February 2019 employment law decisions
Professor cannot pursue defamation claim against his employer but his retaliation claim survives.
February 28, 2019, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Jason Laker v. Board of Trustees of the California State University: under the anti-SLAPP law, a professor’s defamation claim against his public university employer is based on protected activity (statements made in the course of an internal investigation of another professor), but his retaliation claim to the extent it is based on investigations into the professor’s conduct is not.
Plaintiffs in representative action cannot take the full 25 percent of civil penalties.
February 27, 2019, Second District Court of Appeal, David Moorer v. Noble L.A. Events, Inc.: the 25 percent of the civil penalties for a representative action (Private Attorney General Act of 2004) that are allocated to the “aggrieved” employees must be distributed in a pro rata amount to all of those employees.
Compensation of employees determined by California’s minimum wage rather than Long Beach as a charter city.
February 25, 2019, Second District Court of Appeal, Wendy Marquez v. City of Long Beach: Long Beach must comply with California’s minimum wage requirements notwithstanding its status as a charter city.
Representative action not subject to arbitration agreement.
February 25, 2019, Fourth District Court of Appeal, Mark Correia v. NB Baker Electric, Inc.: the California Supreme Court decision that representative actions (Private Attorney General Act of 2004) cannot be forced into arbitration is still good law.
Labor contractor who obtained temporary workers for grower company may be held liable under federal employment discrimination law.
February 6, 2019, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Global Horizons, Inc.: applying the common-law agency test, which has the extent of control over the detail of work as the principal guidepost, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision that the contractor and growers were joint employers for all purposes.
Sales clerks entitled to pay for on-call reporting time.
February 4, 2019, Second District Court of Appeal, Skylar Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc.: on-call employees in the mercantile industry who contacted their employer two hours before on-call shifts are reporting for work and are owed reporting time pay.
Employment discrimination case by drummer for Eddie Money arises from Mr. Money’s right of free speech as to which musicians performed with him.
February 1, 2019, Second District Court of Appeal, Glenn Symmonds v. Edward Joseph Mahoney: the Second District decided that the anti-SLAPP law applies to a musician’s claims concerning his termination.