May 2019 employment law decisions
Free speech retaliation verdict affirmed.
May 31, 2019, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Doug Grieisen v. Jon Hanken: Mr. Grieisen, chief of police, spoke about a matter of public concern as a private citizen when discussing his concerns with city council members and government officials about the city’s accounting and budgeting practices under the city manager. Mr. Hanken’s communications with the media about Mr. Grieisen were adverse employment actions.
Relief for increased tax liability not available in State Personnel Board actions.
May 17, 2019, Fourth District Court of Appeal, Patrick Barber v. California State Personnel Board: Addressing an issue of first impression, the court of appeal concluded that employees pursuing actions before the California State Personnel Board cannot recover for increased tax liability resulting from a lump sum back pay award.
Government claim must be timely presented before filing a whistleblower claim against a public agency.
May 14, 2019, Second District Court of Appeal, Aurora Le Mere v. Los Angeles Unified School District: Employee could not save her whistle-blower claim under Labor Code section 1102.5 by complying with the Government Claims Act after filing suit.
California’s new independent contractor test applies retroactively.
May 2, 2019, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Gerrardo Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc.: The California Supreme Court’s decision that established a new “ABC” test for independent contractors for purposes of certain wage and hour claims (Dynamex Operations W. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903) applies retroactively.