Sacramento, CA: The undocumented worker in California, fearful of becoming ensnared in the grasp of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), would be cheered with the knowledge that new legislation aimed at additional protections has cleared the California legislature.
San Diego, CA: A lawsuit that appeared to fly under the radar last year in spite of involving what is considered one of the largest corporations in the world, resulted in an order for Apple Inc. to pay $2 million to class participants in a class action lawsuit alleging missed meal breaks, rest periods and failure to pay employees in a timely manner. Meal breaks and rest periods are mandated by California law as a means to ensure employees are well rested and nourished, and not overcome by working too many hours at a time without pause for food and rest, potentially leading to an unsafe situation. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is one such branch of the California legislative authority mandating employers, small and large, to look out for the safety of their employees.
Los Angeles, CA: A defendant continuing to fight a damages award totaling $8.7 million in a California wrongful termination and harassment case appeared before a California appellate panel last month asking the Court to discard the award based on their claim that the trial judge prejudicially excluded evidence demonstrating legitimate, nondiscriminatory grounds for terminating the plaintiff from his job.
Sacramento, CA: The devastation to Texas, and in particular Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey together with the death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma serves as a reminder to all employers that hardship which follows such a disaster can trigger a request for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). And while California is not generally exposed to the ferocity of hurricanes, other disasters such as droughts and wildfires can lead to crises and hardship equally horrific.
Mountain View, CA: An administrative compliance lawsuit brought against Google Inc. by the US Department of Labor’s Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has fostered interest in a potential employee’s rights lawsuit on behalf of some 70 current and former employees of the search engine juggernaut alleging wage discrimination. The employees, all of whom are women, are reportedly pursuing a potential class action lawsuit.
Riverside, CA: Administrators of a retirement plan that invested in higher-cost funds than less-expensive funds on behalf of plan participants breached their fiduciary duties under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA, as amended 1974), or so it was alleged. Primary defendant Edison International will pay $7.5 million in damages in a settlement agreement that received judicial acceptance this past August 17.
Los Angeles, CA: A previously-negotiated California wage & hour settlement worth $3.5 million between clothier Ann Inc. and over 8,000 participants in a class action lawsuit was granted final approval earlier this month by a California Superior Court judge. The approval brings an end to litigation asserting unpaid wages and missed meal breaks.
Los Angeles, CA: California’s immigrant-friendly, and welcoming stance aside it’s tough enough to be an undocumented worker in Donald Trump’s America without having someone take advantage of you. But that’s what appears to have happened after a Mexican woman misrepresented herself as a US immigration officer and promised to help undocumented immigrants achieve legal status and US citizenship, cheating the unsuspecting victims out of thousands of dollars in the process.
Sacramento, CA: For those unaware, or having forgotten the basic tenets of employment within the State of California, it is useful to know that California is a so-called ‘at-will’ state. The employee works for his or her employer by virtue of their own free will, and can also resign from their position at any time, without advance notice. Employers, in turn, can fire an employee on the spot without warning. This can sometimes trigger a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Los Angeles, CA: An oil refinery fire in California in 2012 that injured five workers and sent thousands of nearby residents to the hospital has resulted in a $1 million fine assessed to Chevron Corp. under OSHA and an agreement to make $20 million in improvements to its refinery in Richmond, the site of the fire five years ago.