If you thought all the news from the NLRB these days had to do with Posters and Recess appointments, think again. On January 6, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board emphatically rejected an arbitration agreement that required employees to waive their class action rights. This opinion squarely rejected the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, wherein SCOTUS approved of class action waivers in compulsory arbitration agreements.

Continue Reading Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back! Class Action Waivers a Violation of the National Labor Relations Act

By:     Chelcey E. Lieber

Including arbitration provisions in employment agreements or employee handbooks is not a guaranteed way to avoid the courtroom. On January 3, 2012, the California Court of Appeal upheld a decision from the Sacramento County Superior Court holding that an arbitration provision contained in a pre-employment agreement was unconscionable, and, therefore, unenforceable.


Continue Reading California Pre-Employment Arbitration Agreement Ruled Unconscionable

By:       Lizbeth (“Beth”) West, Esq.

Governor Brown signed a significant number of bills into law during the 2011/12 legislative term, many of which will have a direct impact on almost every California employer, regardless of size. Many laws impose new obligations on employers and prevent employers from engaging in what they may otherwise thought was previously permissible. Below is a summary of the employment-related legislation that goes into effect on January 1, 2012 (except where noted).


Continue Reading 2012 Brings A Whole New Set Of Obligations And Challenges For California Employers – Failure To Comply Could Be Devastating

In Bernard v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, plaintiff sued his employer for constructive discharge and "breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing," claiming it misrepresented its sales program requirements. Plaintiff claimed the company had a termination for cause only policy. However, he had signed the following at will agreement: "You or

Plaintiff Varisco was certified by the California Division of the State Architect (“DSA”) as a Class-1 Inspector. On January 30, 2004, Gateway Science entered into a written agreement with Varisco which stated that Gateway Science would pay Varisco for providing DSA Inspection Services to the Los Angeles Unified School District. In November of 2004, Gateway Science sent Varisco a letter terminating the relationship because Varisco refused to sign a new contract with Gateway Science, and refused to provide Gateway Science with various documents that it requested. Varisco sued Gateway Science for damages under various theories, arguing that he had actually been an employee instead of an independent contractor.


Continue Reading “At Will” Clause in a Contract for Services Does Not Mean the Worker is an Employee: Varisco v. Gateway Science and Engineering, Inc.