Bimonthly column prepared for the California Lawyers Association (formerly State Bar of California) California Labor & Employment Law Review since 2003.
(Updated July 29, 2021)
Discrimination | Harassment | Retaliation
Petition for review after afirmance of summary judgment. Did the Court of Appeal properly affirm summary judgment in favor of defendants on plaintiff’s claims of hostile work environment based on race, retaliation, and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation? Fully briefed.
Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., 982 F.3d 752 (9th Cir. 2020) S266001/9th Cir. No. 19-55802; 982 F.3d 752
Request under California Rules of Court rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Does the evidentiary standard set forth in Labor Code section 1102.6 replace the rest of test of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973) 411 U.S. 792 as the relevant evidentiary standard for retaliation claims brought pursuant to Labor Code section 1102.5? Fully briefed.
Busker v. Wabtec Corp., 903 F.3d 881 (9th Cir. 2018) S251135/9th Cir. No. 17-55165; 903 F.3d 881
Request under California Rules of Court rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Does work installing electrical equipment on locomotives and rail cars (i.e., the ‘on-board work’ for Metrolink’s [Positive Train Control (PTC)] project) fall within the definition of ‘public works’ under California Labor Code § 1720, subdivision (a)(1), either (a) as constituting ‘construction’ or ‘installation’ under the statute or (b) as being integral to other work performed for the PTC project on the wayside (i.e., the ‘field installation work’)? Submitted/opinion due.
Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co., 913 F.3d 911; (9th Cir. 2019); S253574/9th Cir. No. 17-15221
Request under Cal. Rules of Court rule 8.548, that the supreme court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Is operating engineers’ offsite “mobilization work”—including the transportation to and from a public works site of roadwork grinding equipment—performed “in the execution of [a] contract for public work,” (Labor Code § 1772), such that it entitles workers to “not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which the public work is performed” pursuant to Labor Code § 1771? Submitted/opinion due.
Natarajan v. Dignity Health, 42 Cal. App. 5th 383 (2019), review granted, 259 Cal. Rptr. 3d 195 (2020); S259364/C085906
Petition for review after affirmance of judgment for writ of administrative mandate. Does a physician with privileges at a private hospital have the right to disqualify a hearing officer in a proceeding for revocation of those privileges based on an appearance of bias (see Haas v. County of San Bernardino, 27 Cal. 4th 1017 (2002) or must the physician show actual bias? Submitted/opinion due.
Gonzalez v. Mathis, 20 Cal. App. 5th 257 (2018); review granted, 232 Cal. Rptr. 3d 731 (2018); S247677/B272344 Petition for review after reversal of judgment. Can a homeowner who hires an independent contractor be held liable in tort for injury sustained by the contractor’s employee when the homeowner does not retain control over the worksite and the hazard causing the injury was known to the contractor? Submitted/opinion due.
Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., 28 Cal. App. 5th 381 (2018); review granted, 242 Cal. Rptr. 3d 418 (2019); S252796/D070431
Petition for review after affirmance of judgment. Can a company that hires an independent contractor be liable in tort for injuries sustained by the contractor’s employee based solely on the company’s negligent failure to undertake safety measures or is more affirmative action required to implicate Hooker v. Department of Transportation, 27 Cal. 4th 198 (2002)? Supplemental briefs due.
Skidgel v. California Unemployment Ins. Appeals Bd., 24 Cal. App. 5th 574 (2018), review granted, 238 Cal. Rptr. 3d 118 (2018); S250149/A151224
Petition for review after affirmance of judgment. Are In Home Supportive Services workers (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 12300 et seq.) who are providers for a spouse or a child eligible for unemployment insurance benefits? Submitted/opinion due.
Wage and Hour
Grande v. Eisenhower Medical Center, 258 Cal. Rptr. 3d 324 (2020), review granted, 2020 WL 2478882; S261247/E068730
Petition for review after affirmance of judgment. May a class of workers bring a wage and hour class action against a staffing agency, settle that lawsuit with a stipulated judgment that releases all of the staffing agency's agents, and then bring a second class action premised on the same alleged wage and hour violations against the staffing agency's client? Fully briefed.
Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., 40 Cal. App. 5th 444 (2019), review granted, 257 Cal. Rptr. 3d 188 (2020); S258966/B256232
Petition for review after part affirmance and part reversal of judgment. (1) Does a violation of Labor Code section 226.7, which requires payment of premium wages for meal and rest period violations, give rise to claims under Labor Code sections 203 and 226 when the employer does not include the premium wages in the employee’s wage statements but does include the wages earned for meal breaks? (2) What is the applicable prejudgment interest rate for unpaid premium wages owed under Labor Code section 226.7? Fully briefed.