Labor & Employment

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Plaintiff, a retired state government employee, sued the closed shop union for deducting dues from her wages even though she never joined the union.  The decision affirms dismissal for lack of jurisdiction as to her claims for prospective declaratory and injunctive relief because she was no longer employed and so not threatened with any future deduction of union dues from… Read More

A Workers Compensation judge's finding that the employer did not discriminate against the employee based on her industrial injury under Lab. Code 132a does not necessarily preclude the employee's claims for disability discrimination under FEHA--at least when the Workers Comp. judge expressly refuses to decide whether the employer discriminated against the employee based on her disability as opposed to the… Read More

(The Federal Tort Claim Act's discretionary function immunity did not shield the United States from liability for the alleged conduct of its employees in maliciously instigating false state court criminal charges against plaintiff (in retaliation for her whistleblowing).  The employees' alleged conduct in knowingly lying under oath, tampering with witnesses, or fabricating evidence to support the false criminal charges had… Read More

Usually, any agreement to waive the employee's right to sue under PAGA is unenforceable.  But there is an exception for collective bargaining agreements that cover construction workers, provide for wages, hours and working conditions, set forth a grievance and arbitration remedy for Labor Code violations, allow the arbitrator to award all remedies authorized by the Labor Code and clearly waive… Read More

Enacted in 2002, Civ. Code 3339, Gov. Code 7285, Health & Saf. Code 24000, and Lab. Code 1171.5 each provide that all rights and protections of law are available to all without regard to immigration status, that immigration status is irrelevant to proof of liability for violation of state labor, employment, civil rights, consumer protection, and housing laws, and that… Read More

Silver, a Hollywood executive, took his chef and an executive assistant, Musgrove, with his family for their vacation on Bora Bora.  The chef met Musgrove after hours and gave her alcohol and cocaine, after which she went swimming and drowned.  This decision holds that Silver is not vicariously liable for the chef's after hours activities with Musgrove under any of… Read More

A plaintiff may apply to the court for leave to proceed by a fictitious name if privacy concerns outweigh the First Amendment interest in public access to judicial proceedings.  Here, the employee on whose behalf DFEH sued for employment discrimination said that revealing his identity and caste would subject him and his family to discrimination and jeopardize their safety in… Read More

Under IWC Wage Order no. 7, an employer must "provide" a seat to covered clerical employees, unless work requirements preclude work while seated.  This decision holds that except for the most obvious cases (such as where the employer has a seat at work station) whether the employer has "provided" a seat raises a question of fact that precludes summary judgment… Read More

The district court erred in certifying a plaintiff class in this case challenging defendant's classification of its property preservation workers as independent contractors and asserting claims for overtime pay and expense reimbursement.  Plaintiffs could not prove fact of damage--not just amount of damage--by common evidence since some class members had not worked overtime or incurred reimbursable business expenses.  The district… Read More

This decision rejects plaintiff's argument that the PAGA statute violates the state constitution's separation of powers clause because it supposedly allows private citizens to seek civil penalties on the state’s behalf without the executive branch exercising sufficient prosecutorial discretion.  The contention is barred by Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, 360 which held that “PAGA… Read More

Plaintiff was a nurse, employed by a staffing company, on temporary assignment to a hospital run by defendant.  Plaintiff brought separate class actions against the staffing company and the hospital for wage and hour violations.  This decision holds that the settlement and dismissal of plaintiff's suit against the staffing company did not end or preclude her suit against the defendant. … Read More

The FAA does not preempt California law insofar as it invalidates a waiver of an employee's right to bring PAGA claims arising out of Labor Code violations that affected the plaintiff employee.  However, the FAA does preempt California law (Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348 and progeny) insofar as it precludes waiver of the employee's… Read More

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