California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Workers Compensation

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November 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Company That Hired Competitor’s Employee Was Not Entitled To Arbitrate Claims Disability Discrimination Claim Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment Employee’s Attorney’s “Pervasive Incivility” Justified … Continue Reading

Employee’s Meal and Rest Break PAGA Claims Survive Summary Judgment

Arce v. Ensign Grp., Inc., 96 Cal. App. 5th 622 (2023) Cecilia Arce worked as a certified nursing assistant at a skilled nursing facility. After her employer terminated her, she brought claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) that she worked through meal and rest periods and was not paid premiums she was owed … Continue Reading

Employer Improperly Delayed Pay To Employees Terminated After Onset Of COVID-19

Hartstein v. Hyatt Corp., 82 F.4th 825 (9th Cir. 2023) Karen Hartstein represents a certified class of former Hyatt employees who were laid off after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The class alleged that Hyatt violated California law by failing to pay them immediately for their accrued vacation time and by … Continue Reading

Nurse May Proceed With Class Certification On Wage Statement Claim

Woodworth v. Loma Linda Univ. Med. Ctr., 93 Cal. App. 5th 1038 (2023) Nicole Woodworth was a registered nurse at Loma Linda University Medical Center from December 2011 to June 2014.  In June 2014, she filed a putative class action against Loma Linda, alleging various wage and hour claims on behalf of herself and other … Continue Reading

Crisis Averted: California Employers Are Not Liable for “Take-Home” COVID Cases.

Last week, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that employers are not liable to nonemployees who contract COVID-19 from employee household members that bring the virus home from their workplace, because “[a]n employer does not owe a duty of care under California law to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to employees’ household members.”  Kuciemba v. … Continue Reading

November 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Equal Pay Act Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed Whistleblower Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed In Part School District Employee May Have Been Discriminated … Continue Reading

Hirer Of Independent Contractor Is Not Liable For Injury To Contractor’s Employee

Miller v. Roseville Lodge No. 1293, 83 Cal. App. 5th 825 (2022) Roseville Lodge No. 1293, Loyal Order of Moose, Inc., hired Charlie Gelatini to move an ATM on its premises.  Ricky Lee Miller, Jr., who worked for Gelatini and was the person who performed the work, was injured on the job when he fell … Continue Reading

July 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted To Employer In Whistleblower Case Job Applicants Need Not Be Paid For Time/Expenses Associated With Drug Testing Employer May Have … Continue Reading

Job Applicants Need Not Be Paid For Time/Expenses Associated With Drug Testing

Johnson v. WinCo Foods, LLC, 2022 WL 2112792 (9th Cir. 2022) Alfred Johnson brought this class action against WinCo, seeking compensation as an “employee” for the time and expense of taking a drug test as a successful applicant for employment. Plaintiffs argued that because the drug tests were administered under the control of the employer, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court to Determine Scope of Employer Liability for At-Home Spread of COVID-19

Last week, the California Supreme Court agreed to decide two unique questions with far-reaching implications for employer liability: (1) may an employer be held liable to an employee’s spouse when an employee contracts COVID-19 in the workplace and then infects their spouse at home, and (2) does an employer have a duty of care to … Continue Reading

Several State “Job Killer” Bills Move One Step Closer to Passage

As covered previously here, the California Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) once again has identified a handful of “job killer” bills making their way through the legislative process.  This year’s crop of proposed legislation would, among other things, inflate employer data reporting requirements and further expand the scope of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  … Continue Reading

Spring Showers Bring Job Killer Bills to California

Pablo Neruda once said “you can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Likewise, California businesses’ protests against oppressive employment legislation don’t seem to stem the tide of the Legislature’s latest batch of anti-employer bills. The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a host of recently introduced “Job Killer” Bills … Continue Reading

September 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Ninth Circuit Rejects “Paramour Preference” Liability Arising From Supervisor’s Affair With Another Employee $3.5 Million Emotional Distress Award Was “Shockingly Disproportionate” To Evidence Of Harm … Continue Reading

Hirer Of Independent Contractor Is Not Liable For Injuries To Workers

Gonzalez v. Mathis, 2021 WL 3671594 (Cal. S. Ct. 2021) John R. Mathis (aka Johnny Mathis) lives in a one-story house with a flat, sand-and-gravel roof.  The roof contains a large skylight covering an indoor pool.  Luis Gonzalez is a professional window washer who regularly cleaned Mathis’s skylight.  At the direction of Mathis’s housekeeper, Gonzalez … Continue Reading

Federal Guidance on Mandating Employee COVID-19 Vaccinations

To date, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has not issued relevant guidance regarding mandatory COVID-19 vaccination programs. Despite the current lack of California-specific information, on December 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19-related guidance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, … Continue Reading

Time Spent By Employees In Exit Searches Is Compensable

Frlekin v. Apple, Inc., 2020 WL 5225699 (9th Cir. 2020) Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the Ninth Circuit: “Is time spent on the employer’s premises waiting for, and undergoing, required exit searches of packages, bags, or personal technology devices voluntarily brought to work purely for personal … Continue Reading

California Will Presume COVID-19 Infections Arose From On-Site Work Performed After March 19

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption that workers who are still reporting to their employer’s workplace and who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Specifically, the Order provides that any COVID-19-related illness of an employee shall be “presumed to arise out … Continue Reading

Release Executed In Workers’ Compensation Case Did Not Bar Subsequent Civil Action

Camacho v. Target Corp., 234 Cal. Rptr. 3d 223 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) Adrian Camacho, a former Target cashier, sued for alleged sexual orientation discrimination, harassment causing a hostile work environment, retaliation, constructive termination in violation of public policy and related claims. Prior to resigning his employment with Target, Camacho settled a workers’ compensation (“WC”) … Continue Reading

Employee’s Qui Tam Action Is Not Barred By The Litigation Privilege

People ex rel. Alzayat v. Hebb, 18 Cal. App. 5th 801 (2017) Mahmoud Alzayat filed this qui tam action against his employer (Sunline Transit Agency) and his supervisor (Gerald Hebb), alleging a violation of the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) based upon allegedly false statements that Hebb made in an incident report submitted in response … Continue Reading

Employer May Be Liable For Sexual Harassment By Nonemployee Trespasser

M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Mgmt. LLC, 2017 WL 4831603 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) M.F., a housekeeping employee who worked for a hotel, alleged she had been raped while working on the employer’s premises by a drunk, nonemployee trespasser whom the employer knew or should have known was on the premises and who had “aggressively … Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation Decision Barred Employees’ FEHA Claims

Ly v. County of Fresno, 2017 WL 4546059 (Cal. Ct. App. 2017) Three Laotian correctional officers were allegedly subjected to racial and national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation by their employer, the County of Fresno. The employees filed suit in court under the FEHA while simultaneously pursuing their workers’ compensation remedies before the Workers’ Compensation … Continue Reading

Employer’s Victory In Workers’ Compensation Proceeding Leads To Dismissal Of Discrimination Claims

A recent California Court of Appeal opinion reminds employers of the need to carefully monitor parallel workers’ compensation proceedings involving litigants who also have civil claims pending against the employer. Ly v. County of Fresno, 2017 WL 4546059 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2017). Three Laotian correctional officers filed Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) … Continue Reading

$179,000 Penalty Upheld For Employer’s Failure To Maintain Workers’ Compensation

Taylor v. Dep’t of Industrial Relations, 4 Cal. App. 5th 801 (2016) Following an inspection, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) discovered that Aaron’s Automotive (“Taylor”) had been in operation since 2007 but had never acquired workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by Labor Code § 3700. The DLSE issued a Penalty Assessment Order, … Continue Reading

Employee Injured During “Mock Robbery” Was Not Limited To Workers’ Compensation Remedy

Lee v. West Kern Water Dist., 5 Cal. App. 5th 606 (2016) Kathy Lee, an employee of the water district, sued the district and four co-employees for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the co-employees staged a “mock robbery” without Lee’s knowledge and one of them (while wearing a mask) confronted her at … Continue Reading
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