New Ninth Circuit Ruling Applies Dynamex Decision Retroactively – Making It Hard to Say Workers aren’t Employees

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on May 2, 2019, that the California Supreme Court Dynamex decision can be applied retroactively. Dynamex changed the rules in the new gig economy – the sector of the economy that uses apps to help drive business while giving workers flexible hours. Both the Dynamex decision and...

Severance Agreements – What Does the Employer Want

Employers don’t give severance pay through the kindness of their hearts. They want something in return. They may offer severance to encourage older workers to leave so they can replace them with younger cheaper workers. Employers may offer severance because a company needs to downsize. Often employers want to buy off...

California Employees Leaves of Absence, Transfers, Telecommuting and Mental Health Issues

What California Employees Should Know about Workplace Accommodation in 2018: Leaves of Absence, Transfers, Telecommuting and Mental Health Issues By: Steve Danz, Esq. What is the status of workplace accommodation in California courts? California workplace accommodation was a hot area for litigation in 2017; a tren...

What California Employees Should Know about Workplace Accommodation in 2018

What California Employees Should Know about Workplace Accommodation in 2018: Reasonable Accommodation vs. Undue Hardship By: Steve Danz, Esq. How do the courts interpret “undue hardship” to employers in exemption from the ADA? In an interesting recent case, an employee who was a computer graphics designer for ...

Wrongful Termination of Los Angeles Attorney Working as In House Counsel

Unusual legal issues arise when an attorney is wrongfully fired by a corporate employer. As Los Angeles wrongful termination employment attorneys, we have seen numerous cases of the conflict that can arise between a corporation who wants the right to terminate an attorney “at will” and the right of the attorney to file suit him or herself if the termination is wrongful. The seminal decision in California on this issue is General Dynamics Corporation vs. Superior Court. Here, an in house attorney was terminated and the court allowed the lawsuit to go forward, noting that “it is unlikely that the (corporation’s) undoubted power to discharge the attorney at will is one that can be invoked under all circumstances without consequence.” (7 Cal 4th at 1175). While noting that an attorney fired from his in-house job may sue, reinstatement is not an available remedy.

The court distinguished an earlier and famous case, Fracasse ve Brent, which allowed a client to fire an attorney without consequence. This was a traditional non-employer, attorney-client relationship However, the General Dynamics court saw the distinction between in hours attorneys virtually dependent on the good will and confidence of a single employer to provide livelihood and carer success and an outside attorney in private practice with multiple clients.

Whistle blower attorneys in Los Angeles should be able to pursue a claim of retaliatory discharge. The rub comes when the ethical obligation of the attorney to protect his client’s secrets at all costs comes into play. The court found that where the elements of a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy can’t be established without breached the attorney-client privilege, then the suit must be dismissed in the interest of preserving the attorney client privilege. (at 1182).

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As always, consider our blogs educational in nature only. Legal advise can only be given after full evaluation of the facts of your case.

$5.8 Million Awarded in Class Action Wage and Hour Claim

Just this Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court upheld a $5.8 million award in a class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods, Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo. Court-watchers across the country are hailing the decision as a “setback to corporate America” (The Los Angeles Times), and a boon for employees’ seeking justi...

Misclassification and Racial Discrimination Claims in Los Angeles

Ms. Jewel Gardner, a former employee of DineEquity Inc. (and formerly its predecessor, International House of Pankakes, and then IHOP), who had dedicated 22 years of work to her employer, has filed a California wage and racial bias lawsuit against the company.  As wage and misclassification lawsuits grow in number acr...

$3.8 Million Awarded to California Employee in Racial Discrimination Case

Another California employee has been awarded millions of dollars as a result of harassment and retaliation in the workplace. James Duffy began working for the City of Los Angeles in 1991.  For ten years, he maintained a mutually beneficial employment relationship at the Department of Recreation and Parks, even bein...

Another $1 Million for a Los Angeles Employee

Ms. Danielle Wells was a valued member of the Los Angeles Police Department for more than ten years, even being promoted to Sergeant during the time.  However, like all employees, Ms. Wells experienced complications related to her health which affected her ability to perform her duties at work.  During that time, Ms....

Uber Set For Trial In June

An update on the ongoing misclassification class action law suit against Uber Technologies Inc. In O’Connor et al v. Uber Technologies, Inc., C.A. No. 13-03826-EMC (N.D. Cal.), a certified class of Uber drivers has sued the ride sharing company alleging that they are being misclassified as independent contractors, a...