California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: public policy

California Chamber of Commerce Releases Its 2013 List of “Job Killer” Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce has just released its annual list of “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list identifies 32 proposed laws, including six new “Costly Workplace Mandates.” Chamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg cautioned against “increase[d] uncertainty for employers and investors and . . . higher … Continue Reading

Touchstone Television Productions v. Superior Court (Sheridan): Refusal To Renew An Employment Contract Is Not A Termination

Touchstone Television Productions v. Superior Court, No. BC435248, 2012 WL 3525609 (Aug. 16, 2012) If you are among the throngs of Desperate Housewives fans, you may recall when Wisteria Lane’s Edie Williams, played by actress Nicollette Sheridan, tragically died of electrocution following a car accident during the show’s fifth season. Sheridan later filed a lawsuit … Continue Reading

Statute Permitting Retiring Educators To Work Part Time Does Not Support Public Policy Claim

Sinatra v. Chico Unified School Dist., 119 Cal. App. 4th 701 (2004) Charles F. Sinatra, a former assistant principal at Chico High School, alleged wrongful termination in violation of the public policy purportedly embodied in California Education Code § 44922, which permits a school district to allow older, full-time employees to work part time without … 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

Newspaper Columnist May Have Been Terminated In Violation Of Public Policy

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 … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Public Policy Or Privacy Right By Terminating Manager For Dating His Subordinate

Barbee v. Household Auto. Fin. Corp., 113 Cal. App. 4th 525 (2003) Household Automotive Finance Corporation (HAFC) terminated the employment of its national sales manager, Robert Barbee, after learning that Barbee had a “special relationship” with one of his subordinate employees and after giving Barbee the choice of either ending the relationship or effecting his … Continue Reading

Employee Terminated For Refusing To Sign Customer Non-Solicitation Covenant States Claim

Thompson v. Impaxx, Inc., 113 Cal. App. 4th 1425 (2003) David Thompson’s employment was terminated after he refused to sign a customer non-solicitation agreement that his employer, Impaxx, required him to sign. The covenant in question stated that “[f]or a period of one year following the termination of employment, I will not call on, solicit, … Continue Reading

Employee Who Failed To Report “Illegal Activities” Was Not Terminated In Violation Of Public Policy

Rivera v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 331 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 2003) After John Rivera, who worked for Amtrak as a night watchman, threatened to “blow people away” in Amtrak’s San Jose office, the local police went to his home and found drugs, drug paraphernalia and an unregistered assault rifle with ammunition. Rivera was terminated … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Public Policy In Favor Of Self-Defense By Terminating Employee For Fighting

Escalante v. Wilson’s Art Studio, Inc., 109 Cal. App. 4th 692 (2003) Wilson’s Art Studio terminated Hector Escalante’s employment as a printer after he was physically attacked by another employee, but failed to leave the scene, deciding instead to go back to fight. In his wrongful termination lawsuit, Escalante, an at-will employee, alleged that Wilson’s … Continue Reading

Wrongfully Terminated Employee Was Entitled To $1.15 Million Punitive Damages Award

Freund v. Nycomed Amersham, 326 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2003) Jeffrey R. Freund worked as a pharmacist in Nycomed’s nuclear pharmacy in San Diego. After a few years of employment, Freund’s relationship with his supervisor, Mike Wakefield, “soured.” Freund lodged complaints about staffing, expressing his concern that overwork of staff members increased the probability that … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Public Policy By Terminating Employee For Filing Lawsuit Against Third Party

Jersey v. John Muir Med. Ctr., 97 Cal. App. 4th 814 (2002) Ester Jersey was employed as a nursing assistant and technician at a hospital when she was injured by a patient in the rehabilitation unit who was suffering from head trauma. Less than one year later, Jersey filed a personal injury action against the … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Have Considered Evidence Of Supervisor’s Retaliatory Motive

Colarossi v. Coty US Inc., 97 Cal. App. 4th 1142 (2002) In this case of alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy, Kimberly Colarossi alleged that her employment was terminated after she participated as a witness in an investigation of sexual harassment by a manager at the company (Deborah Bassett). The trial court excluded … Continue Reading

No Invasion Of Privacy Of Employee Who Was Terminated For Romantic Relationship

Ortiz v. Los Angeles Police Relief Ass’n, 98 Cal. App. 4th 1288 (2002) Cipriana Ortiz was employed as an administrator for LAPRA (a private, nonprofit association that processes employee benefits claims of current and former LAPD officers). Ortiz had access to officers’ names, residential addresses, telephone numbers, medical histories, family information, etc. During the course … Continue Reading
LexBlog