2021 case review: Fred Wesson v. Staples The Office Superstore, LLC [**]
Published on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 11:23pm
A recent California Court of Appeals decision confirmed that courts have discretion to strike claims for penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). The only requirement for such damages to be taken away from an action is that the trial Court hold that the claims will be “unmanageable at trial.”
Plaintiff Morales, in 2016, accepted a full-time position at a flooring store. He had numerous duties related to the warehouse, including cleaning, accepting deliveries, making deliveries, and assisting customers. His hours were 8 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. When Plaintiff requested compensation for overtime hours, he was fired.
The Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA, Lab. Code 2698) provides a means whereby counsel seeking compensation for a given Plaintiff who has not received overtime or meal breaks or similar benefits can bring suit on behalf of all similarly situated employees of the defendant company. If suits are brought under this statutory framework, notice must be provided to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) (the relevant regulatory Agency).
2021 case review: Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc.
Published on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 11:17pm
In 2018, in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th 903 (2018),the Supreme Court held that in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of California’s wage laws, the “ABC test” applies. The ABC test holds that a worker is an independent contractor only if the hirer can establish “…A) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact; (B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.”
Plaintiffs brought a class action on behalf of employees of the defendant, claiming a violation of wage and hour laws and, specifically, failure to provide proper meal breaks. The trial court granted, and the Appellate Court upheld, a motion for summary judgment brought by the defendant.
2021 case review: Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, Inc.
Published on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 11:14pm
The Supreme Court made a decision that objectively benefits Plaintiffs who bring actions under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Cal. Gov. Code 12940, subd. (j), 12960, when alleging, as in this case, harassment.
The Court in this case clarified the law regarding when a judge must recuse themselves in light of a conflict. Plaintiff Chaganti had brought a lawsuit and gone to trial against Cricket and New Cingular, which are wholly owned subsidiaries of AT&T. The lawsuit was brought regarding a commercial lease in which the named lessee was “AT&T Wireless PCS” and where rent was paid by “AT&T.”
This case involves an anti-SLAPP motion. The Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation, Code Civ. Proc., 425.16) statute provides that a defendant can bring a motion to strike causes of action alleged by a plaintiff in any case “arising from any act of [the defendant] in furtherance of the [defendant’s] right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue…” Code Civ. Proc.§ 425.16, subd. (b).
2021 case review: Park v. Law Offices of Tracey Buck-Walsh
Published on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 11:09pm
Plaintiff Park filed a lawsuit alleging that his former attorneys, who had represented him from 2003 to 2012 in connection with his casino businesses were intentionally interfering with the expansion of that business. The law firm allegedly used confidential information gained as a result of their prior representation to assist his competitors and to prejudice regulators against Park’s purchase of two additional casinos. This allegedly amounted to breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference with financial gain. The motivation of the law firm was ostensibly the fee dispute that had resulted in the severance of the attorney-client relationship.