California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: termination

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

Lawyer-Investigators Recover Attorneys’ Fees Following Successful Anti-SLAPP Motion

Ross v. Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 96 Cal. App. 5th 722 (2023) Plaintiff Natalie Operstein was a professor of linguistics at California State University, Fullerton, and plaintiff Craig Ross is her husband. In 2014, the university hired a law firm to investigate multiple accusations Operstein raised to her superiors about three of Operstein’s colleagues. Defendant Colleen Regan, … Continue Reading

Fire Chief Was Terminated For Misconduct Not Because Of His Religion

Hittle v. City of Stockton, 76 F.4th 877 (9th Cir. 2023) Ronald Hittle served as the City’s Fire Chief before he was fired (following an investigation by an outside investigator) because he lacked effectiveness and judgment in his ongoing leadership of the Fire Department; used City time and a City vehicle to attend a religious … Continue Reading

Arbitrator Correctly Enforced Release Agreement Executed By Employee

Castelo v. Xceed Fin. Credit Union, 91 Cal. App. 5th 777 (2023) Elizabeth Castelo sued her former employer Xceed Financial Credit Union for wrongful termination and age discrimination in violation of FEHA.  After the parties stipulated to binding arbitration, the arbitrator granted summary judgment to Xceed based on a release that Castelo signed after she … Continue Reading

School District Employer Did Not Violate The Law By Requiring COVID Vaccination/Weekly Testing

Rossi v. Sequoia Union Elementary Sch., 2023 WL 5498732 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023) Pursuant to the State Public Health Officer Order of August 11, 2021, K-12 schools were required to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of all school workers and to require proof of vaccination or weekly diagnostic screen testing.  Plaintiff Gloria Elizabeth Rossi, an … Continue Reading

September 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted September 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Employers Owe No Duty Of Care To Prevent The Spread Of COVID To Employees’ Household Members School District Employer Did Not Violate The Law By Requiring … Continue Reading

January 2023 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Age/National Origin Case Was Properly Dismissed Despite “Direct Evidence” Of Discriminatory Animus Family Court May Order Employer To Provide Determination Of Arrearages Owed In Spousal … Continue Reading

Former Teacher’s Defamation Suit Was Properly Dismissed Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

Bishop v. The Bishop’s School, 86 Cal. App. 5th 893 (2022) Chad Bishop was a teacher at The Bishop’s School for 16 years. In March 2019, Bishop entered into a contract as an English teacher for the 2019-20 academic year. In September 2019, Bishop and Kendall Forte, a 19-year-old former student of the School who … Continue Reading

Age/National Origin Case Was Properly Dismissed Despite “Direct Evidence” Of Discriminatory Animus

Opara v. Yellin, 57 F.4th 709 (9th Cir. 2023) Joan Opara was terminated from her employment as an IRS revenue officer after the IRS determined she had committed several “UNAX offenses” (i.e., incidents of unauthorized access of taxpayer data). Following her termination, Opara sued the Treasury Secretary, alleging she was terminated in violation of the … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Court Orders Employer To Pay Whistleblower $2.3 Million In Attorney’s Fees On Top Of $24 Million Judgment

A California judge has ordered Farmers Insurance to pay almost $2.3 million in attorney’s fees to the lawyers of a successful whistleblower/former in-house attorney who claimed his role as a potential witness in a sex bias class action got him fired. The underlying judgment in favor of the whistleblower was $24.36 million – after the … Continue Reading

March 2022 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2022 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: California Relaxes Standard For Proving Whistleblower Claims At-Will Employee Can Proceed With Labor Code § 970 Claim Doctor Proved Age/Race/Gender Discrimination Former Owner of Company Is … Continue Reading

California Relaxes Standard For Proving Whistleblower Claims

Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., 12 Cal. 5th 703 (2022) Plaintiff Wallen Lawson, who was discharged by his employer PPG Architectural Finishes for allegedly poor performance, brought a whistleblower claim against PPG; Lawson claimed he was terminated because he had uncovered and reported a supervisor’s scheme to “mis-tint” unpopular paint colors in order to … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Jury Hands $155 Million Holiday Gift to Fired Insurance Executive

As we recently reported, California juries continue to award massive verdicts to employees with alarming regularity.  And, just in time for the holidays, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury upped the ante on Thursday, handing a fired insurance company executive a verdict totaling $155.4 million – including $150 million in punitive damages. Plaintiff Andrew Rudnicki worked … Continue Reading

January 2019 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2019 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception” City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City Prevailing Employer Should Not Have … Continue Reading

School Teacher’s ADA Claim Against Catholic School Was Not Barred By “Ministerial Exception”

Biel v. St. James School, 2018 WL 6597221 (9th Cir. 2018) Kristen Biel was fired from her fifth grade teaching position at St. James Catholic School after she told the school that she had breast cancer and would need to miss work to undergo chemotherapy. Following her termination, Biel alleged that the school had violated … Continue Reading

City Attorney Should Not Have Been Disqualified From Representing City

City of San Diego v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 6629322 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018) As part of an internal affairs investigation regarding the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential police report, the San Diego Police Department questioned detective Dana Hoover regarding communications she had had with an attorney who was representing her in an employment-related lawsuit … Continue Reading

Employer Need Not Provide Wage Statement Concurrently With Payment of Employee’s Final Wages

Canales v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 23 Cal. App. 5th 1262 (2018) Fabio Canales and Andy Cortes sued Wells Fargo under PAGA for an alleged violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226 for failure to provide an itemized wage statement concurrently with a terminated employee’s final wages paid in-store. The trial court granted summary judgment … Continue Reading

Employer’s Action Against Opposing Attorney Was Properly Dismissed On Anti-SLAPP Grounds

MMM Holdings, Inc. v. Reich, 21 Cal. App. 5th 167 (2018) MMM sued Marc Reich, an attorney who had represented a former employee of MMM/MSO of Puerto Rico (Jose Valdez) in a whistleblower qui tam action against the company, for conversion, civil theft, etc., after Reich refused to turn over 26,000 electronically stored documents that … 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

Summary Judgment Was Properly Granted In Race Discrimination Case

Batarse v. Service Employees Int’l Union, 209 Cal. App. 4th 820 (2012) Ray Batarse sued the SEIU for race discrimination, among other things, associated with the termination of his employment. The trial court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment based upon Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(b)(3) because of Batarse’s failure to include a … Continue Reading

Injunction Upheld Prohibiting Former Employee from Competing

NewLife Sciences, Inc. v. Weinstock, 197 Cal. App. 4th 676 (2011) NewLife terminated the employment of Ronald Weinstock, the purported inventor of a Therapeutic Magnetic Resonance Device (“TMRD”), which NewLife had purchased approximately one year before the termination. In connection with its purchase of the TMRD, NewLife had obtained a non-compete covenant, which prohibited Weinstock … Continue Reading
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