As a general principal, California law imposes on employers an affirmative duty to ensure their employees have access to a safe work environment. In a decision tailor-made for the COVID era (although the facts giving rise to it preceded the pandemic), the California Court of Appeal in Colonial Van & Storage Inc. v. Superior Court held that this duty may not extend to an employee’s home—rather, an employer does not have a duty to protect working-at-home employees from third party criminal conduct.(more…)
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The Federal Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine clears the way for employers hesitant to mandate vaccines authorized under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) to now require employees receive an FDA approved vaccine.(more…)
Recently, another technology company defeated class certification in a gender discrimination lawsuit. On July 3, 2018, a California state court judge denied female Twitter employees class certification in a lawsuit entitled Huang v. Twitter. This ruling follows a federal judge’s denial of class-action status to females in a gender bias case against Microsoft Corporation. Similar cases are currently pending against Google and Oracle.(more…)
The United States Supreme Court has issued its much-anticipated opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U.S. __ (2018), and two companion cases. In a decision that will be welcomed by employers, the Court has upheld the use of arbitration agreements with class action waivers that require employees to litigate any claims against their employers individually in arbitration. Specifically, the Court has held that class action waivers in arbitration agreements between employers and their employees do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by preventing employees from engaging in protected concerted activity. (more…)
Many Silicon Valley start-up companies, as well as larger companies such as Zappos, have moved from a traditionally structured work environment to a “holocracy” model. Essentially, while there are lots of variations, a holocracy model is a “boss free” business environment that focuses less on a structured workplace with traditional job descriptions and job titles, and more on creating self-organized “circles” of workers that concentrate on specific goals. Each circle of workers is a self-organized entity with the authority to manage itself, and the circle is ultimately part of a larger circle within the company. In addition, there is a general principle of transparency in the organization’s rules and decision-making. For companies that are able to tolerate a high level of adaptability, have motivated workers, and are established and mature enough to bounce back if things do not work out as anticipated, this is a highly attractive work model. However, this organizational model raises a host of potential employment issues, a few of which are highlighted below:
The 2016 Presidential election will go down as one of the most unpredictable, polarizing and controversial elections ever to occur in United States history. Although it was anticipated that the House of Representatives would remain controlled by the Republicans, the race was decidedly less clear with regard to control of the White House and Senate. But now that Republicans have won both majorities in the House and the Senate, and President-elect Donald Trump is in the midst of making selections of who will serve in his administration, what impact will this election have for employers? The outlook is murky at best.(more…)
I am very pleased to introduce SV Employment Law Firm’s blog, which we will use to (1) report employment law developments that are pertinent to the SV audience; and (2) provide practical and strategic tips regarding employment litigation, counseling, investigations and training. We will also do a little deconstruction along the way as the employment law market and employment law principles continue to evolve, with the goal of providing a useful conceptual framework for employment law-related decisions. We look forward to using our blog in combination with our other communications and speaking engagements to disseminate what we hope is useful information to companies, groups and individuals who may be interested in these topics.