Oh Yes It’s Ladies Night And The Feeling’s Right? Well, Not So Much In California.

File this under no good deed goes unpunished.  Many businesses in California for years have promoted Ladies Night – a day or evening when the female patrons are treated as special guests, often receiving discounted admission, drinks, products, etc.  Unfortunately, this is illegal in California.  The Unruh Act (Civil Code § 51, et seq.) requires that […]

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Vance v. Ball State University: With Its Definition Of “Supervisor,” The U.S. Supreme Court Limits Employer Liability For Workplace Harassment

By defining a single word, the United States Supreme Court has potentially altered, in dramatic fashion, the landscape for employers facing harassment lawsuits in federal court brought pursuant Title VII.  With yesterday’s decision in Vance v. Ball State University (you can read the opinion here), the Court resolved the seemingly simple question of who constitutes […]

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Open Government Has Just Been Closed; California Legislature Passes New Law That Will Eliminate Compliance Requirements Of The Public Records Act

On June 14, 2013, the California Assembly passed AB76.  The bill has identical language to SB71 which was passed earlier by the State Senate, and now will be submitted to Governor Brown for his signature.  If Governor Brown signs the bill into law, it will eviscerate the open government protections of the Public Records Act […]

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More Than A SLAPP On The Wrist: Court of Appeal Holds That Attorney Threatening To Report Defendant To Authorities In Exchange For Monetary Settlement Is Not Protected By Anti-SLAPP Statute

The Court of Appeal recently confirmed what most attorneys would recognize is a very bad settlement negotiation tactic; namely that an attorney who threatens to report a defendant to various authorities unless the defendant pays a settlement award is guilty of extortion, and the protections of the anti-SLAPP statute do not apply to the threat. In Mendoza […]

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Not So Fast: While Ruling For An Employer, U.S. Supreme Court Declines Opportunity To Resolve Nagging Issue Regarding FLSA Collective Actions

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that, while seemingly approving a defense tactic used by employers facing FLSA collective actions, may end up leading to even more confusion.  (You can read the opinion in Genesis Health Care Corp. v. Symczyk here.)  Symczyk, a former Genesis employee who worked as a registered […]

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California Supreme Court Overrules 75 Year Old Precedent, Opening Up All Contracts To Challenge For Fraudulent Statements Made During Contract Negotiations

On January 14, 2013, the California Supreme Court invalidated its own 75+ year precedent regarding the parol evidence rule, making it clear that evidence of oral statements made during contract negotiations can be used to challenge the validity of the contract.  In Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Production Credit Association (Supreme Court Case No. S190581), the Supreme […]

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Bumps And Bruises Are To Be Expected: California Supreme Court Applies Assumption Of Risk Doctrine To Bumper Car Rides, And Possibly Many More Recreational Activities

On New Year’s Eve, the California Supreme Court issued its ruling in Nalwa v. Cedar Fair, L.P. (Case No. S195031), confirming that California’s assumption of risk doctrine applies to bumper car rides.  Although the law generally applies a duty of care not to cause an unreasonable risk of harm to others, some activities (primarily sports) […]

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Court Limits Award Of Attorneys’ Fees As Sanctions For Violations Of California Rules Of Court To Fees Incurred In Connection With The Sanctions Proceedings

In a decision issued earlier this week, a California appellate court clarified the power of trial courts to award attorneys’ fees as part of a sanctions award for violation of a California Rule of Court.  In Sino Century Development Limited v. Farley (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BC396199), the Second Appellate District held that […]

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Will California’s New Cap And Trade Program Make An Impact, Or Is It Just A Bunch Of Hot Air?

Last month, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) held its first cap-and-trade auction under the landmark and controversial AB32, also known as the Global Warming Final Solutions Act.  As we previously reported, despite pleas from businesses in September to delay the implementation, CARB pressed forward with the auction, and pronounced it as a success. AB32 requires businesses that […]

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Don’t Trust Your Gut: Court Rejects Employer’s “Honest Belief” Defense To CFRA Claim

In a decision issued yesterday afternoon, a California appellate court made clear that employers may not interfere with an employee’s leave rights under California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) based solely on an “honest belief” that the employee is abusing his or her leave.  In Richey v. Autonation, Inc., Mr. Richey worked as a car salesman until […]

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