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Showing 12 posts in Ninth Circuit.

Use of Salary History Taboo? Ninth Circuit Weighs In

Use of one's last salary or salary history to determine compensation can be a proxy for sex discrimination. Once considered a legitimate "factor other than sex," some jurisdictions are banning the use of a job candidate's salary history to determine compensation as it has perpetuated pay inequities between the sexes. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest-profile court to address, and ban, use of salary history in the employment setting in most (but not all) cases. More ›

California Supreme Court to Provide Guidance on Meal and Rest Breaks

The California Supreme Court may soon provide health-care providers rare and much needed clarification concerning their wage and hour practices. It will do so in response to the Ninth Circuit’s request for guidance on the following wage and hour issues touching upon the meal and rest period rights of ambulance attendants: More ›

Ninth Circuit Says Age Discrimination Laws Apply to Public Employers of Any Size

In Guido v. Mount Lemmon Fire District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to public employers of any size.

John Guido and Dennis Rankin were hired by Mount Lemmon Fire District (in Arizona) in 2000. They served as fire captains until June 15, 2009, when they were laid off. At the time of the layoffs, Guido was 46 and Rankin was 54 years of age. They were the oldest employees at the Fire District. In April 2013, the two sued their former employer for age discrimination. More ›

Everything must go? Dealership's Service Advisors not Exempt from Overtime

Classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt can prove to be an arduous task for some employers. For others, however, the classification is easy, particularly where the state or federal authorities expressly spell out the employees at issue. That still proved problematic for one California employer, however. As demonstrated by this week's Ninth Circuit opinion, even seemingly obvious classifications are not always so.  More ›

Employee’s Failure to Include Discrimination Lawsuit Against Employer in Bankruptcy Schedules Results in Dismissal of Action

An employee of the United States Army alleged that certain adverse employment actions by the Secretary of the Army resulted from discrimination. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, but failed to list the discrimination action as an asset on her bankruptcy schedules. Only when the employer moved to dismiss the action on the ground of judicial estoppel did the employee amend her bankruptcy schedules to add this potential asset. The district court found that judicial estoppel barred her action in that there was no evidence to suggest that her original failure to list the discrimination case as an asset was inadvertent or mistaken. Her case was accordingly dismissed.

The employee appealed, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that, in light of the timing of the employee's amendment of her bankruptcy schedules and her choice not to file a declaration explaining her initial error, no reasonable fact-finder could conclude that the omission was inadvertent or mistaken. More ›

Ninth Circuit: Police Officer’s Complaints Regarding Safety Matters are not Protected Speech

In this case, a police officer was removed from his position on the K-9 team after it was determined that he, as well as other officers on the team, had serious performance issues that posed a significant risk to team safety. The officer then brought suit against his employer and various other officers alleging that that he was deprived of his constitutional rights in that he was retaliated against for exercising his free speech rights under the First Amendment. Essentially, the officer claimed that he was terminated because he voiced various concerns about the K-9 team's ongoing safety problems and the accidental discharge of weapons. The matter was tried to a jury, who found unanimously that the officer was retaliated against. The employer moved for a judgment as a matter of law, which was denied. The employer appealed. More ›

Ninth Circuit Allows Parties to Arbitrate Dispute Which had been Litigated for Years

In this recent arbitration decision out of the Ninth Circuit, the employee brought an action against her employer, alleging violations of California’s overtime laws and sought to assert claims on behalf of a class. After several years of litigation, the employee moved to certify a class. The District Court granted the motion in part, narrowing the class which the employee represented. In the same order, the court denied the employer's motion to compel arbitration, which was after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011). The District Court found that the employer had waived its right to arbitration by litigating the action for years without raising the binding arbitration clause contained in the employee's employment agreement. More ›

Ninth Circuit: Employees do not Violate the CFFA when Violating Computer use Restrictions

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion concerning employee violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. More ›

Ninth Circuit Requires Application of California Law over Contractual Choice of Law Provision

A class of truck drivers filed suit against a home delivery and transportation logistical support services company claiming alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and various related California labor laws, including failure to pay overtime, failure to pay wages, and unfair business practices. The company defended the claims by arguing that the drivers were not employees, but instead were independent contractors, and pointed to the Independent Truckman's Agreement and Equipment Lease Agreement signed by the drivers. Further, because the Agreement contained a provision indicating that Georgia law was to apply to any disputes relating to the relationship, the company claimed that Georgia law confirmed that the drivers were not employees and thus could not maintain their claims. After motion practice and a bench trial, the district court agreed with the company and found that not only did Georgia law properly apply to the dispute, but that under Georgia law, there is a presumption of independent contractor status and that the drivers could not establish the existence of an employer-employee relationship. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, disagreed with the trial court's analysis, at least in part, and reversed the decision. The Court of Appeals found that the district court failed to consider whether applying Georgia law would be contrary to fundamental California policies, and whether California had a materially greater interest in the resolution of these issue than did Georgia. Since the Court of Appeals found Georgia law to directly conflict with California law on the presumptions and burdens involved in the consideration of independent contractor status, and because worker protection is a fundamental public policy in California, the application of Georgia law would be improper. Finding that California law applied to the dispute, the case was remanded with instructions for the district court to reconsider the issues in light of California law. You can read more about the Court's decision and why it ultimately determined that the company's choice of law provision and Georgia law did not apply hereMore ›

Ninth Circuit to NLRB: Reconsider Whether Employee’s Profanity-Laced Tirade was Protected Activity

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that an employee's string of "F-bombs" can be equivalent to a threat of actual violence. More ›

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