Archives: Employment

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California Supreme Court to Tackle Labor and Insurance Issues

The California Supreme Court has five civil cases scheduled for its April calendar, each addressing important questions of labor and insurance law.   Independent Contractors or Employees – Class Actions: In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., S206874, the court will address the determination of whether and when common issues dominate in a class action in … Continue Reading

When Words Are Not Text: Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Appellate advocacy often comes down to a conflict over the meaning of words. The Supreme Court’s opinion in Vance v. Ball State Univ. provides graphic proof that not all fights over terminology are created equal. Advocates must understand the nature of the battlefield presented by their particular case. Vance was an employment discrimination case based … Continue Reading

Game Over: Time Runs Out on Assistant Coach

Usually, a negligent misrepresentation case from the Minnesota Supreme Court would fall a bit outside my usual purview for blogging. But as a lifelong Kentucky basketball fan, how could I resist commenting on Williams v. Smith [pdf]: a suit revolving around the hiring of an assistant basketball coach with an ex-Kentucky coach as a defendant, and … Continue Reading

Preemption, Standing and Vexatious Litigants on California Supreme Court’s May Argument Docket

The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for May, including four civil cases. Brown v. Mortensen: The Court will address whether the Federal Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) preempts causes of action for the improper disclosure of medical information under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civ. Code, § 56 et … Continue Reading

Florida Court Allows Retaliation Claim By Former Employee Prohibited From Volunteering

In Gates v. Gadsden County School Board (.pdf), Florida’s First District Court of Appeals has allowed a former teacher’s retaliation claim to proceed where she was prohibited from continuing as a volunteer mentor, which she had done since her resignation. Teacher Martha Gates filed a Title VII discrimination suit against the Gadsden County School Board … Continue Reading

No Private Right of Action Under Labor Code § 351 for Claim that Employer Wrongfully Took Tips

Labor Code § 351 bars an employer from collecting any gratuity that is left for an employee. Previous cases have addressed whether various tip pooling systems (i.e. systems which pool gratuities for division among a set of employees) operated by the employer are permitted under Labor Code § 351. Facing a split in the Court … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Expand Definition of Employer

In Martinez, the unanimous California Supreme Court affirmed the rulings of the lower courts by rejecting an attempt by agricultural workers to collect unpaid wages from food distributors who bought produce from that farm. In doing so, the court reviewed the history and jurisdiction of the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) and its work orders from … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Short List Profiles: Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

As part of Appellate Strategist’s ongoing evaluation of the “short list” of potential nominees to replace retiring Justice Stevens, we turn now to one of the nominees who was also on the short list to replace Justice Souter – Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Wardlaw is a California … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Grants Review in Six Cases

On April 9, the Texas Supreme Court granted petitions for review in the following cases: Offshore Specialty Fabricators v. Wellington Underwriting Associates. The case addresses whether an all-risk insurance policy covers weather stand-by charges incurred by the insured. XTO Energy Inc. v. Smith Production Inc. The case will determine whether joint operating agreements for oil … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Civil Issues Pending: Employment

[UPDATED THROUGH APRIL 1, 2010] Retaliatory Discharge. Does the Anti-Retaliation Act, Tex. Lab. Code § 451.003, require a worker to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit? Travis Central Appraisal District v. Norman, No. 09 0108, formerly 274 S.W.3d 902 (Tex. App.—Austin 2008), review granted 08/28/09. Sexual Harassment. Did plaintiff submit sufficient evidence to establish the elements … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Civil Issues Pending: Labor/Employment/Workers’ Compensation

[UPDATED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 29, 2016] When Are Substitute Teachers Entitles to Unemployment Benefits?  After the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in an action for writ of administrative mandate, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Are substitute teachers and other on-call paraprofessional employees entitled to unemployment insurance benefits when they are not … Continue Reading
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