THIS MONTH IN LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW HISTORY
December 7, 1976: The United State Supreme Court held in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert that exclusion of pregnancy from a disability plan was not gender discrimination because the distinction it drew was between pregnant women and “nonpregnant persons.” The decision led to enactment of The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
December 27, 1946: Following a wave of post-World War II lawsuits for wages for preparatory activities, Representative Hoffman was reported to have drafted two amendments to the FLSA that were preparatory to passage of the Portal-to- Portal Act of 1947 (the subject of a new United State Supreme Court decision discussed below).
December 29, 1988: The California Supreme Court decides Foley v. Interactive Data Corporation, allowing employees to sue for breach of implied contracts but barring tort damages for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
TOP FOUR NEWLY-PUBLISHED LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT CASES
Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (California Court of Appeal, November 21, 2014) 2014 DJDAR 15586. Held that discharge of an employee perceived to have reported an alleged violation of a statute or regulation to a government agency violates public policy, even if the employee did not actually make the report. Under Diego, perceived whistleblowers are protected from retaliatory discharge.
Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk (United States Supreme Court, December 9, 2014) 2014 DJDAR 16194. The Supreme Court unanimously held the FLSA does not require warehouse employees be paid for 25 minutes a day allegedly spent clearing anti-theft security screenings at the end of each day. Results under California law may vary.
Aguilar v. ASARCO LLC (9th Circuit Court of Appeals, en banc, December 10, 2014) 2014 DJDAR 16273. This Case affirmed a Title VII award of $300,000 in punitive damages where only $1 nominal damages (and no compensatory damages) were awarded.
Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court (California Court of Appeal, November 17, 2014) 2014 DJDAR 15365. When an arbitration agreement is silent about whether arbitration may proceed as a class or representative action, and silent about whether the trial court or arbitrator decides this issue, the trial court must decide. This is an issue not yet resolved by the United State Supreme Court.
This month, Practice Tips uses three quotes to describe three pieces of advice employers should follow if they do not want to encourage employees to sue.
“People must not be humiliated; that is the main thing.” --Anton Chekhov
“Diplomacy is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense.” --Winston Churchill
“It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.”
The Source of this Article is Cited by: Labor and Employment Law Section of The State Bar of California – California Labor & Employment Law e News