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A doctor who was joined a hosptial's staff and was given clinical privileges and performed surgery at the hospital was an independent contractor, not an employee and so could not state a Title VII claim for discrimination in employment against the hospital.  He was on call with the hospital only 5 days a month, and his earnings from the hospital… Read More

Citing Arias v. Superior Court (2009) 46 Cal.4th 969, this decision holds that the settlement and judgment in a prior class action and PAGA suit against the employer alleging the same meal and rest break violations is res judicata of plaintiff's similar PAGA claims.  Even though plaintiff opted out of the class action portion of the earlier case, he could… Read More

Summary judgment for defendant in an age and racial association FEHA discrimination case is affirmed.  The employer provided evidence of a non-discriminatory reason for firing plaintiff.  Plaintiff failed to introduce evidence raising a triable issue of fact that the stated reason was pretextual.  The few alleged comments about plaintiff's age--mostly that she looked much younger than her age--were harmless and… Read More

Professional football players failed to allege a viable negligence claim against the NFL on a theory of negligence per se in distributing prescription pain killers and other drugs to enable injured players to continue competing.  The complaint did not allege facts showing that the NFL directly or indirectly supplied players with drugs or coordinated activities of clubs to do so,… Read More

Under the continuing violations doctrine, an employer is liable for actions that took place outside the limitations period if these actions are sufficiently linked to unlawful conduct that occurred within the limitations period.  Here, Blue Fountain subjected the plaintiff to a continuous course of sexual harassment for more than a decade.  When plaintiff finally quit or was terminated, she sued. … Read More

When Judd, an actress, refused Harvey Weinstein's sexual advances, he bad-mouthed her to the producers of Lord of the Rings, and as a result, she was not hired for that blockbuster film.  Judd stated a viable claim against Weinstein for sexual harassment in violation of Civ. Code 51.9.  The section applies when the parties have one of several relationships specified… Read More

In some respects, the trial court's specification of reasons for granting a new trial, subject to a remittitur, for excessive damages was adequate.  For example, the trial court found that the jury had awarded duplicative damages for two different causes of action.  However, the appellate court held the reason was not supported by the record which showed there was substantial… Read More

In another wrongful termination and defamation case, this decision follows Roby v. McKesson Corp. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 686, in holding that a one-to-one ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages is the constitutional limit.  Though emotional distress counts as physical injury for purposes of weighing reprehensibility, still plaintiff's emotional distress was not as severe as Roby's.  Also, as in Roby,… Read More

Santa Clara University is not a state actor and so cannot be sued for violation of 42 USC 1983 in firing one of its professors.  It did not become a state actor merely because it isrequired by generally applicable civil rights laws to ameliorate sex or other forms of discrimination. Nor does its receipt of federal and state funds conditioned… Read More

An employee cannot be compelled to arbitrate a PAGA claim even though he signed an arbitration agreement with his employer.  The PAGA claim is a suit by the state which did not agree to arbitrate its claim.  Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (2018) 138 S.Ct. 1612 does not call this rule into question. Read More

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