Tag Archives: California Court of Appeal

Court of Appeal Affirms “Waiting Time” Penalties Where Employer Unaware of Wage Law Amendment

In its May 24, 2018 opinion in the matter of Diaz v. Grill Concepts Services, Inc. (Case no. B280846, 2nd Dist.), the California Court of Appeal shed further light on the standard to impose so-called “waiting time penalties” on employers who neglect to pay wages due upon discharge or resignation.  Diaz affirmed the maxim that … Continue Reading

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

No Class Action for Residential Care Facility Employees Over On-Duty Meal Periods

Denying class certification in an action for alleged meal period violations under the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5-2001 (“Wage Order 5”), the California Court of Appeal ruled that a 24-hour residential care facility for developmentally disabled individuals did not have a policy that violated wage and hour laws common … Continue Reading

Inaccurate Translation Invalidates Arbitration Agreement

The California Court of Appeal ruled that an automobile dealership that translated a sales contract into Spanish, but neglected to include the arbitration clause in the translated agreement, could not enforce the arbitration agreement. Ramos v. Westlake Services, LLC, A141353. Although the case involved a commercial transaction, it has important implications for employers who use … Continue Reading

Worker Misclassification Risk? Top 10 Questions to Ask about Your Independent Contractors

Employers’ risk of liability for the misclassification of workers continues to grow, as employee misclassification remains a top enforcement priority for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), and class actions asserting misclassification claims are filed almost daily in federal and California state courts. Employers regularly using independent contractors should examine those relationships periodically to ensure … Continue Reading

Reversing $1 Million Judgment against Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals Ruled Continuing Violation Doctrine did not apply to Firefighter’s Decades-Old Race Discrimination and Harassment Claims

The California Court of Appeal reversed a $1 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles in a racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation case brought by a firefighter under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles. After 12 years of litigation and two jury trials, the Court ruled that … Continue Reading

Employer to Pay for Emotional Distress Triggered by Random Workplace Drug Testing

This week, in Aro v. Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc., California Court of Appeal affirmed an intentional infliction of emotional distress award in favor of two employees who were pressured into taking a random, “on-demand” drug test. The facts Prior to the drug test at issue, the employer provided employees a revised 2011 employee manual … Continue Reading

No Arbitration if Invalid PAGA Waiver Cannot be Severed

On February 27, 2015, the California Court of Appeal determined that arbitration could not be compelled in Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. v. Superior Court (Edwards). Securitas’ arbitration agreement contained a waiver provision, waiving both class actions and representative Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) actions. In addition to waiving these claims, the waiver provision expressly … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules PAGA Claims Must Be Stayed Pending Outcome of Individual Arbitration on Underlying Individual Wage and Hour Claims

On February 26, 2015, in Franco v. Arakelian Enterprises, Inc., Case No. B232583, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District held that trial court proceedings on claims pursuant to the California Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) (Labor Code § 2698 et seq.) must be stayed pending individual arbitration of the underlying individual wage and … Continue Reading

Removing Essential Job Functions Not Reasonable Disability Accommodation Under California Law, Court Rules

Affirming summary judgment in favor of an employer on an employee’s disability discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the employer was not required to eliminate essential functions of a position as a reasonable accommodation. Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, No. B246634 … Continue Reading

Reasonable Accommodation’s Mandate in Employment Statute Does Not Require Employer to Cut Essential Job Functions

On January 21, 2015, a California Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 139 (February 13, 2015) granting summary judgment for the City of Santa Monica (“City”) on claims of disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, … Continue Reading

No Rest Period Violation for Security Guards On Call during Breaks, California Court Rules

Reversing a trial court’s awarding of a $90 million judgment in a class action case for alleged rest period violations under California law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a security company had provided its security guards with proper rest periods, even though they were required to remain “on call” during those breaks. … Continue Reading

Court Rules School District Should Have Done More to Accommodate Teacher Battling Cancer

In December 2014, the California Court of Appeal (“Court”) found that Morongo Unified School District’s (“School District”) failure to reassign a disabled teacher to her preferred position raised a triable issue of fact.  Swanson v. Morongo Unified School Dist. (Cal. App. Ct. 12/23/14), Case No G050290.  In doing so, the Court reversed the School District’s … Continue Reading

Employer Could Not Establish Sufficient Evidence to Prove Employee Signed an Arbitration Agreement through an Electronic Signature

A new case from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, Ruiz v. Moss Bros. Auto Group, Inc., was certified for publication on December 23, 2014, and addresses an area of interest for many employers – electronic signatures on arbitration agreements. Employers must build safeguards into such systems  to be able to prove … 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

California Appellate Court Holds that Federal Law Does Not Preempt California’s Meal and Rest Break Requirements for Truck Drivers

On October 28, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”) does not preempt California’s meal and rest break requirements as applied to motor carriers.  [Godfrey v. Oakland Port Services Corp. (Cal. App. Ct. Oct. 28, 2014) Case No. A139274.] In Godfrey, the plaintiffs were truck … Continue Reading

Professor’s Refusal to Undergo Fitness-for-Duty Exam Warranted Termination, California Court Rules

A university properly terminated a professor for failing to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination after he had engaged in instances of threatening behavior, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of the University of San Francisco on a professor’s alleged disability discrimination claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Holds That A Holding Company With No Employees May Be Vicariously Liable For Alleged Wage and Hour Violations of a Subsidiary

While reversing summary judgment in favor of a holding company, in Castaneda v. The Ensign Group B249119 (Cal. Ct. App. Sep. 15, 2014), the California Court of Appeal held that a “corporation with no employees [that] exercises some control over [a] corporation with employees, [] may be the employer of the employees of the corporation … Continue Reading

Deputy Sheriff Protected by Whistleblower Retaliation Law, California Court of Appeal Rules

The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014). The Court … Continue Reading

California High Court Rules that Franchisors are Not Liable for Workplace Injuries Inflicted By Franchisees’ Employees

In a recent opinion with important implications for California businesses, the California Supreme Court held that franchisors are not vicariously liable for the conduct of employees managed by its franchisees. In Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, et al., the plaintiff, a service employee at a Southern California Domino’s Pizza franchise, alleged that she had been … 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

Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides Whether Arbitration Agreement Applies to Class Claims, California Court Rules

Whether the parties to an arbitration agreement agreed to class arbitration is a question for the arbitrator, not the trial court, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, reversing an order dismissing class claims alleging violations of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unfair Competition Act. Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., No. B244412 (Cal. … Continue Reading

CA Truck Drivers Entitled to Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

On July 9, 2014, a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California truck drivers are entitled to meal breaks and rest periods under California state law despite federal deregulation of the trucking industry. Prior to the Court of Appeals ruling in Dilts v. Penske Logistics, Inc. (July 9, 2014), several federal judges in California ruled … Continue Reading

Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides Arbitration Agreement’s Enforceability, California Court Holds

A clause delegating to an arbitrator the authority to decide questions of an arbitration agreement’s enforceability was not unconscionable under California law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Malone v. Superior Court, No. B253891 (Cal. Ct. App. June 17, 2014). The Court affirmed an order enforcing the delegation clause and compelling arbitration. Significantly, the … Continue Reading
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