Archives: Terminations

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California Teacher Tenure Laws Upheld by Appellate Court

Overturning a trial court ruling, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that teacher tenure laws are constitutional in the case of Vergara v. State of California, decided April 14, 2016. The case involves nine public school students who challenged several provisions of California’s Education Code that govern K-12 public school … Continue Reading

“Desperate Housewives” Star’s Whistleblower Case Revived by Court of Appeal

In a unanimous decision, a California Court of Appeal held that an employee is not required to exhaust his or her administrative remedies by filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner before commencing a civil action under California Labor Code sections 98.7 and 6312. Sheridan v. Touchstone Television Productions, LLC, No. B254489 (Cal. Ct. App. … Continue Reading

“Whistleblower” Retaliation Applies to Private Matters Unrelated to the Whistleblower’s Employment

An employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who makes a complaint to a government or law enforcement agency under California law. Labor Code section 1102.5(b), for example, makes it unlawful for a hospital to terminate a nurse because the nurse complained about a doctor to the Medical Board. It also would be unlawful … Continue Reading

Death Threats Against Co-Workers Defeat Employee Disability Discrimination Claim, Federal Court Rules

A depressed employee who was fired for threatening to kill his co-workers was not a qualified individual entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as the employee could not perform essential job functions, with or without an accommodation, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled, affirming judgment in favor of the … Continue Reading

Follow-up on: Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

In a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the court held that “a piece of evidence [may not be disregarded] at the summary judgment stage solely based on its self-serving nature.” As a result, declarations created after summary judgment motions are filed may be sufficient to create genuine issues of material fact and, therefore, defeat summary judgment. … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Affirms that Employee Signature Acknowledging Clear Arbitration Policy Makes Policy Binding

In a recent opinion affirming an arbitrator’s judgment in favor of an employer on various employment law claims, the California Court of Appeal held that an employee agreed to arbitrate all claims against her former employee when she signed an arbitration policy contained in an easy-to-read document distinct from any other document the she signed … Continue Reading

Not All Supervisor Misconduct Violates Public Policy Sufficiently to Support Whistleblowing Claims

On December 1, 2014, in Ferrick v. Santa Clara University (H040252), the California Court of Appeal rejected a university employee’s attempt to support her wrongful termination claim with allegations of embezzlement, tax evasion, or other alleged improprieties in public financing and real estate deals.  However, the employee successfully stated a claim for wrongful termination based … Continue Reading

Falsification of Time Sheets for Breaks was Misconduct Under Unemployment Insurance Code

Jim Irving, a former employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was fired for falsifying time records on at least four occasions. Irving admitted he did not take his breaks at the locations or at the times specified by his employer, exceeded his allotted break time, and deliberately filled out his time sheets to … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Holds That Retired Employees Can Also Subject Employers to Waiting Time Penalties

On August 19, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held that the requirements of Labor Code sections 202 and 203 apply not only to employees who quit, but also to employees who retire.  In McLean v. State of California et al., No. C074515 (Cal. Aug. 19, 2014), the plaintiff filed a putative class action lawsuit … Continue Reading

Evidence of Poor Employee Performance May Not Be Enough to Defeat Discrimination Claims on Summary Judgment

On January 31, 2014, a California Appellate Court reversed an employer’s summary judgment despite well documented evidence of the employee’s history of poor performance.  This decision—Cheal v. El Camino Hospital (No. HO36548)—addresses a pivotal question for employers: when can employers legitimately terminate a protected employee because of poor performance? At the age of 61, Plaintiff … Continue Reading

Organ Donor’s Association-Disability Discrimination Claim Can Proceed, California Court Rules

Timing is not everything. In Rope v. Auto-Chlor of Washington System of Washington, Inc., the employer fired an employee for purported performance reasons on December 30, 2010 – two days before California’s Michelle Malkin Donor Protection Act became effective.   The timing was significant because when the employee was hired in October of 2010, he had told … Continue Reading
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