Posts from March 2011.

In Staub v. Proctor Hospital. the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed a lower court's application of what is known as the "cat's paw" theory of liability whereby an employer can be held liable for discrimination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA") when an otherwise non-discriminatory adverse employment decision made by a decision maker is influenced by discriminatory animus toward military service on the part of a non-decision making supervisor of the employee in question

The Los Angeles Daily Journal, a leading legal newspaper, reports that claims of alleged disability discrimination and claims for alleged failure to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities and/or medical conditions are being filed in record numbers as the job market in California continues to falter. The Daily Journal reports that "[t]he prolonged recession and high unemployment prompted ...

As we previously reported here, on April 26, 2010, in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided 6-5 en banc to affirm the decision of the trial court to grant class certification in a discrimination lawsuit alleging Wal-Mart Stores discriminates against its women employees. The nationwide class is reputed by the Los Angeles Daily Journal to number upward of 1.6 million women employees, which would make the class the largest class in United States history.

On March 25, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board ruled in the New York New York ruling that off-duty employees of a restaurant, a contractor doing business on hotel property, can distribute flyers on hotel property regarding their union organizing campaign. The hotel sought to exclude the off-duty employees and their distribution of flyers from hotel premises.  

The five members of the NLRB, appointed by ...

On March 24, 2011, we conducted our 12th Annual Employment Law Conference at the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts and the Cerritos Sheraton.

In the case of Best Friends Animal Society v. Macerich Westside Pavilion Property, LLC decided March 2, 2011, the California Court of Appeal addressed the question of whether a privately owned shopping mall can enforce rules that give preferential treatment to persons engaged in labor speech on their premises. The court held that it could not, and that such rules violate the state Constitution by discriminating against other types of speech.

In Karena Wherry v. Award, Inc., Division Three of the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of appeal held that the standards applicable to arbitration agreements between an employee and an employer apply also to arbitration agreements between an independent contractor and the contracting “employer.” 

Despite the Federal Arbitration Act and the California Arbitration Act, both of which provide essentially that arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable, it can scarcely be gainsaid that California courts will for the foreseeable future continue to closely scrutinize pre-dispute arbitration agreements between employers and employees. Such arbitration agreements have frequently been struck down as contrary to public policy, unconscionable substantively, and/or unconscionable procedurally on account of various features of such agreements.

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