Disability Harassment in the Workplace Lands $500K Jury Verdict for Mimicking and Mocking an Employee’s Stutter

Author: Jeremy Freedman

Guest Editor: Natasha K. Zaslove

August 6, 2018 9:00am

In many workplace harassment cases, it is often difficult to gather evidence or produce witnesses to testify regarding instances of harassment for a number of reasons. Often, the harassing conduct may take place in private and is undocumented. Where the offending conduct is witnessed by others, social pressure and fear of retaliation for testifying against an employer exacerbate the challenges in obtaining evidence. 

Employer Does Not Need To Have “Discriminatory Intent” To Found Liable For Disability Discrimination

Author: Regina Silva

June 16, 2016 4:44pm

In Wallace v. County of Stanislaus (2016) 199 Cal.Rptr.3d 462, a sheriff’s deputy brought a disability discrimination case against a County based on the County’s removing the sheriff’s deputy from his job as a bailiff, and placing him on an unpaid leave of absence based on an assessment the sheriff’s deputy could not safely perform his job duties as a bailiff. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision to issue a jury instruction defining discriminatory animus in the context of an employer’s intent to discriminate against a disabled employee, finding it was not necessary to prove intent to discriminate.

Record $186 Million AutoZone Verdict Unlikely To Withstand Judicial Review

Author: Morgan Van Buren

November 25, 2014 7:02pm

On November 17, 2014, a California federal jury awarded $185 million in punitive damages to a San Diego woman who alleged she was fired by AutoZone Stores, Inc. after she complained she was demoted following the birth of her child. The $186 million award is believed to be the largest employment law verdict for an individual in U.S. history. The record award, however, is likely to be reduced on appeal.

NLRB’s General Counsel Opines Franchisor Can Be Liable For Unfair Labor Practices Under “Joint Employer” Standard

Author: Regina Silva

September 9, 2014 5:00pm

The California Supreme Court recently ruled franchisor Domino’s Pizza could not be held liable for sexual harassment claims brought by a former employee of a franchisee because the franchisor was not a “joint employer” of the former employee (Patterson v. Domino’s). Taking a contradictory approach, the General Counsel’s office for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has authorized charges against McDonald’s in its capacity as a franchisor.

Hiring Domestic Help: A Trap for the Unwary

Author: Regina Silva

August 26, 2014 4:31pm

There are risks when you employ domestic help. When a person brings someone into their home to perform domestic services, there could be an assumption that domestic help is immune from tax laws, wage/hour regulations, etc… Nothing could be further from the truth. In this article, we will discuss commonly used domestic help and corresponding pitfalls.

Employer Arbitration Agreements Still A Hot Topic For California Appellate Courts

Author: Regina Silva, Robert Tyson

May 29, 2014 4:25pm

Over the past month, the California appellate courts have decided two more cases related to the enforceability of employer’s arbitration agreements. As discussed more extensively below, an agreement that is one-sided or oppressive in nature will be found unconscionable. However, in a positive development for employers, a delegation clause (allowing for the arbitrator to decide the arbitration agreement’s enforceability) will be enforced.

Senate Again Rejects Proposed “Paycheck Fairness Act”

Author: Robert Tyson

May 12, 2014 8:38pm

Here we go again! Congress proposed a bill several years ago that would make it easier for employees to pursue equal pay claims as class actions, titled “The Paycheck Fairness Act”. Republicans in the Senate rejected the bill for the third time in April 2014, recognizing there are adequate remedies available to female employees who feel they are paid unfairly.

California Court Affirms That Same Sex Harassment Is Actionable Event

Author: Regina Silva

May 12, 2014 6:58pm

A California Court of Appeal in Lewis v. City of Benicia, No. A134078 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 26, 2014) allowed a former intern’s sexual harassment suit to proceed against a former male supervisor and employer. Last year, the Fair Employment and Housing Act was amended to clarify that “[s]exually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.” As such, for purposes of determining whether sexual harassment occurred or not, whether or not the alleged conduct was motivated by sex desire should not be part of an Employer’s analysis.

Six Excuses Employers Should Know: Employee Challenges to an Arbitration Agreement

Author: Robert Tyson

May 9, 2014 11:46pm

Employers frequently ask employees to sign arbitration agreements covering all disputes arising out of the employment relationship. Recently, the USSC issued rulings enforcing employment arbitration agreements. However, employees would much rather pursue litigation against their employers in court before a jury rather than before an arbitrator. Therefore, when a dispute arises, employees frequently try to get out of the agreement to arbitrate, especially in California where state courts are more likely to void such an agreement.

Defending Against a Workers Compensation Case in Civil Court

Author: Jessica Heppenstall

May 9, 2014 8:05pm

An aggressive approach to discovery can combat an unfounded civil lawsuit cloaked in an exception to workers’ compensation exclusivity. The defendant can serve extensive written discovery, including requests for admissions, targeting the basis for specific allegations of willful act and/or intoxication. Declarations and testimony from the plaintiff and other co-workers may be essential in defeating the exclusion.

Copyright © 2019 Tyson & Mendes LLP. All Rights Reserved. Website by Big Behavior.