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CalPERS May Calculate Retirement Benefits for a City Council Member Separately From His Benefits as a City Employee

A city administrator-turned-elected city council member believed his retirement benefits would be based on his highest salary multiplied by all his years of service, including his years on the city council; however CalPERS...more

2/24/2014 - CalPERS ERISA Municipalities Public Employees Public Employers Retirement Plan

Court of Appeal Confirms that Laborers and Materialmen Have Priority over Construction Lenders to Funds Used to Develop the...

A California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a construction lender must make available to stop notice claimants those amounts which the lender has already disbursed to itself on the construction loan. (Brewer Corp. v....more

2/17/2014 - Construction Contracts Construction Loans Contractors Debt

Donning and Doffing Protective Gear Constitutes ‘Changing Clothes’ for Purposes of the FLSA

In a unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court held in Sandifer et al., v. United States Steel Corp., 571 U.S. __ (January 27, 2014) that the time employees spent “donning and doffing” protective gear was not...more

2/5/2014 - Collective Bargaining FLSA Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp SCOTUS Unions Wage and Hour Workplace Attire

Police Officers’ Rights Were Not Violated During Investigation Into Discharge of Weapon

Three police officers alleged their rights were violated during an investigation into the off-duty discharge of a weapon. The court of appeal held that the police officers’ rights were not violated because the investigation...more

1/20/2014 - Investigations Police

California Highway Patrol Officer Who Cannot Perform Activities Required Of All Officers Is Entitled To Disability Benefits Even...

A California Court of Appeal has found that the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees' Retirement System ("CalPERS") erred when it denied a California Highway Patrol ("CHP") officer disability benefits...more

1/13/2014 - CalPERS Disability Disability Benefits Police

Attorney General Determines Business Location Where Employees Work For Someone Other than the Business Owner is a "Place of...

A state legislator requested an opinion from the Attorney General about whether a business site, at which the people working are employed by someone other than the business owner, is a "place of employment" as defined by the...more

12/31/2013 - Employment Policies Health Safety Smoking Bans Workplace Hazards

New Financial Liabilities for Employers Under the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act Now in Effect

Originally passed in 2011 as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 ("TAAEA"), the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act ("Act") went into effect across the nation on October 21, 2013. The Act mandates...more

12/30/2013 - Hiring & Firing TAAEA Termination Unemployment Benefits Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act

Employee Stated a Claim for Associational Discrimination when Fired After Seeking Time Off to Donate a Kidney to his Sister

A trial court dismissed a lawsuit by a former employee against an employer who fired him after he requested leave to donate a kidney to his physically disabled sister. A court of appeal held that the trial court erred in...more

12/3/2013 - Associational Retaliation Disability Disability Discrimination Discrimination Employer Liability Issues FEHA Termination Unpaid Leave

Doctrine of “Tacking” was Properly Applied to Establish Bank’s Priority in Trademark Action

In a trademark infringement action, a jury found in favor of a foreign bank and against a California financial corporation, where the bank established prior use under the “tacking” doctrine. The Ninth Circuit Court of...more

11/27/2013 - Banks Infringement Prior Art Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Fire Captain’s Comments in Daily Logs Held Subject to Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights

Since 2008, California firefighters have enjoyed increased procedural protections under the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights (FFBOR) (Govt. Code § 3250 et. seq.). Section 3255 of FFBOR provides that “[a] firefighter...more

11/7/2013 - FFBOR Firemen Performance Reviews

California Appellate Court Reaffirms the Trade Secret Displacement (Preemption) Doctrine

Courts continue to define the scope of the emerging trade secret displacement doctrine, (commonly referred to as preemption) which stems from California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("UTSA"). The UTSA contains a relatively...more

10/29/2013 - Claim Preclusion Misappropriation Preemption Trade Secrets UTSA

New Law Provides that Public Agencies may not Take Punitive Action Based Solely on the Fact that a Public Safety Officer’s Name is...

The Governor recently approved Senate Bill 313 (“SB 313”), which adds section 3305.5 to the Government Code. Currently, the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act provides that no punitive action may be taken...more

10/21/2013 - Brady Violation Public Safety

City Not Required to Provide a Defense to Former Administrative Officer Accused of Looting City’s Coffers

The City of Bell (“City”) sued Robert Rizzo (“Rizzo”), its former chief administrative officer, for restitution after he allegedly looted the City’s coffers. Rizzo, who also faced criminal charges, asserted that the City was...more

10/21/2013 - Criminal Prosecution Embezzlement Municipalities

Corporations Must Describe Employee Duties in Detail to Show Employee is not a “Managing Agent” in Order to Sustain Evidentiary...

A female employee experienced difficulty with the availability and unsanitary conditions of portable toilets at a job site. After she was fired, the woman sued alleging violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

10/18/2013 - EEO Employer Liability Issues Evidence FEHA Gender Discrimination Hostile Environment Managers Punitive Damages

Volunteer Firefighters Qualify as Employees Under Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act

A volunteer firefighter alleged his termination violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s...more

10/17/2013 - Firemen FLSA FMLA Hiring & Firing Termination Volunteers

Court Confirms Board of Directors’ Discretion to Implement Executive Compensation Plan and Duty of Shareholders to Demand Action...

Under California and Delaware law, a shareholder lawsuit against a corporation requires that a plaintiff show efforts to demand action from the corporation’s board of directors prior to filing the lawsuit. This pre-suit...more

10/2/2013 - Board of Directors Breach of Duty Demand Futility Executive Compensation Fiduciary Duty Pleading Standards Shareholder Litigation

Contract Provision for Judicial Reference May be Enforced Even Though Provision Does Not Specifically State Right to Jury is...

California law provides that parties to a contract may agree to use alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration and judicial reference, to resolve contract disputes. A recent California appellate court...more

9/23/2013 - Contract Interpretation Enforcement Judicial Reference Right to a Jury Waivers

Arbitration Decision Precludes Subsequent Non-Statutory Wrongful Termination Claim

A court of appeal recently addressed whether an arbitration decision on a claim of wrongful termination in violation of a collective bargaining agreement, as a result of racially discriminatory practices, bars a subsequent...more

9/20/2013 - Arbitration FEHA Public Policy Res Judicata Termination

Lawsuit for a Retaliatory or Discriminatory Firing under the Labor Code May Not Be Filed Until After Fired Employee Completes...

After complaining about a supervisor smoking in the office, an employee of the State Assembly was fired. Believing the firing was motivated by his complaint, the employee filed a lawsuit against the Assembly, claiming...more

9/4/2013 - Administrative Remedies Complaint Procedures Discrimination DOL Hiring & Firing Retaliation Termination

Borrowers Have Standing to Challenge Void Assignments of Their Loans

A California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s decision and held that a borrower may sue a bank for wrongful foreclosure when an attempted transfer of loan to a securitized trust occurred after the trust’s closing...more

8/26/2013 - Assignments Borrowers Foreclosure Loans Mortgages Securities Standing Trusts Wrongful Foreclosures

Interest Provision on Invoice Was Not a Term of the Contract Between Parties

A court of appeal recently addressed whether an interest provision in standard invoices was a term of the contract between two parties. The court held that the trial court improperly decided the issue under section 2202 of...more

8/23/2013

Lender Prevails in Lawsuit Against Borrower Who Agreed to Remain Liable for Home Equity Loan After Short Sale

A lender who held a second deed of trust on real property agreed to a short sale of the property after the borrower agreed to remain obligated to repay the balance of the home equity loan. The court of appeal upheld the...more

8/22/2013 - Borrowers Home Equity Lenders Liability Loans TARP

Tenant Evicted Without Proper Notice After Bank Foreclosure Does Not Have a Private Right of Action to Bring a Lawsuit Under the...

In Logan v. U.S. Bank National Association (--- F.3d ----, C.A.9 (Cal.), July 16, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether a tenant evicted from a foreclosed property could bring a lawsuit against the...more

8/19/2013 - Eviction Foreclosure Notice Requirements Private Right of Action Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act Tenants

U.S. Court of Appeals: The Home Affordable Assistance Program Has Produced More Litigation Than Happy Homeowners

In Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank NA (--- F.3d ----, C.A.9 (Cal.), August 8, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Wells Fargo Bank was required to offer borrowers permanent loan modifications to their home...more

8/19/2013 - Banks Borrowers HAMP Lenders Loan Modifications Mortgages U.S. Treasury Wells Fargo

Supreme Court Update: A Claim of Unlawful Business Practice Brought Under California’s Unfair Competition Law May Be Based on...

In Rose v. Bank of America (--- P.3d ----, Cal., August 1, 2013), the California Supreme Court considered whether a consumer could bring an action for unlawful business practices under state law, for violations of federal...more

8/16/2013 - Bank of America Damages Private Right of Action Truth in Savings Act Unfair Competition

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