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Mark S. AskanasBlog Posts

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What California Retail Employers Need to Know About Accommodating Pregnancy

Navigating the California laws on discrimination and accommodation of pregnant employees is a significant challenge for retail employers. The Golden State’s protections for pregnant employees are many and they differ from those of federal law and of other states. Pregnancy Disability Leave Law Under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, which applies to employers with at … Continue Reading
January 29, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects California Limitation on Arbitration Agreements with Class Action Waivers

Despite recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions strongly upholding the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements, opposition to class action waivers on both the political and legal fronts persists, especially in California. As interpreted by California courts, the state’s law traditionally has looked with disfavor on the enforcement of class action waivers, and that … Continue Reading
December 29, 2015

California Court Holds Arbitrator Decides Class Arbitrability Where Agreement Specifies AAA Rules

An employment arbitration agreement that incorporated the American Arbitration Association’s National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes vested the arbitrator with the power to decide whether the agreement authorized class-wide relief, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Universal Protection Service LP v. Superior Court, No. C078557 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 18, 2015). The … Continue Reading
August 26, 2015

Constitutional Challenge to California’s Background Check Law Rejected

If a background check includes information about a job applicant’s character, California’s background check law applies, the California Court of Appeal has held, rejecting an employer’s challenge to the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1786 et seq.) (“ICRAA”). Connor v. First Student, Inc., No. B256075 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 12, … Continue Reading
August 26, 2015

Joint Employers Can be Held Liable for Employee Misclassification, California Court Rules

In a wage-and-hour class action filed by food and beverage vendors working in California entertainment arenas, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a state Labor Code provision making it unlawful for any employer to “engage” in the willful misclassification of an individual as an independent contractor applies not only to the employer actually … Continue reading Joint Employers Can be Held Liable for Employee Misclassification, California Court Rules
June 9, 2015

No Employer Liability If There is No Actionable Harassment or Discrimination, California Court Rules

An employer cannot be held liable for failure to prevent sexual harassment under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) if there is no actionable sexual harassment, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Dickson v. Burke Williams, Inc., No. B253154 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015). Likewise, a jury’s finding that an employer … Continue reading No Employer Liability If There is No Actionable Harassment or Discrimination, California Court Rules
March 13, 2015

Removing Essential Job Functions Not Reasonable Disability Accommodation Under California Law, Court Rules

Affirming summary judgment in favor of an employer on an employee’s disability discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the employer was not required to eliminate essential functions of a position as a reasonable accommodation. Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, No. B246634 … Continue reading Removing Essential Job Functions Not Reasonable Disability Accommodation Under California Law, Court Rules
March 5, 2015

Newspaper Carriers were Employees, Despite Independent Contractor Agreement, California Court Rules

A newspaper misclassified its newspaper carriers as independent contractors, the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento has ruled following a trial in a class action for employees’ unpaid mileage expenses under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code. Sawin v. The McClatchy Co., No. 34-2009-00033950 (Cal. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2014). Although the newspaper … Continue reading Newspaper Carriers were Employees, Despite Independent Contractor Agreement, California Court Rules
November 20, 2014

Federal Law Does Not Preempt State Unfair Competition Claim, California Supreme Court Rules

A lawsuit against a trucking company for allegedly misclassifying drivers as independent contractors under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) was not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”), the California Supreme Court has ruled unanimously. P. ex rel. Harris v. Pac Anchor Transp., Inc., No. S194388 (Cal. July 28, 2014). The … Continue reading Federal Law Does Not Preempt State Unfair Competition Claim, California Supreme Court Rules
August 6, 2014

Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides Whether Arbitration Agreement Applies to Class Claims, California Court Rules

Whether the parties to an arbitration agreement agreed to class arbitration is a question for the arbitrator, not the trial court, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, reversing an order dismissing class claims alleging violations of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unfair Competition Act. Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., No. B244412 (Cal. … Continue reading Arbitrator, Not Court, Decides Whether Arbitration Agreement Applies to Class Claims, California Court Rules
July 31, 2014

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