U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By | 2015-01-06T14:27:06+00:00 March 26th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban. Same-sex marriage advocates and opponents have long awaited these oral arguments, and the justices’ questions to the attorneys arguing the case have left observers wondering if the Court’s ultimate opinion will reach the merits of the case at all. The [...]

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Pregnant Employees Entitled to Pregnancy Leave In Addition to General Disability Leave

By | 2015-01-06T14:27:05+00:00 March 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|

California pregnancy leave laws are notoriously complex. Under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), which is part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), employees are entitled to up to four months of leave for pregnancy-related disabilities. If an employee’s pregnancy-related disability persists beyond four months, however, the law was previously unclear regarding whether [...]

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) Stands Up For Minimum Wage Rights!

By | 2015-01-06T14:26:56+00:00 March 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Last week during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a case for increasing minimum wage: "If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same.  And if [...]

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FMLA Leave Expanded for Military Family Members and Airline Flight Crew Employees

By | 2015-01-06T14:26:45+00:00 March 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|

The U.S. Department of Labor has amended the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to expand leave available to military family members and airline flight crew employees. The expansion is expected to affect more than 91 million workers working for 1.2 million employers. Military Family Members Qualifying Exigency Leave Employees eligible for FMLA are entitled to [...]

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Class Action Plaintiffs Can’t Hide Amount of Damages to Keep Cases in State Court

By | 2015-01-06T14:33:54+00:00 March 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Among plaintiffs’ lawyers, California state court is generally the preferred venue for consumer class actions, as state judges and juries are perceived as friendly to consumer plaintiffs. A recent 9th Circuit ruling, however, may make it more difficult for plaintiffs to keep their class actions in state court. In Kuxhausen v. BMW Financial Services NA [...]

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Foreign National Employees Settle Wage and Hour and Breach of Contract Claims for $30 Million

By | 2015-01-06T14:33:43+00:00 March 11th, 2013|Uncategorized|

A recent $30 million settlement is likely to encourage future class action lawsuits by foreign national workers. In Vedachalam v. Tata America International Corp., et al., a class of foreign national workers sued their employer, Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., a Mumbai-based staffing company, for breach of contract and wage and hour violations. The plaintiffs alleged [...]

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California Supreme Court Depublishes Three Decisions Interpreting Brinker

By | 2015-01-06T14:33:33+00:00 March 6th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Last April, the California Supreme Court resolved long-standing confusion regarding the definition of the word “provide” in Labor Code §512, which requires employers to provide meal breaks to employees who work for more than five hours. In the landmark Brinker decision, the Court clarified that an employer must relieve its employees of all duties during [...]

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New Amendments to FEHA Clarify Religious Accommodation Requirements

By | 2017-10-13T15:06:08+00:00 March 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Recent amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) provide clarity regarding an employer’s duty to provide religious accommodations to its employees. FEHA protects employees from discrimination and harassment based on religion, and requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ requests for religious accommodation unless such accommodation would cause “undue hardship” to the employer. Under [...]

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Los Angeles Jury Awards Record $21.7 Million in Employment Discrimination Case

By | 2015-01-06T14:33:15+00:00 March 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|

In one of the first tests of Harris v. The City of Santa Monica, a Los Angeles jury awarded the plaintiff in an employment discrimination case a record $21.7 million. In Rodriguez v. Valley Vista Services Inc., BC 473793 (Los Angeles Super. Ct.), the jury found that the defendant, Valley Vista Services, discriminated against the [...]

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California Supreme Court Raises the Bar for Plaintiffs in Mixed Motive Employment Discrimination

By | 2015-01-06T14:32:57+00:00 March 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|

A recent unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court offered both plaintiffs and defense lawyers some reasons to celebrate while denying either side a complete win. In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, the court was asked to review the correct standard for determining liability in mixed motive discrimination cases.  Harris involved a city bus [...]

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