of its former employees, Albert Morales and Flavio Delabra, for encouraging their fellow employees to quit and sue the company for alleged employment violations rather than sign a release of claims as Bel Air had requested. Bel … Continue Reading

Employee Who Dismissed Claims Upon Receipt Of Settlement Can Recover Costs As Prevailing Party

DeSaulles v. Community Hosp. of the Monterey Peninsula, 62 Cal. 4th 1140 (2016) Maureen deSaulles agreed to dismiss her causes of action for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in exchange for a settlement payment from her former employer in the amount of $23,000. The trial … Continue Reading

Employer Was Entitled To Obtain Reimbursement Of Short-Term Employee’s Training Costs

USS-POSCO Indus. v. Case, 197 Cal. Rptr. 3d 791 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Floyd Case voluntarily enrolled in a three-year, employer-sponsored educational program. Case agreed in writing that if he quit his job within 30 months of completing the program, he would reimburse his employer (UPI) a prorated portion of the program costs. Two months … Continue Reading

Employee Was Not Entitled To Indemnity For Fees Incurred In Defending Against Employer’s Lawsuit

Nicholas Labs., LLC v. Chen, 199 Cal. App. 4th 1240 (2011) Nicholas Labs sued its former employee, Christopher Chen, for breach of contract, conversion, negligence, money had and received, unjust enrichment, etc., after discovering that, while employed by Nicholas Labs, Chen had engaged in a business that made him a competitor of Nicholas Labs and … Continue Reading

Injunction Upheld Prohibiting Former Employee from Competing

NewLife Sciences, Inc. v. Weinstock, 197 Cal. App. 4th 676 (2011) NewLife terminated the employment of Ronald Weinstock, the purported inventor of a Therapeutic Magnetic Resonance Device (“TMRD”), which NewLife had purchased approximately one year before the termination. In connection with its purchase of the TMRD, NewLife had obtained a non-compete covenant, which prohibited Weinstock … Continue Reading

Offer of Judgment for Full Amount of Class Rep’s Claim Did Not Moot Class Action

Pitts v. Terrible Herbst, Inc., 653 F.3d 1081 (2011) Gareth Pitts filed a class action against his employer, Terrible Herbst, Inc., alleging a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act for failure to pay overtime and minimum wages, a class action for violations of Nevada labor laws and a class action for breach of … Continue Reading

Proskauer Wins Summary Judgment on Behalf of Paramount in Breach of Contract, Discrimination Case

The plaintiff was an Australian citizen working as an associate attorney for the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP on a work visa. In October 2009, Paramount extended to her a conditional offer of employment to serve as its Vice President, IT Legal, the offer being contingent upon the completion of a background investigation … Continue Reading

State Farm Had No Duty To Defend Employer Against Employee’s Sexual Battery Claim

Shanahan v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 193 Cal. App. 4th 780 (2011) Cheryl Skigin (an attorney) sued her employer John M. Shanahan and various companies he owned for sexual battery, among other things. Shanahan settled the lawsuit for $700,000. Shanahan, who had a renter’s insurance policy with State Farm, sued State Farm for breach … Continue Reading

Sales Reps Could Proceed With Breach Of Contract And Age Discrimination Claims

McCaskey v. California State Auto. Ass’n, 189 Cal.App.4th 947 (2010) Charles Luke, Francis McCaskey and John Mellen filed this lawsuit against CSAA, alleging breach of contract and age discrimination. The contract claim was based on an alleged breach by CSAA of a promise to permit senior sales agents to continue in their employ under relaxed … Continue Reading

Distributor May Have Violated Law By Failing To Provide Detailed Written Contract To Salesperson

Baker v. American Horticulture Supply, Inc., 186 Cal. App. 4th 1059 (2010) Edwin Baker worked as an independent wholesale sales representative for American Horticulture Supply, Inc. (“AHS”). A jury returned verdicts in Baker’s favor on his breach of contract and fraud claims, but the trial court ordered a new trial on the grounds of insufficiency … Continue Reading

Sales Representative Was Not Entitled To Post-Termination Commissions

Nein v. HostPro, Inc., 174 Cal. App. 4th 833 (2009) Randy Nein was employed by HostPro as a salesperson. In December 2000, he approached AT&T and suggested that HostPro provide web-hosting services to some of AT&T’s business customers. The transaction was still being negotiated a year later when Nein’s employment was terminated. He filed this … Continue Reading

Complaint Alleging Violation Of UTSA, Unfair Competition Was Not Subject To Dismissal Under Anti-SLAPP Law

World Fin. Group, Inc. v. HBW Ins. & Fin. Services, Inc., 172 Cal. App. 4th 1561 (2009) WFG filed a complaint against its direct competitor, HBW, and six of its agents for alleged breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, unfair competition, interference with prospective economic advantage and unjust enrichment. In response, HBW filed … Continue Reading

Employee Is Entitled To Recover Attorney’s Fees In Breach Of Contract Action Filed By His Former Employer

Profit Concepts Mgmt., Inc. v. Griffith, 162 Cal. App. 4th 950 (2008) Profit Concepts sued Greg Griffith, a former employee, for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets in Orange County Superior Court. Griffith, who was an Oklahoma resident at the time, moved to quash service for lack of personal jurisdiction. (The contract contained … Continue Reading

Pharmacist’s Claims For Breach Of Contract And Unpaid Overtime Were Properly Dismissed

Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2007) Adediji Adesola Soremekun, who was employed as a pharmacist at Thrifty Payless d/b/a Rite Aid, was subject to a collective bargaining agreement that existed between Rite Aid and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. After resigning his employment, Soremekun filed a lawsuit in which … Continue Reading

New Employer Was Not Liable For Interfering With Contract Between Employee And Her Former Employer

Powers v. Rug Barn, 15 Cal. Rptr. 3d 292, 117 Cal. App. 4th 1011 (2004) Fred Powers and Suzanne DeVall were partners in a company called Earth Tapestries, which was engaged in providing consulting, design and sales related to textiles and home furnishings and products. Another company, Rug Barn, expressed an interest in entering into … Continue Reading

County Employee May Plead ERISA And, Alternatively, Breach Of Contract Claims In The Same Complaint

Coleman v. Standard Life Ins. Co., 288 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (E.D. Cal. 2003) Floyd Coleman, who was employed as a probation officer for the County of Sacramento, sued Standard Life Insurance Company after it denied him long-term disability benefits for his knee condition and chronic back pain. Coleman sued for a violation of ERISA … Continue Reading
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