California Employment Law News - California Case Law
California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog

Recently in Employment Law Category

Ellen Pao, the former junior partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm on Friday. In a case that made headlines, Pao had claimed that she was not promoted because of her gender, was subject to harassment, and faced retaliation when she complained.

Pao's case included salacious details, what her attorneys argued was "despicable, malicious, oppressive treatment," as well as allegations of subtle double standards faced by women: things like not being invited to outings or being subject to contradictory, irreconcilable evaluations.

More Silicon Valley Anti-Poaching Lawsuits Filed: 3 Things to Know

The Silicon Valley anti-poaching mega-class-action has turned into quite the show: First, there were estimates that the suit could cost the companies involved (Adobe, Google, Intel, and Apple) billions in damages. Then, it settled for a relative pittance: $324 million. An objecting plaintiff, and a motion to intervene by a bunch of mass murderers later, the settlement was nuked and a trial date was set.

Now? While the four tech titans appeal Judge Lucy Koh's holding that the settlement was unreasonable, other lawyers are lining up to take on other tech companies that may have had similar anti-poaching agreements in place.

Here are five things to know about the latest Silicon Valley anti-poaching lawsuits:

Uber is finding itself "disrupted" right into federal court, this time over allegations that it's charging users a 20 percent gratuity but not paying that to employees -- excuse me, partners (because they're not employees and Uber isn't operating a transportation company).

On Wednesday, Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco granted part of Uber's motion to dismiss, but left in place an unfair trade practice claim.

A divided California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the idea that a franchise parent company can be automatically held liable for the acts of a franchisee. The 4-3 decision will surely make waves, as the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel decided last month that McDonald's could be held liable for labor violations of franchisees.

The case involves a Domino's franchise and an employee claiming that a manager had been sexually harassing her. She complained about the harassment to corporate headquarters, took a week off work, then resigned soon afterward, believing that the manager had reduced her hours as retaliation for reporting the harassment.

The dust is still settling after Hobby Lobby, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of exempting closely held corporations from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, but Californians may not feel the aftershock.

Why? California has laws in place that require employers to include birth control in their prescription drug coverage. But these laws don't cover the same legal ground as the healthcare mandate.

So how will Hobby Lobby affect Californians?

Iskanian Changes Employment Lawsuits, Arbitration, PAGA Actions

We've been waiting for the Iskanian decision for some time, and as predicted, it changes a lot when it comes to California employment law.

California has been an employee-friendly state for a while, with its Supreme Court holding previously that arbitration clauses that waive class action remedies were often unconscionable and unenforceable. But then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a series of pro-arbitration rulings, including AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, which wiped out that entire line of California cases by holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law and allows for such waivers.

Cal. Sup. Ct. Sets Arguments for Landmark Employee Arbitration Case

The facts of this case are pretty unremarkable. Guy (Arshavir Iskanian) drives a limo, gets into a dispute with his employer (CLS Transportation). Guy sues.

Except, there was an arbitration clause. The trial court ordered arbitration, pursuant to the employment contract. An appellate panel reversed, with instructions for the trial court to consider Gentry v. Superior Court, a California Supreme Court case that, in limited circumstances, allows parties to escape "unconscionable" arbitration clauses.

The trial court certified a class, but then AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion happened, hitting the reset button, and sending the case back to arbitration. Now, the California Supreme Court, on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., will hear arguments about whether Gentry remains good law after AT&T Mobility.

Second Raiderette Joins Wage and Hour Lawsuit

We recently went over the story of Lacy T., a Raiderette who is suing the Oakland Raiders Club for violation of California labor laws. Well, the lawsuit is picking up steam as a second Raiderette joined the suit.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sarah G. (last names aren't disclosed for safety reasons) spent four seasons with the Raiders as a cheerleader but joined the lawsuit, claiming their contract with the Club was rife with illegal provisions.

For all you employment attorneys out there, check out this laundry list of alleged violations:

One thing I love about California? It's never boring. Last week we went over some new, and proposed, laws and today, we look at two recent cases initiated in California courts, as well as another proposed law.

One case alleges violation of state labor laws, while the other one is a novel approach to dealing with those pesky mugshot websites -- misappropriation of likeness for commercial gain. Finally, the proposed law would limit the use of antibiotics on livestock.

CHP Officer Gets Disability, Despite Ability to Handle Job Duties

How do you define disabled? It probably involves (among other things) an inability to carry out one's work duties, right? And if you have been assigned to a light-duty position, and have been able to fully perform that job's duties without limitation, you aren't disabled, are you?

If you are a California Highway Patrol officer, you might be.

The CHP requires that its officers be able to perform "14 critical tasks," including removing a 200-pound person from a vehicle and dragging him 50 feet, and subduing and handcuffing a resisting subject. Despite prior case law and CalPERS's assertion that the only duties that mattered were the ones actually performed by the person seeking disability, the court held in Officer Perry Beckley's favor, holding that the vehicle code required all CHP officers, regardless of daily duties, to be able to meet the physical standards.