California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: harassment

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

Disability Discrimination Claim Was Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Martin v. Board of Trustees of the Cal. State Univ., 2023 WL 7537694 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Following the termination of his employment as director of university communications at CSUN’s Marketing and Communications Department, Jorge Martin sued the university for race, gender and sexual orientation harassment and discrimination because he is a “middle-aged, light-skinned Mexican-American, … Continue Reading

$137 Million Racial Harassment Verdict Against Tesla Slashed by New Jury!

An astronomical $137 million jury verdict against Tesla has again been reduced, for a second (and potentially final) time. Last Monday, following a five-day trial on damages, a federal court jury awarded Owen Diaz, a former Tesla elevator operator, $175,000 in emotional distress damages and $3 million in punitive damages, totaling nearly $3.2 million—almost $134 … Continue Reading

March 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: No Claim By Employee Who Was Friends With Alleged Harasser Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed Employer That Failed To Layoff Employee Before She Became … Continue Reading

Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Lopez v. La Casa de Las Madres, 2023 WL 2534998 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Gabriela Lopez worked as shelter manager for a non-profit organization that provides services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In September 2016, Lopez gave birth to a child; by December 17, 2016, Lopez had received the full … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Act Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Allen v. Staples, Inc., 84 Cal. App. 5th 188 (2022) Joyce Allen worked at Staples as a field sales director (FSD) reporting to area sales vice president Bruce Trahey; FSD Charles R. Narlock also reported to Trahey.  As part of a corporate reorganization in February 2019, Trahey informed Allen and several other FSDs of his … Continue Reading

January 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Manicurist Can Proceed With Hostile Work Environment Claim “Volunteers for Nonprofits Are Not Employees” – Court Affirms Order In Favor Of The American Film Institute … Continue Reading

Consider the True Implications of Waiving Arbitration

Employers: have you thought about the true implications of waiving arbitration? When considering how to end sexual harassment issues in the workplace, prioritizing training and policy review may be a better course. Read more in Anthony Oncidi’s latest column in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: https://lnkd.in/dcMBBFm… Continue Reading

Court Affirms $500,000 Jury Award To Employee Who Stutters

Caldera v. California Department of Corr. & Rehab., 25 Cal. App. 5th 31 (2018) Augustine Caldera is a correctional officer at a state prison who stutters when he speaks.  Caldera alleged that the prison’s employees, including a supervisor, “mocked and mimicked” his stutter at least a dozen times over a period of two years.  Caldera … Continue Reading

New California Statute Shields Victims/Employers from Defamation Claims

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2770 (Assembly Member Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks), an act to amend Section 47 of the Civil Code.  The bill should protect both sexual harassment victims and employers against defamation claims from alleged harassers. The bill was sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce and passed the Legislature with unanimous, bipartisan … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Think About Arbitration Agreements Again Following Recent $15 Million+ Employee Verdicts

Jury panels in the Los Angeles Superior Court (which is often referred to as “The Bank” by the plaintiffs’ bar) have recently delivered multimillion-dollar verdicts to former-employee plaintiffs.  Many employers doing business in California already have insulated themselves from such disasters by adopting comprehensive arbitration regimes, which would require that such cases be heard by a retired … Continue Reading

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644 (Cal. S. Ct. 2015) Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the injury, Richey applied for and was granted a medical leave … Continue Reading

Liability For Employer’s Harassment, False Imprisonment Of Employees Was Not Covered By Insurance

Jon Davler, Inc. v. Arch Ins. Co., 229 Cal. App. 4th 1025 (2014) After one of the owners of Jon Davler, Inc. (Christina Yang) found a used sanitary napkin in the women’s bathroom and blood around the toilet seat, she started yelling at the employees that they were “dirty” and demanded to know which of … Continue Reading

Male Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Lewis v. City of Benicia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014) Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia) and two former male supervisors for sexual harassment and the City for retaliation. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the supervisors (Steve Hickman and Rick Lantrip) and judgment … Continue Reading

Store Manager’s Disability And Harassment Claims Were Properly Dismissed

Lawler v. Montblanc N. Am., LLC, 704 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 2013) Cynthia Lawler alleged disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) associated with the termination of her employment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Montblanc, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Montblanc had … Continue Reading

Employee From Pakistan Could Proceed With Religion And National Origin Harassment Claims

Rehmani v. Superior Court, 204 Cal. App. 4th 945 (2012) Mustafa Rehmani, a Muslim born in Pakistan, worked as a system test engineer for Ericsson Inc. before his employment was terminated in 2009. Among other things, Rehmani alleged that three of his coworkers (Amit Patel, Aneel Choppa and Ashit Ghevaria) and Ericsson harassed him based … Continue Reading

March 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Teacher/Minister’s Disability Discrimination Claim Is Barred By The First Amendment Community College Employee Is Entitled To New Trial On Whistleblower Claims LAPD Officer’s $2.1 … Continue Reading

Jury Awards Record $168 Million to Employee in Workplace Harassment Suit

A federal court jury on Wednesday awarded a record $168 million to a physician’s assistant who complained of multiple instances of sexual harassment by her supervisors in the cardiovascular surgery department at Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital. The verdict is believed to be the largest ever awarded to a single plaintiff in an employment case. The … Continue Reading

“Me Too” Evidence Was Relevant to and Admissible in Discrimination Lawsuit

Pantoja v. Anton, 198 Cal. App. 4th 87 (2011) Lorraine Pantoja sued attorney Thomas J. Anton and his firm for wrongful termination, violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), battery, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. By the time of the trial, only the FEHA claims remained. In their motions in … Continue Reading

Employer’s Anti-SLAPP Motion Was Properly Denied

Martin v. Inland Empire Utilities Agency, 198 Cal. App. 4th 611 (2011) Dean Martin, who worked as the executive manager of finance and administration of the municipal water district for the City of Chino, alleged retaliation, racial and age discrimination and harassment, defamation and constructive wrongful termination. In response, defendants filed a demurrer and an … Continue Reading

July 2011 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly posted July 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include: Class Of 1.5 Million Female Wal-Mart Employees Was Improperly Certified Arizona Law Requiring Use Of E-Verify Is Upheld U.S. Court Has Jurisdiction Over Argentinean Employees’ … Continue Reading

ADA “Impliedly Amended” The National Bank Act’s Termination-at-Pleasure Clause

Quinn v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 196 Cal. App. 4th 168 (2011) Robert Quinn, a former senior vice president of U.S. Bank, alleged he was denied accommodation, harassed and terminated because of a physical disability in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. U.S. Bank obtained summary judgment from the trial court on the ground … Continue Reading

New Trial Ordered In Police Officer’s Case Alleging Discrimination and Retaliation

Grobeson v. City of Los Angeles, 190 Cal.App.4th 778 (2010) A jury rejected Mitchell Grobeson’s claims against the City of Los Angeles and Daniel Watson for alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge. The trial court granted Grobeson’s motion for a new trial based on juror misconduct, and the Court of Appeal affirmed except … Continue Reading
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