• Dean Royer

September 2020 employment law decisions

Case alleging employer’s confidentiality agreement violates employees’ speech may proceed.

September 21, 2020, First District Court of Appeal, John Doe v. Google, Inc.: current and former employees of Google sued the company under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) alleging its confidentiality policies restricted their whistleblower rights and free speech in violation of California law. The trial court dismissed the case (demurrer) on grounds the National Labor Relations Act preempts the employees’ claims. The appellate court concluded that although many of the employee’s claims relate to conduct with the scope of the NLRA, the claims fall within the local interest exception to preemption.

Employees denied pay for rest periods cannot recover damages under more than one law.

September 11, 2020, Third District Court of Appeal, Alfredo Sanchez et al. v. Miguel A. Martinez: Five farm laborers filed suit against their former employer alleging violations of various labor laws. The case went to trial and the trial court awarded $416 in damages and $17,775 in civil penalties based on the employer’s failure to pay the employees for time they spent on authorized rest periods. The appellate court rejected the employees’ argument that they were entitled to damages equal to the minimum wage for time spent on rest periods plus an additional hour of pay for each rest period. Although either recovery is authorized by separate laws, recovery under both would be a double recovery for the same harm.

Recent Posts

See All

August 2020 employment law decisions

Wrongful termination verdict upheld but punitive damages reduced. August 24, 2020, Third District Court of Appeal, Timothy King v. U.S. Bank National Association: A jury found in favor of Mr. King for

June and July 2020 employment law decisions

Receipt of government funds conditioned on compliance with the law does not make a private employer a state actor for purposes of constitutional claims. July 20, 2020, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,

June 2020 employment law decisions

Airline workers are protected by California’s wage and hour laws only if the base of work operations is in California. June 29, 2020, California Supreme Court, Charles E. Ward v. United Airlines, Inc.

©2020 by Law Office of Dean Royer.