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When COVID shutdown its hotels, Hyatt temporarily furloughed many of its employees.  This decision holds that Hyatt violated Lab. Code 201 and 227.3 by failing to pay the furloughed workers their accrued but unpaid vacation pay at the time they were furloughed.  Under California law, a temporary layoff, with no specified return date within the normal pay period, is treated… Read More

Plaintiff was employed by defendant.  While on a lunch break, he was hit by a pickup truck as he crossed a street near the store where he worked. He returned to work where he was given some minor first aid and then driven home, where it died.  This decision holds that the Worker's Compensation Act provides plaintiff's sole remedy against… Read More

As amended in 1984, the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act excepted from the definition of "employee" "individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet," whether for-profit or not-for-profit, so long as the individiuals are covered by a state worker's compensation scheme.  This decision holds that general federal admiralty and maritime law follows this statutory… Read More

Under Labor Code 5908.5, the Workers Compensation Appeals Board must act on a petition for rehearing within 60 days.  The Board's current practice of granting rehearing for study does not comply with the statute.  Though the Board says it carefully reviews petitions before granting-for-study, its grant-for-study orders do not state in detail the reasons for its order granting rehearing for… Read More

One insurer may recover equitable contribution from another insurer only if the two insurers share the same level of liability on the same risk as to the same insured.  Here, a business' CGL insurer sought equitable contribution from the same business' workers compensation insurer.  Dismissal of the complaint was affirmed because the two insurers did not insure the same risk. … Read More

In 2004-2011, Travelers issued workers compensation policies to Adir Int'l, LLC which contained a reference to a side agreement allowing retroactive recalculation of the premiums.  The policies were filed with the Insurance Commissioner, as required; the side agreement was not.  When Travelers demanded retroactive premiums, Adir sued for a declaration that the side agreement was illegal and unenforceable since it… 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

Plaintiff recovered a $115,000 jury verdict after having rejected defendant's $200,000 998 offer.  This decision holds that the defendant's post-offer costs awarded by the trial court under CCP 998 must be subtracted from the $115,000 jury verdict before computing the amount of the judgment payable to the workers' comp. lienor under Lab. Code 3856.  Since the post-offer costs exceeded $115,000,… Read More

To have standing to move to disqualify another party's attorney, the movant must generally be a present or former client of the challenged attorney, or at least a person who shared confidential information with that attorney in the course of a confidential or fiduciary relationship.  Otherwise, the movant is generally not affected by any breach of the attorney's duties of… Read More

An administrative law judge’s determination denying plaintiff worker compensation benefits for psychiatric injuries allegedly caused by employment discrimination or harassment precludes a later civil suit under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for the same alleged acts of employment discrimination or harassment. Read More

Under Labor Code 3744, the California Self-Insurers’ Security Fund may sue in court (not before the Workers Compensation Appeals Board) and recover workers compensation benefits paid on behalf of an insolvent self-insured temporary staffing agency from the agency’s customers who were the injured workers’ special employers. Read More

The trial court improperly granted summary judgment to employer defendant on employee plaintiff's claim of FEHA-prohibited retaliation for supporting a co-worker's complaint of sex discrimination, after she provided sufficient evidence of (1) adverse employment actions and (2) retaliatory motive.   Read More

Insured company misrepresented in its worker’s compensation insurance application that its workers traveled only within a 200 mile radius of its headquarters in California, so appeals board needed to determine whether insurer’s resulting rescission was effective.  Read More

When an employer pays an employee on a commission basis, the employer must separately pay the worker the minimum wage for the meal and rest break time, and cannot later deduct those wages from the employee’s future commissions.  Read More

The Workers Compensation Act did not preempt plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress caused by her co-workers who staged a mock robbery at her cashier's window, since the Act does not preempt intentional torts that are not part of the compensation bargain.  Read More

An injured worker did not file a formal worker’s compensation claim until 7 years after his injury, but the insurer could not raise a successful laches defense to the claim since the worker’s employer received knowledge of his injury the day after it was sustained.  Read More