On August 12, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued a sweeping opinion in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services, Inc. (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 1137. The Court discussed the issue of whether an employer must reimburse an employee for the reasonable expense of mandatory use of a personal cell phone for work purposes, or whether the reimbursement obligation is limited to … Read More
On September 10, 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1522 otherwise known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.
Specifically, the Act amends Labor Code § 2810.5 to provide that an employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30-days or more within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick … Read More
On May 29, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Assoc., (2014) 59 Cal.4th 1, making clear that before a court can certify a class action, it should require the plaintiff to have a trial plan addressing manageability of the class claims.
The class in Duran was a group of … Read More
On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a long awaited opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014 WL 2808963). Long awaited is an understatement, as the underlying case was filed in 2006. The issue of whether class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable has been ruled on differently by several courts over the past … Read More
Competing interests of transparency in government and elected officials and government employees’ right to privacy has stirred up a debate throughout California. A recent California appellate court ruled that government officials and employees’ private communications sent on personal devices and not stored on public servers are not subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). City of San Jose v. … Read More
The increased decriminalization of marijuana use raises questions of whether employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees who use it for medical reasons, and whether they can terminate the employee for failing a drug test. As prudent employers, it is always a good idea to contemplate how the change in law will affect the workplace. Although sixteen states have legalized … Read More
Many unwary employers fall into the trap of giving an employee the title of “Manager” or “Supervisor” only to find out that in fact the employee was misclassified. One of the most common mistakes an employer can make is to assume that a job title alone makes an employee “exempt” versus being “non-exempt.”
Amongst other factors, a truly exempt employee … Read More
This is a situation we see fairly often. The employer has an employee that it wants to terminate. The employer says, “I don’t have to have a reason. I can fire her any time, she’s an at-will employee!” What could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot of things. It is true that the rule in California is that employment relationships … Read More
In the recent case of Robert v. Stanford Univ., No. H037514, 2014 WL 793112 (Cal. Ct. App. February 25, 2014), plaintiff brought an action against his former employer for discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA.) He alleged that he was terminated because of his ancestry, American Indian. At trial, defendant presented evidence that plaintiff was … Read More
A recent California court decision, Mendoza v. Western Medical Center Santa Ana, (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 1334, highlights the mistakes an employer can make when handling a sexual harassment complaint.
Employers always need to do a good faith investigation, even if the allegations appear to be “he said/she said.” When employers terminate a long-term, well-performing employee after he or she … Read More