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Update: Employee’s Refusal to Sign Written Disciplinary Notice Not “Misconduct” Under California Unemployment Insurance Code

Approximately two years ago, a California court of appeal held that an employee’s refusal to sign a disciplinary memorandum amounted to misconduct under the California Unemployment Insurance Code, disqualifying him from...more

7/10/2014 - Discipline Termination Unemployment Unemployment Insurance

California Supreme Court Rules that Employers May Require Employees to Arbitrate Employment Disputes Rather Than Go to Court, Even...

On Monday, June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the closely watched case of Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Logistics Inc. In a 4-3 opinion, the Court finally agreed that the Federal Arbitration...more

6/25/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Federal Arbitration Act Iskanian

Pharmacy Manager Fails To Prove Kaiser Had Actual Or Constructive Notice That He Was Working Off-The-Clock

In an appeal from summary judgment, a non-exempt Outpatient Pharmacy Manager (“OPM”) for Kaiser contended that the trial court erroneously held his proffered evidence insufficient to create a triable issue as to whether...more

5/29/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Healthcare Kaiser Permanente Pharmacies Wage and Hour Wages

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

Employee Not Required to Arbitrate FEHA Claims Where Language of Arbitration Agreement Is Permissive

While contractual claims arising from a collective bargaining agreement including an agreement to arbitrate are generally presumed arbitrable, the same presumption does not apply to statutory claims. Where an employee...more

11/20/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Collective Bargaining FEHA Waivers

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

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

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

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

Substantial Evidence Test Applies In Administrative Appeal From University Of California’s Decision To Terminate Employee

A University of California employee sought review of the University’s decision to terminate his employment because he violated the policy against workplace violence or threats. The employee asserted that an independent...more

7/16/2013 - Administrative Appeals Hiring & Firing Substantial Evidence Standard Termination University of California

Department of Labor Sets October 1, 2013, Deadline For Employers To Give Employees Notice Of Exchange Available Under the...

On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance to employers for giving notice to employees as required by Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) § 18b. Section 1512 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care...more

7/16/2013 - Affordable Care Act Deadlines Delays DOL Employer Mandates FLSA Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Marketplace Notice Open Enrollment Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule U.S. Treasury

Obama Administration Postpones Affordable Care Act’s Requirement For Businesses To Cover Employees Until 2015

The Obama administration plans to delay for a year the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health care coverage. Before the announcement, the requirement was scheduled to take...more

7/5/2013 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Tax Penalties U.S. Treasury

California Supreme Court: Charter City Contractually Obligated To Arbitrate Employees’ Furlough Dispute

The California Supreme Court was recently asked to resolve the issue of “whether a charter city may arbitrate disputes over collectively bargained wage and hour provisions without unlawfully delegating to the arbitrator its...more

7/3/2013 - Arbitration City Charters City Councils Collective Bargaining Furloughs Memorandum of Understanding Public Employees

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Who Qualifies As A Supervisor In Title VII Cases

In Title VII harassment cases, liability of an employer may depend on whether the harassing employee is the victim’s co-worker or supervisor. The United States Supreme Court was recently faced with the task of defining who...more

7/2/2013 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Liability SCOTUS Sexual Harassment Supervisors Title VII

Plaintiff Must Prove Retaliation Was Sole Factor Motivating Adverse Employment Action In A Title VII Retaliation Claim

A doctor and university medical school faculty member experienced conflict with a new supervisor that appeared to be related to his racial descent. The doctor sued the university, alleging the university staff had engaged in...more

7/2/2013 - Adverse Employment Action Civil Rights Act Discrimination Racial Discrimination Title VII

Even After Pregnancy Disability Leave Is Exhausted, Terminated Employee May State A Cause Of Action Under The Fair Employment And...

An employee who was fired after she exhausted all of her leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”) brought a lawsuit against her former employer for discrimination and retaliation under the California Fair...more

5/28/2013 - FEHA Pregnancy Pregnancy Disability Leave Law Pregnancy Discrimination

Retired County Employees Can Amend Their Complaint In An Attempt To Prove Existence Of A Contract for Health Benefits

In 2008, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (“County”) acted to cap the county’s contributions for health care benefits for retired employees at $500 per month. The Sonoma County Association of Retired Employees...more

5/22/2013 - Breach of Contract Employee Benefits Retirement

Agencies Are Barred From Using Two Attorneys From The Same Private Law Firm Where One Acts As Advocate And One As Advisor In A...

A police officer claimed his due process rights were violated when a partner in a law firm advocated on behalf of a department within a city at a non-binding arbitration. Subsequently a partner from the same law firm advised...more

4/22/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Conflicts of Interest Due Process

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