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Showing 31 posts in Case Updates.

Must Employers Reimburse Employees for work Calls on Private Cell Phones?

In Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District dealt with the question of whether employers are required to reimburse employees for work-related calls made on their personal cell phones. More ›

After NLRB v. Canning: A Practical Guide for Employers

—The Supreme Court’s decision last week in NLRB v. Canning left many employers scratching their heads – and with good reason.

Sure, the unanimous ruling served as a rebuke to the Obama Administration, and hundreds of National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) rulings expanding employee rights and protections have been wiped off the books.  But what exactly is the current state of the law?  And how should you, as an employer, proceed in terms of creating and implementing employment-related policies? More ›

Supreme Court Strikes NLRB Recess Appointments

The United States Supreme Court has struck down President Obama’s controversial 2012 nominations to the NLRB, holding that the President violated the Constitution by using his recess appointments power when the Senate was still in session.

The ruling in NLRB v. Noel Canning calls into question hundreds of mostly pro-union NLRB decisions rendered by the improperly constituted board. It also will limit the ability of future presidents unilaterally to fill agency vacancies with highly partisan appointees. More ›

Employment Discrimination Plaintiff Cannot Change Legal Theories at Trial

In Rosenfeld v. Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, Inc., the Second Appellate District held that a plaintiff whose pleadings alleged intentional employment discrimination could not assert a disparate impact theory for the first time at trial.

The case highlights the distinction between “disparate treatment” and “disparate impact” theories under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Disparate treatment is intentional discrimination against an individual on prohibited grounds, such as race, sex or another protected category. More ›

Rite aid Cashiers can Proceed with Class Action

In Hall v. Rite Aid Corp., the Fourth Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decertification of a putative class of cashiers who challenged their employer’s policy of requiring them to stand while checking out customers.

The case is the latest in a series of California appellate opinions holding that a determination on class certification must focus on the plaintiff’s theory of liability — not the merits of the underlying allegations. More ›

Same Sex Harassment is Actionable, California Court of Appeal Affirms

In Lewis v. City of Benicia, the First Appellate District affirmed once again that in California, same-sex harassment is actionable.

Brian Lewis, a volunteer and later paid intern at the City of Benecia’s water treatment plan, claimed he was sexually harassed by two male supervisors (Hickman and Lantrip) in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), that he was subject to retaliation when he complained of the harassment, and that the City was liable for failing to prevent sexual harassment. More ›

California Restaurant Managers get Second Chance at Class Action

In Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District reversed an order denying class certification to a group of managerial restaurant employees allegedly misclassified as exempt.

The case was brought by lower-level managers at Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants throughout California who complained that they performed many of the same tasks as hourly employees but did not qualify for overtime pay due to their managerial status. More ›

Arbitration Clause in Collective Bargaining Agreement Doesn’t Cover Statutory Claims, Court of Appeal Rules

In Mendez v. Mid-Wilshire Health Care Center, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that the arbitration provision in a collective bargaining agreement governing a plaintiff’s employment did not apply to statutory discrimination claims.

Plaintiff, Mendez, was a nurse’s assistant who filed a lawsuit against her employer, Mid-Wilshire, alleging several causes of action, including three statutory causes of action based on the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Mid-Wilshire filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay the action, arguing that all of Mendez’s claims were subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between Mid-Wilshire and the union to which she was a member. More ›

Courts may Certify Class Claims Where Damages Differ

In Benton v. Telecom Network Specialists, Inc., the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed that employee wage and hour and meal break cases may be suitable for class certification even where employees experience diverse damages.

The case supports the proposition that courts considering whether common issues predominate for class certification purposes must focus on plaintiffs’ theory of liability and not on whether class members will have to prove their damages individually. More ›

EEOC Ordered To Pay Attorney’s Fees and Costs After Bogus Discrimination Case

The Sixth Circuit has ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to pay more than $750,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for pursuing a frivolous employment discrimination case.

The case, EEOC v. Peoplemark, is the latest in a cluster of judicial reproaches to the EEOC’s policy of aggressively targeting employers for conducting criminal background checks and allegedly declining to hire felons, practices the Commission believes disproportionately impact minorities. More ›

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