Tag Archives: Ninth Circuit

What’s Left of the De Minimis Doctrine in California? Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals May Soon Decide

Last year, the California Supreme Court held the federal “de minimis” doctrine does not apply to California state law claims for unpaid wages for off-the-clock work allegedly performed on a regularly occurring basis in store closing and related activities. Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 5 Cal. 5th 829. However, the California Supreme Court also noted that … Continue Reading

The California Supreme Court Finally Weighs In on Suitable Seating

On April 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court took a stand by issuing a long-awaited opinion in Kirby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc.  The decision clarifies certain ambiguities in an employer’s obligation to provide suitable seating to employees.  At issue was a provision in California’s Wage Orders that requires employers to provide all employees “with suitable … 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

Ninth Circuit Finds Plaintiff Knowingly Agreed to Arbitration of Title VII Claims

A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s denial of an employer’s motion to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). This decision is notable because the applicable dispute resolution policy, outlining the terms of arbitration, was contained within the company’s policy manual and detached from the employee’s signed acknowledgment of … 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

“No Re-Hire” Clauses May Be Unlawful Restraints of Trade

When settling employment disputes, employers and employees often seek to go their separate ways and avoid crossing paths in the future.  Settlement agreements often include a “No Re-Hire” clause in which employees agree they will not be eligible for re-hire; however, what happens when a former employee challenges the “no re-hire” clause as an unlawful … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer, finding that a former employee’s self-serving declaration and deposition testimony regarding alleged disability discrimination were sufficient to create a triable issue of fact. The Ninth Circuit also held the employer’s denial of the accommodation the employee requested “chilled” the exercise of the … Continue Reading

California Court Rules On Protections Against Contracts: Why You Should Review Your Form Agreements Today

A divided Ninth Circuit court ruled this week that California’s protections against contracts restraining employment were not explicitly limited to non-compete agreements.  Rather, the law can apply to any type of employment agreement, including settlement agreements. In Donald Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group et al., case number 12-16514, the employer and employee entered … Continue Reading

Security Screening Time Need Not Be Paid, SCOTUS Rules – Expect California Law to Differ

Waiting to go through a security screening and then being screened is not compensable time under federal wage-hour law, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a case issued today (December 9).  But don’t expect California courts to interpret California law in the same way. In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas in Integrity Staffing Solutions, … 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

Shift-Based Discrimination May Support Race-Based Animus in Hostile Work Environment Claims

On April 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated a lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Ronald El-Malik Curtis against the City of Oakland, and several individual city officials on the ground that facially-neutral conduct could support a finding of racial animus sufficient to sustain a hostile work environment claim when … Continue Reading

California Courts Continue to Embrace Binding Arbitration Agreements

With increasing frequency, California courts (especially federal district courts) are enforcing binding arbitration agreements between employers and employees.  In Richards v. Ernst & Young, No. 11-17530 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2013), the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a denial of the employer’s motion to compel arbitration of the employee’s wage and hour claims.  In so doing, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Demands Strict I-9 Compliance

Ketchikan Drywall Services v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, No. 11-73105 (9th Cir. Aug. 6, 2013):  Ouch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld $172,000 in penalties against the employer for failing to maintain correctly completed I-9 Forms.  The employer argued that it substantially complied with the law by copying the relevant documents … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Looks to the California Supreme Court for Clarification of the Commission Overtime Exemption

The Ninth Circuit has recently requested the California Supreme Court to address the proper method of calculating employee commission payments to determine qualification for California’s commission salesperson exemption set forth in the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Order Nos. 4 and 7. An employee generally can qualify for this exemption if: (1) they work for an employer … Continue Reading

Class Action Update: Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit Decision Involving Certification of Nationwide Class of 1.5 Million Female Workers

In a decision that many employers have been waiting for since the Ninth Circuit’s decision certifying a class of approximately 1.5 million women, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected class action certification in “one of the most expansive class actions ever.” See Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, No. 10-277 (June 20, 2011). The case involved allegations of gender discrimination in pay … Continue Reading
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