Whether the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses prevent civil courts from adjudicating employment discrimination claims brought by employees against their religious employer, where the employee carried out important religious functions, is the question presented in two consolidated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, No. 19-267, and St. James

As many counties in California issue executive orders and proclamations to either close certain businesses or shelter-in-place, California employers are faced with the difficult decision whether to lay off employees while they are closed. In the event of an immediate business closure, California employers were concerned with how to comply with the notice requirements

In Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc., (E065869, Cal. Ct. App. January 16, 2018), Plaintiff William Bustos and a number of his co-workers were terminated by Global in an economic layoff.  Bustos sued Global alleging his disabilities were a substantial motivating reason for his termination.

At trial, the jury awarded Bustos nothing, although the jury

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 on behalf of all employees employed by the State of California who retired from their employment between November 2010 and March 2011, who did not receive prompt payment of wages as required by Labor Code section 202.  Among other things, the putative class sought waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203.  At the trial level, the defendants’ demurrer was sustained without leave to amend because the plain text of Labor Code section 202 requires prompt payment of wages owed only for employees who “quit his or her employment.”  Because the putative class sought penalties for retired employees, the trial court determined that the employer could not have violated Labor Code section 202.  Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal reversed and found that the term “quit” in Labor Code section 202 also encompasses retired employees.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Holds That Retired Employees Can Also Subject Employers to Waiting Time Penalties

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,

A recent California Appellate Court upheld an employer’s right to terminate an employee for misconduct involving violent acts or threats of violence even if caused by a disability under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In Wills v. Superior Court., No. G043054 (4th Appellate District April 13, 2011), the Court dismissed the