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Mitchell F. BoomerBlog Posts

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No Class Action for Residential Care Facility Employees Over On-Duty Meal Periods

Denying class certification in an action for alleged meal period violations under the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5-2001 (“Wage Order 5”), the California Court of Appeal ruled that a 24-hour residential care facility for developmentally disabled individuals did not have a policy that violated wage and hour laws common … Continue Reading
December 10, 2015

Employer to Pay for Emotional Distress Triggered by Random Workplace Drug Testing

This week, in Aro v. Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc., California Court of Appeal affirmed an intentional infliction of emotional distress award in favor of two employees who were pressured into taking a random, “on-demand” drug test. The facts Prior to the drug test at issue, the employer provided employees a revised 2011 employee manual … Continue reading Employer to Pay for Emotional Distress Triggered by Random Workplace Drug Testing
June 19, 2015

Not All Supervisor Misconduct Violates Public Policy Sufficiently to Support Whistleblowing Claims

On December 1, 2014, in Ferrick v. Santa Clara University (H040252), the California Court of Appeal rejected a university employee’s attempt to support her wrongful termination claim with allegations of embezzlement, tax evasion, or other alleged improprieties in public financing and real estate deals.  However, the employee successfully stated a claim for wrongful termination based … Continue reading Not All Supervisor Misconduct Violates Public Policy Sufficiently to Support Whistleblowing Claims
December 8, 2014

Deputy Sheriff Protected by Whistleblower Retaliation Law, California Court of Appeal Rules

The California Labor Code’s Section 1102.5(b) whistleblower protections are not limited to the first employee reporting alleged misconduct, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming a judgment in favor of a deputy sheriff on his whistleblower retaliation claim. Hager v. County of Los Angeles, No. B238277 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2014). The Court … Continue reading Deputy Sheriff Protected by Whistleblower Retaliation Law, California Court of Appeal Rules
September 18, 2014

Protected Speech Does Not Include Extortion, California Appellate Court Rules

Be cautious with the employee who “doth protest too much.”  The law protects whistleblowers. Employers must be careful to avoid retaliating against employees who report good faith concerns, even when such concerns prove meritless. But this does not leave employees free to blackmail employers by threatening to makes claims unless the employer capitulates to settlement demands. In … Continue reading Protected Speech Does Not Include Extortion, California Appellate Court Rules
June 19, 2014

First Do No Harm – Dental Practice Goes Too Far in its Communications to Employees About Class Action

No employer welcomes the news that it’s just been served with a wage and hour class action. Many employers naturally desire to communicate with their employees to provide their perspective and to explain why employees may not want to participate in the class action. Before launching such employee communications, however, companies should always consult with legal … Continue reading First Do No Harm – Dental Practice Goes Too Far in its Communications to Employees About Class Action
June 11, 2014

The “Dog Ate My Affirmative Action Plan” and Other Bad Excuses for Not Getting the Job Done

In a welcome common sense decision, the California Court of Appeal in Serri v. Santa Clara University affirmed summary judgment granted to Santa Clara University against its former Director of Affirmative Action. Why? Because as the University’s Director of Affirmative Action, she failed to file the University’s Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for three years in a … Continue reading The “Dog Ate My Affirmative Action Plan” and Other Bad Excuses for Not Getting the Job Done
June 5, 2014

Settlement Agreements May Trap the Unwary Employer for Court Costs, California Court Instructs

Ambiguity in settlement agreements can sabotage finality and certainty as a recent California decision shows. Where a settlement agreement is silent regarding litigation costs, an employee may obtain mandatory costs as the prevailing party under state law as the settlement proceeds constituted the required “net monetary recovery,” the California Court of Appeal has ruled. DeSaulles … Continue reading Settlement Agreements May Trap the Unwary Employer for Court Costs, California Court Instructs
May 13, 2014

Organ Donor’s Association-Disability Discrimination Claim Can Proceed, California Court Rules

Timing is not everything. In Rope v. Auto-Chlor of Washington System of Washington, Inc., the employer fired an employee for purported performance reasons on December 30, 2010 – two days before California’s Michelle Malkin Donor Protection Act became effective.   The timing was significant because when the employee was hired in October of 2010, he had told … Continue reading Organ Donor’s Association-Disability Discrimination Claim Can Proceed, California Court Rules
November 13, 2013

Protected Status for Veterans

On October 10, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, A.B. 556, to add “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). When this bill becomes operative on January 1, 2014, the FEHA will prohibit harassment and discrimination in employment … Continue reading Protected Status for Veterans
November 12, 2013

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