California Supreme Court Holds, Contrary to Federal Law, That Unauthorized Workers Can Recover Back Pay Even for the Post-Termination Time Period When They Did Not Perform Work and Could Not Legally Earn Wages
June 26, 2014 - 11:42 AM
Today the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., holding that an employee who fraudulently obtained employment through use of someone else’s social security number, may still pursue employment discrimination claims stemming from termination and recover damages against the employer, including post-termination back pay for the period when...
Ninth Circuit Approves $700,000 Attorney Fee Award In FEHA Case Even Though Jury Awarded Plaintiff Damages of Only $27,000
December 9, 2013 - 12:14 PM
Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Muniz v. UPS, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the plaintiff close to $700,000 in attorneys' fees, even though the plaintiff's damages recovery was only $27,000 and the defendant defeated the majority of plaintiff's claims prior to trial. This...
Employer Sues to Stop Overly Aggressive EEOC Investigatory Efforts
August 12, 2013 - 10:01 AM
Employers should be aware that, according to a recent lawsuit filed by an employer, the EEOC has engaged in a shocking new tactic as part of its “investigatory” power. Specifically, under the guise of its “investigation” into a claim of alleged unlawful conduct on the part of the employer, the...
Supreme Court Issues Two Employer-Friendly Decisions Addressing Liability for Supervisor Harassment and the Standard for Proving Retaliation Under Title VII
June 25, 2013 - 12:27 PM
Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions important for employers litigating harassment and retaliation claims under Title VII. In the first case, Vance v. Ball State University, the Court decided an important issue relating to an employer's liability for harassment of an employee by a "supervisor." More specifically, the Court...
EEOC Steps Up Enforcement Actions Based on Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks
June 18, 2013 - 10:21 AM
Employers probably recall that last year the EEOC published guidance on the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. This led many to forecast that the EEOC would be stepping up its enforcement efforts in this area. Well, earlier this month the EEOC filed lawsuits against two different companies,...
Make Way for Ducklings (and other assistive animals) in the California Workplace
May 30, 2013 - 12:35 PM
California’s newest regulations pertaining to the rights of the disabled in the workplace require employers to allow “assistive animals” in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation to certain disabled employees. See CCR 7293.6 & 72940(k).
While service dogs for the visually and hearing impaired have become a more common sight in...
New Decision Serves as Reminder of Pregnancy Disability Accommodation Requirements
February 22, 2013 - 3:49 AM
Yesterday a California Court of Appeal issued its decision in Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., addressing whether an employee fired after exhausting her 16 weeks of pregnancy disability leave could assert valid claims against the employer for pregnancy discrimination and failure to accommodate a disability. The court said yes.
In Sanchez, the plaintiff employee only...
California Supreme Court Splits the Baby on Mixed Motive Defense to Discrimination Claims
February 7, 2013 - 1:15 PM
Today the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Harris v. Santa Monica, addressing the “mixed motive” defense to discrimination claims under FEHA. This case addresses whether a discrimination plaintiff suing under California law must prove that a discriminatory motive was (1) the "but for" cause for the adverse employment decision, (2) a lesser...
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