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Employment Damages and Remedies

What is that employment case worth? How much will it cost my client? Employment Damages and Remedies helps attorneys on both sides of an employment dispute. This comprehensive and practical tool explains each remedy and item of damages, covering its availability and limitations, and identifying specific items of recovery.

What is that employment case worth? How much will it cost my client? Employment Damages and Remedies helps attorneys on both sides of an employment dispute. This comprehensive and practical tool explains each remedy and item of damages, covering its availability and limitations, and identifying specific items of recovery.

  • Breach of contract remedies
  • Damages for wrongful termination and other tort claims
  • Remedies under state and federal antidiscrimination and other employee rights statutes
  • Equitable remedies
  • Punitive damages
  • Civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act
  • Attorney fees, costs, and interest
  • Tax considerations in settlements and judgments
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What is that employment case worth? How much will it cost my client? Employment Damages and Remedies helps attorneys on both sides of an employment dispute. This comprehensive and practical tool explains each remedy and item of damages, covering its availability and limitations, and identifying specific items of recovery.

  • Breach of contract remedies
  • Damages for wrongful termination and other tort claims
  • Remedies under state and federal antidiscrimination and other employee rights statutes
  • Equitable remedies
  • Punitive damages
  • Civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act
  • Attorney fees, costs, and interest
  • Tax considerations in settlements and judgments

1

Approaching Employment Remedies

Honorable Alexander H. Williams, III (Ret.)

  • I.  EMPLOYMENT MATTERS  1.1
    • A.  Thinking Broadly
      • 1.  Employment Remedies Are Broad  1.2
      • 2.  Remedies Discussed in This Book  1.3
    • B.  Most Cases Settle  1.4
      • 1.  Settlement as Choice  1.5
      • 2.  Settlement as Process  1.6
      • 3.  Trial Preparation as Settlement Preparation  1.7
    • C.  Planning the Work, Working the Plan  1.8
  • II.  COMMENCEMENT OF EMPLOYMENT ACTION  1.9
    • A.  Assessing the Case  1.10
    • B.  Determining Client’s Position
      • 1.  What Does Client Want?  1.11
      • 2.  Understanding Reasons Underlying Goals  1.12
    • C.  Determining Available Remedy or Result  1.13
    • D.  What Does Client Need?  1.14
    • E.  Attorney Fees and Costs  1.15
  • III.  PREPARING CASE FOR ALL AUDIENCES  1.16
    • A.  Judge  1.17
    • B.  Jury  1.18
    • C.  Appellate Court  1.19
    • D.  Arbitrator  1.20
    • E.  Mediator or Settlement Judge  1.21
    • F.  Opposing Counsel  1.22
    • G.  Opposing Party  1.23
    • H.  Insurer or Risk Manager  1.24
  • IV.  DON’T TELL THEM, SHOW THEM  1.25
  • V.  TEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL MEDIATION  1.26
    • A.  Timing  1.27
    • B.  Premediation Communication  1.28
    • C.  Brief  1.29
    • D.  Chronology  1.30
    • E.  Causes of Action  1.31
    • F.  Copying Opposing Counsel  1.32
    • G.  Personal Attendance  1.33
    • H.  Draft Settlement Agreements  1.34
    • I.  Preparing Client  1.35
    • J.  Following Up  1.36

2

Breach of Contract Remedies

Cara Panebianco

  • I.  AVAILABILITY OF DAMAGES
    • A.  Existence of Employment Contract Must Be Shown  2.1
    • B.  No Contract Claims for Public Employees  2.2
  • II.  MEASURE OF DAMAGES
    • A.  Benefit of the Bargain  2.3
      • 1.  Application in Employment Cases  2.4
      • 2.  Damages Must Be Proximately Caused or Reasonably Foreseeable  2.5
      • 3.  Damages Must Be Clearly Ascertainable  2.6
    • B.  Liquidated Damages
      • 1.  Validity  2.7
      • 2.  Factors Considered  2.8
  • III.  LIMITATIONS ON CONTRACT DAMAGES
    • A.  Emotional Distress Damages Generally Not Available  2.9
    • B.  Punitive Damages Not Available  2.10
    • C.  Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate Damages  2.11
  • IV.  ITEMS OF RECOVERY  2.12
    • A.  Back Pay
      • 1.  Nature of Relief  2.13
      • 2.  Time Period
        • a.  Generally  2.14
        • b.  Events Terminating Back Pay Liability
          • (1)  Expiration of Contract  2.15
          • (2)  Unconditional Reinstatement Offer  2.16
      • 3.  Components of Back Pay  2.17
    • B.  Front Pay (Lost Future Earnings)  2.18
      • 1.  Availability  2.19
      • 2.  Time Period
        • a.  Fixed-Term Contract  2.20
        • b.  Indefinite-Term Contract  2.21
      • 3.  Employee’s Duty to Mitigate  2.22
      • 4.  Reduction to Present Value  2.23
    • C.  Reliance Damages  2.24
    • D.  Prejudgment Interest  2.25
      • 1.  When Damages Are Certain (Civil Code §3287(a))  2.26
      • 2.  When Damages Are Unliquidated (Civil Code §3287(b))  2.27
    • E.  Specific Performance  2.28
    • F.  Litigation Costs  2.29
  • V.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Unconditional Reinstatement Offer  2.30
    • B.  Good Cause for Termination
      • 1.  Known at Time of Termination  2.31
      • 2.  Learned After Termination (“After-Acquired Evidence”)  2.32

3

Damages for Wrongful Termination and Other Tort Claims

Hillary Jo Benham-Baker

  • I.  ITEMS OF RECOVERY  3.1
    • A.  General Damages  3.2
    • B.  Special Damages
      • 1.  Lost Wages/Back Pay  3.3
      • 2.  Health Insurance and Other Benefits  3.4
      • 3.  Medical Expenses  3.5
    • C.  Future Wages/Front Pay  3.6
    • D.  Prejudgment Interest  3.7
    • E.  Punitive Damages  3.8
    • F.  Tax Consequences  3.9
    • G.  Attorney Fees and Costs  3.10
  • II.  PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
    • A.  Limitations
      • 1.  Exclusivity of Statutory Remedies  3.11
      • 2.  Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and Other Preemption Issues  3.12
      • 3.  Government Claims Exhaustion Issues  3.13
    • B.  Employee’s Duty to Mitigate Damages  3.14
    • C.  Employee Conduct That May Limit Damages  3.15
  • III.  PROVING DAMAGES
    • A.  Witnesses
      • 1.  Plaintiff  3.16
      • 2.  Family, Friends, and Coworkers  3.17
      • 3.  Medical Professionals and Other Expert Witnesses  3.18
    • B.  Documentary Evidence  3.19
  • IV.  CAUSES OF ACTION SOUNDING IN TORT
    • A.  Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort  3.20
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.21
    • B.  Infliction of Emotional Distress (Intentional and Negligent)
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort  3.22
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.23
    • C.  Misrepresentation and Fraud
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort
        • a.  Misrepresentation and Fraud Under CC §1710  3.24
        • b.  Misrepresentation of Employment Conditions Under Lab Code §970  3.25
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.26
    • D.  False Imprisonment
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort  3.27
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.28
    • E.  Defamation
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort
        • a.  Elements of Tort  3.29
        • b.  Employment-Related Issues  3.30
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.31
    • F.  Invasion of Privacy
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort  3.32
      • 2.  Specific Items of Recovery  3.33
    • G.  Intentional Interference With Contractual Relations or Prospective Economic Advantage
      • 1.  Overview of the Tort of Intentional Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage  3.34
      • 2.  Overview of the Tort of Intentional Interference With Contractual Relations  3.35
      • 3.  Specific Items of Recovery for Interference With Contractual Relations or Prospective Economic Advantage  3.36

4

Remedies Under Antidiscrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes

Pamela M. Sayad

Brenda F. Biren

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  4.1
  • II.  TITLE VII
    • A.  Prohibited Acts  4.2
    • B.  Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Required  4.3
    • C.  Title VII Remedies  4.4
      • 1.  Back Pay  4.5
        • a.  Accrual of Back Pay  4.6
        • b.  Components of Back Pay  4.7
          • (1)  Wages and Salary  4.8
          • (2)  Missed Promotions or Raises  4.9
          • (3)  Bonuses and Commissions  4.10
          • (4)  Tips  4.11
          • (5)  Overtime Pay  4.12
          • (6)  Pension and Retirement  4.13
          • (7)  Health Insurance  4.14
          • (8)  Life Insurance  4.15
          • (9)  Vacation  4.16
          • (10)  Stock Options  4.17
          • (11)  Other Nonmonetary Benefits  4.18
        • c.  Deductions From Back Pay Award  4.19
          • (1)  Duty to Mitigate  4.20
            • (a)  Reasonable Steps  4.21
            • (b)  Comparable Employment  4.22
          • (2)  Severance Pay  4.23
          • (3)  Government and Other Benefits
            • (a)  Collateral Source Rule  4.24
            • (b)  Unemployment Insurance  4.25
            • (c)  Social Security and Medicare Benefits  4.26
            • (d)  Workers’ Compensation  4.27
            • (e)  Disability Benefits  4.28
          • (4)  Inability to Work  4.29
        • d.  Adjustment for Tax Effects  4.30
        • e.  Unconditional Offer of Reinstatement  4.31
        • f.  After-Acquired Evidence  4.32
      • 2.  Front Pay (Lost Future Earnings)  4.33
        • a.  Monetary Equivalent of Reinstatement  4.34
        • b.  Availability  4.35
      • 3.  Compensatory Damages
        • a.  When Available  4.36
        • b.  Compensatory Damage Ceilings  4.37
      • 4.  Punitive Damages
        • a.  When Available  4.38
        • b.  Vicarious Liability for Manager’s Actions  4.39
        • c.  Punitive Damage Ceilings  4.40
      • 5.  Special Damage Limitation in Mixed Motive Cases  4.41
      • 6.  Injunctive Relief  4.42
      • 7.  Reinstatement  4.43
      • 8.  Purging Personnel File  4.44
      • 9.  Attorney Fees  4.45
    • D.  Considerations in Deciding to Bring Title VII Suit  4.46
  • III.  CALIFORNIA FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT (FEHA)
    • A.  Protected Categories  4.47
    • B.  Prohibited Acts  4.48
    • C.  Administrative Remedies
      • 1.  Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies  4.49
      • 2.  Administrative Adjudication Under FEHA Eliminated  4.50
    • D.  Remedies in Civil Action Under FEHA  4.51
      • 1.  Back Pay  4.52
        • a.  Components of Back Pay  4.53
        • b.  Duty to Mitigate  4.54
        • c.  Avoidable Consequences Doctrine  4.55
        • d.  After-Acquired Evidence or Unclean Hands  4.55A
        • e.  Deductions From Back Pay Award  4.56
      • 2.  Front Pay  4.57
      • 3.  Compensatory Damages  4.58
      • 4.  Punitive Damages  4.59
      • 5.  Attorney Fees  4.60
      • 6.  Injunctive Relief and Reinstatement  4.61
  • IV.  AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA)
    • A.  Prohibited Acts  4.62
    • B.  Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies  4.63
    • C.  Remedies Under ADEA  4.64
      • 1.  Back Pay
        • a.  Components of Back Pay  4.65
        • b.  Duty to Mitigate  4.66
        • c.  Deductions From Back Pay Award  4.67
      • 2.  Front Pay  4.68
      • 3.  Liquidated Damages  4.69
      • 4.  Punitive Damages Not Available  4.70
      • 5.  Equitable Relief  4.71
      • 6.  Emotional Distress Damages Not Available  4.72
      • 7.  Attorney Fees  4.73
      • 8.  Costs and Expert Witness Fees  4.74
      • 9.  Prejudgment Interest  4.75
      • 10.  Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)  4.76
    • D.  Age Discrimination Under FEHA  4.77
  • V.  AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
    • A.  Prohibited Acts  4.78
    • B.  Reasonable Accommodation
      • 1.  Employer Required to Provide “Reasonable Accommodation” at Its Expense  4.79
      • 2.  Determining What Constitutes Reasonable Accommodation  4.80
    • C.  Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies  4.81
    • D.  Remedies Under the ADA  4.82
      • 1.  Back Pay  4.83
      • 2.  Front Pay  4.84
      • 3.  Compensatory and Punitive Damages  4.85
        • a.  Not Available if Employer Shows Good Faith Effort to Accommodate  4.86
        • b.  Not Available in Retaliation Claims  4.87
      • 4.  Special Damage Limitation in Mixed Motive Cases  4.88
      • 5.  Injunctive Relief  4.89
      • 6.  Attorney Fees  4.90
    • E.  Disability Discrimination Under FEHA  4.91
  • VI.  REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
    • A.  Prohibited Acts  4.92
    • B.  Remedies Under the Rehabilitation Act
      • 1.  Remedies Under Section 501  4.93
      • 2.  Remedies Under Section 503  4.94
      • 3.  Remedies Under Section 504  4.95
  • VII.  FEDERAL EQUAL PAY ACT (29 USC §206(d)) AND CALIFORNIA FAIR PAY ACT (LAB C §1197.5)
    • A.  Prohibited Acts Under Federal Law  4.96
    • B.  California Fair Pay Act and Wage Equality Act  4.96A
    • C.  Administrative Remedies  4.97
    • D.  Remedies Under the Federal and State Acts  4.98
  • VIII.  FEDERAL FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
    • A.  Applicability  4.99
    • B.  Administrative Remedies  4.100
    • C.  Remedies Under the FMLA
      • 1.  Economic Damages  4.101
      • 2.  Liquidated Damages  4.102
      • 3.  Equitable Relief  4.103
      • 4.  Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest  4.104
  • IX.  CIVIL RIGHTS ACT of 1866 (42 USC §1981)
    • A.  Scope of Act  4.105
    • B.  Remedies Under §1981  4.106
  • X.  CIVIL RIGHTS ACT of 1871 (42 USC §1983)
    • A.  Applicability  4.107
    • B.  Remedies Under §1983  4.108
      • 1.  Compensatory Damages  4.109
      • 2.  Punitive Damages  4.110
      • 3.  Equitable Relief  4.111
      • 4.  Attorney Fees  4.112
  • XI.  OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYEE RIGHTS STATUTES
    • A.  Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)  4.113
    • B.  Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)  4.114
    • C.  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
      • 1.  Minimum Standards Established  4.115
      • 2.  Remedies  4.116
    • D.  False Claims Act (FCA)  4.117
    • E.  Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)  4.118
    • F.  Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)  4.119
    • G.  Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)  4.120
    • H.  Protection for Employee Privacy
      • 1.  Employee Polygraph Protection Act  4.121
      • 2.  Consumer Credit Protection Act  4.122
      • 3.  Bankruptcy Reform Act  4.123
      • 4.  National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)  4.124
    • I.  Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)  4.125
    • J.  Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
      • 1.  Applicability  4.126
      • 2.  Enforcement and Remedies  4.127
    • K.  Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010  4.127A
    • L.  Executive Order Prohibiting Federal Contractors From Discriminating Against LGBT Employees  4.127B
    • M.  Defend Trade Secrets Act  4.127C
  • XII.  OTHER CALIFORNIA ANTIDISCRIMINATION STATUTES
    • A.  Unruh Civil Rights Act; Ralph Civil Rights Act  4.128
    • B.  Bane Act  4.129
  • XIII.  OTHER CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEE RIGHTS STATUTES
    • A.  California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Cal/OSHA)
      • 1.  Applicability  4.130
      • 2.  Enforcement and Remedies  4.131
    • B.  California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
      • 1.  Applicability  4.132
      • 2.  Administrative Remedies  4.133
      • 3.  Remedies Under the CFRA  4.134
    • C.  California False Claims Act  4.135
    • D.  Inducing Employee to Move (Lab C §970)  4.136
    • E.  Protection for Refusal to Commit Illegal Act (Lab C §2856)  4.137
    • F.  Protection for Whistleblowing to Government or Law Enforcement Agency (Lab C §1102.5)  4.138
    • G.  California Whistleblower Protection Act (Govt C §§8547–8547.13)  4.139
    • H.  Protection for Exercising Labor Code Rights (Lab C §98.6)  4.140
    • I.  Indemnity for Work-Related Expenses or Losses (Lab C §2802; Govt C §§995–996.6)  4.141
    • J.  Unfair Competition Law (Bus & P C §§17200–17210)  4.142
    • K.  Blacklisting (Lab C §1050)  4.143
    • L.  Discrimination Against Injured Workers (Lab C §132a)  4.144
    • M.  California WARN Act (Lab C §§1400–1408)
      • 1.  Applicability  4.145
      • 2.  Enforcement and Remedies  4.146
    • N.  Prohibition of Retaliation Against Suspected Undocumented Workers (Lab C §§1019 and 1024.6)  4.146A
    • O.  Employment Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (Lab C §§230 and 230.1)  4.146B
    • P.  California Paid Sick Leave Entitlement  4.146C
    • Q.  Child Labor Protection Act of 2014  4.146D
    • R.  Retaliation Protections for Employees Enrolled in the Medi-Cal Program  4.146E
    • S.  Time Off for Emergency Rescue Personnel (Lab C §230.3)  4.146F
    • T.  School Activity Leave (Lab C §230.8)  4.146G
    • U.  Use of E-Verify for Purposes Not Specified Under Federal Law  4.146H
  • XIV.  CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS   4.146I
  • XV.  LOCAL ORDINANCES  4.147

5

Equitable Remedies

Julia Campins

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  5.1
  • II.  AVAILABILITY OF EQUITABLE RELIEF
    • A.  No Specific Performance of Personal Services Contract  5.2
      • 1.  Suit for Declaratory Relief Permissible  5.3
      • 2.  Employee Who Has Performed May Seek Compensation  5.4
    • B.  Injunctive Relief to Prevent Breach of Contract
      • 1.  Personal Service Contracts  5.5
      • 2.  Covenants Not to Compete  5.6
      • 3.  Collective Bargaining Agreement  5.7
    • C.  Equitable Relief Provided in Statutes  5.8
      • 1.  Major Antidiscrimination Statutes Authorizing Equitable Relief  5.9
      • 2.  Equitable Relief Under Other Employee Rights Statutes
        • a.  Labor Code §1194.5 (Wage and Hour Laws)  5.10
        • b.  Other Relevant Code Provisions  5.11
        • c.  Anti-Retaliation Provisions  5.12
        • d.  No Injunctive Relief Under Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)  5.13
        • e.  Unfair Competition Law (UCL)
          • (1)  Injunctive Relief  5.14
          • (2)  Back Pay  5.15
        • f.  Whistleblower Protection Statutes  5.16
        • g.  Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)  5.17
        • h.  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)  5.18
        • i.  National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
          • (1)  Sanctions Available for Unfair Labor Practices  5.19
          • (2)  Employees’ Immigration Status  5.20
        • j.  Other Federal Statutes  5.21
  • III.  FORMS OF EQUITABLE RELIEF TO REMEDY PAST ILLEGAL PRACTICES
    • A.  Reinstatement  5.22
      • 1.  No Reinstatement for Breach of Contract  5.23
      • 2.  Reinstatement May Be Impracticable or Inappropriate  5.24
      • 3.  Deciding Between Reinstatement and Front Pay  5.25
      • 4.  Effect of After-Acquired Evidence of Employee Wrongdoing  5.26
    • B.  Back Pay
      • 1.  Entitlement to Back Pay  5.27
      • 2.  Equitable Nature of Back Pay
        • a.  Back Pay as Equitable Remedy  5.28
        • b.  Effect on Right to Jury Trial  5.29
      • 3.  Calculating the Back Pay Award  5.30
        • a.  Time Period  5.31
        • b.  Unconditional Reinstatement Offer  5.32
        • c.  Components of Back Pay Award  5.33
        • d.  Reductions in Back Pay  5.34
          • (1)  Duty to Mitigate  5.35
          • (2)  Effect of After-Acquired Evidence of Employee Wrongdoing  5.36
          • (3)  Effect of Employee Resignation  5.37
          • (4)  Collateral Source Rule  5.38
          • (5)  Severance or Separation Pay  5.39
          • (6)  Reinstatement Offer  5.40
    • C.  Front Pay
      • 1.  Entitlement to Front Pay  5.41
      • 2.  Equitable Nature of Front Pay  5.42
      • 3.  Calculation of Front Pay
        • a.  Duration  5.43
        • b.  Duty to Mitigate  5.44
        • c.  Collateral Source Rule  5.45
        • d.  After-Acquired Evidence  5.46
      • 4.  Future Pecuniary Losses  5.47
    • D.  Expungement or Modification of Personnel Records  5.48
    • E.  Promotion or Hiring  5.49
    • F.  Employee’s Duty to Mitigate  5.50
  • IV.  EQUITABLE REMEDIES FOR ONGOING UNLAWFUL PRACTICES
    • A.  Availability of Relief; Cease and Desist Orders  5.51
    • B.  Employer’s Voluntary Cessation of Unlawful Practices  5.52
    • C.  Prior Restraint  5.53
  • V.  PLEADING AND PROOF ISSUES INVOLVING EQUITABLE RELIEF  5.54

6

Punitive Damages

Brian J. Mills

Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila

  • I.  PURPOSE OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES  6.1
  • II.  AVAILABILITY OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES IN EMPLOYMENT CASES
    • A.  Claims for Which Punitive Damages Are Available
      • 1.  State Claims
        • a.  Tort Claims  6.2
        • b.  Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)  6.3
        • c.  California Labor Code Violations
          • (1)  Punitive Damages Recoverable  6.4
          • (2)  Liquidated and Treble Damages Recoverable  6.5
        • d.  California Family Rights Act of 1993 (CFRA)  6.6
      • 2.  Federal Claims
        • a.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  6.7
          • (1)  Cap on Title VII Awards  6.8
          • (2)  Applicability of Caps  6.9
        • b.  Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 USC §1981)  6.10
        • c.  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  6.11
        • d.  Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)  6.12
        • e.  Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)  6.13
        • f.  Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)  6.14
        • g.  Rehabilitation Act of 1973  6.15
        • h.  Fair Credit Reporting Act  6.15A
        • i.  Additional Acts Providing Liquidated Damages  6.16
      • 3.  No Punitive Damages in Contract Actions  6.17
    • B.  Prerequisites for Obtaining Punitive Damages Awards  6.18
      • 1.  Intent
        • a.  Malice, Oppression, or Fraud Under CC §3294
          • (1)  Definitions  6.19
          • (2)  Conduct That Is Despicable  6.20
          • (3)  Conduct That Is Not Despicable  6.21
        • b.  Intentional or Reckless Behavior  6.22
      • 2.  Employer Knowledge/Ratification
        • a.  Liable Under Respondeat Superior  6.23
        • b.  Knowledge of Employee Unfitness  6.24
        • c.  Corporation Ratifies Employee’s Improper Act  6.25
        • d.  Improper Act by Officer, Director, or Managing Agent  6.26
      • 3.  Compensatory Damages Award or Constitutional Violation as Prerequisite
        • a.  California Courts  6.27
        • b.  Federal Courts  6.28
    • C.  Standard of Proof  6.29
  • III.  LIMITS ON AMOUNT OF PUNITIVE DAMAGE AWARDS
    • A.  Federal Constitutional Limits  6.30
      • 1.  Excessive Fines  6.31
      • 2.  Procedural Due Process  6.32
      • 3.  Substantive Due Process  6.33
      • 4.  The Guideposts for Determining Constitutional Excessiveness
        • a.  Reprehensibility  6.34
        • b.  Ratio Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages  6.35
          • (1)  Ratios Upheld in Employment Cases  6.36
          • (2)  Factors to Be Analyzed in Determining Reasonableness of Ratio  6.37
          • (3)  What Constitutes “Compensatory Damages”?  6.38
            • (a)  Designation by Legislature  6.39
            • (b)  Function Served by the Award  6.40
            • (c)  What Sums Are Considered to Be Compensatory Damages?  6.41
              • (i)  Prejudgment Interest on Compensatory Damages  6.42
              • (ii)  Statutory Treble Damages  6.43
              • (iii)  Attorney Fees  6.44
              • (iv)  Disgorged Profits  6.45
              • (v)  Prejudgment Interest on Punitive Damages  6.46
              • (vi)  Nominal Damages  6.46A
        • c.  Statutory Penalties  6.47
        • d.  Defendant’s Wealth Not a Factor in Due Process Analysis  6.48
    • B.  State Limitations on Amount of Punitive Damages Award  6.49
      • 1.  Reprehensibility  6.50
      • 2.  Ratio
        • a.  Approved Limits  6.51
        • b.  Defining “Compensatory Damages”  6.52
          • (1)  Prejudgment Interest  6.53
          • (2)  Potential Harm Damages  6.54
        • c.  Effect of Reduction of Compensatory Damage Award  6.55
      • 3.  Role of Defendant’s Wealth  6.56
    • C.  Interplay Between State and Federal Analyses  6.57
    • D.  Independent Review Under Federal Common Law  6.58

7

Civil Penalties Under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)

Catha Worthman

Hunter Pyle

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  7.1
    • A.  Action Brought in Representative Capacity  7.2
    • B.  Elements of PAGA Claim  7.3
  • II.  AVAILABILITY OF RELIEF
    • A.  Actions Covered
      • 1.  Actions for Civil Penalties for Labor Code Violations  7.4
      • 2.  Common PAGA Claims  7.5
    • B.  Actions Excluded  7.6
      • 1.  Claims for Damages or Injunctive Relief  7.7
      • 2.  Claims for Statutory Penalties  7.8
      • 3.  Explicit Exclusions  7.9
    • C.  Nonexclusive Remedy  7.10
  • III.  PEOPLE COVERED  7.11
    • A.  Aggrieved Employees
      • 1.  Definition  7.12
      • 2.  Former Employee  7.13
      • 3.  No Economic Injury Requirement  7.14
      • 4.  If Court Finds No Underlying Labor Code Violation  7.15
    • B.  Action Representing Others  7.16
      • 1.  Class Action Not Required  7.17
      • 2.  Article III Standing to Proceed on Representational Basis  7.18
      • 3.  Action Cannot Be Assigned  7.19
      • 4.  No Associational Standing  7.20
      • 5.  Possible Unavailability of Individual Actions  7.21
  • IV.  PREREQUISITES BEFORE FILING CIVIL ACTION
    • A.  Exhaustion Required  7.22
    • B.  Effect of Citation by State Agency  7.23
    • C.  Exhaustion Procedures  7.24
      • 1.  Exhaustion Requirements for Serious Violations
        • a.  Actions Covered  7.25
        • b.  Written Notice and Online Filing With Labor and Workforce Development Agency  7.26
        • c.  Agency Action  7.27
      • 2.  Exhaustion Requirements for Occupational Safety and Health Violations  7.28
      • 3.  Exhaustion Requirements for Other Violations; Employer’s Opportunity to Cure  7.29
        • a.  Time Limit for Curing and Required Notice  7.30
        • b.  Limits on Curing Violations  7.31
        • c.  Employee’s Right to Dispute Cure  7.32
      • 4.  Contents of Notice to Labor and Workforce Development Agency  7.33
  • V.  PLEADING ISSUES
    • A.  Pleading Basics  7.34
    • B.  Right to Amend
      • 1.  PAGA’s Amendment Provision  7.35
      • 2.  Application in Federal Court  7.36
      • 3.  Relation Back  7.37
    • C.  Liability for Corporate Officers or Other Individual Defendants  7.38
  • VI.  PENALTIES RECOVERABLE  7.39
    • A.  Amount of Penalties
      • 1.  If Specified by Labor Code  7.40
      • 2.  If Not Specified by Labor Code  7.41
    • B.  Court’s Discretion  7.42
    • C.  Distribution of Penalties Recovered  7.43
  • VII.  ATTORNEY FEES AWARD  7.44
  • VIII.  EMPLOYER DEFENSES
    • A.  Duplication  7.45
    • B.  Statute of Limitations  7.46
    • C.  Res Judicata/Collateral Estoppel
      • 1.  Use of Collateral Estoppel by Employer  7.47
      • 2.  Use of Collateral Estoppel by Plaintiff Employees  7.48
      • 3.  Resolution of Earlier Class Action  7.49
    • D.  Arbitration Waivers  7.50
    • E.  Failure to Comply With Exhaustion Requirements  7.51
  • IX.  OTHER LITIGATION ISSUES
    • A.  Federal Court Jurisdiction
      • 1.  Class Action Fairness Act
        • a.  Basis for Jurisdiction  7.52
        • b.  Amount in Controversy Under Class Action Fairness Act  7.53
      • 2.  Traditional Diversity Jurisdiction
        • a.  Aggregation of Penalties  7.54
        • b.  Amount Recoverable by Labor and Workforce Development Agency  7.55
    • B.  Discovery  7.56
    • C.  Proof  7.57
    • D.  Trial  7.58
    • E.  Settlements
      • 1.  Notice to the LWDA  7.58A
      • 2.  Superior Court Approval  7.59
      • 3.  Allocation of Penalties in Settlement  7.60

8

Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest

Sanford Jay Rosen

Michael Freedman

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  8.1
    • A.  Distinctions Between California and Federal Approaches  8.2
    • B.  Planning Considerations for Attorney Fees in Employment Cases  8.3
  • II.  AVAILABILITY OF ATTORNEY FEES
    • A.  The American Rule  8.4
    • B.  Fee-Shifting Statutes
      • 1.  Principal California Employment Law Fee-Shifting Statutes  8.5
      • 2.  Principal Federal Employment Law Fee-Shifting Statutes  8.6
      • 3.  Availability of Attorney Fees to Prevailing Plaintiffs Under Fee-Shifting Statutes
        • a.  Prevailing Party  8.7
        • b.  Limitations on Prevailing Party  8.8
          • (1)  Interim Success  8.9
          • (2)  Favorable Statement of Law  8.10
          • (3)  Remand to Administrative Body  8.11
          • (4)  Injunctive Relief  8.12
          • (5)  Success on Fee Motion Only  8.13
        • c.  Differences Between Federal and California Law Concerning Whether a Plaintiff Is Prevailing Party  8.14
          • (1)  Catalyst Theory  8.15
            • (a)  Requirements for Catalyst Theory  8.16
            • (b)  Catalyst Theory Generally Unavailable in Federal Cases  8.17
          • (2)  Public Interest or Benefit (CCP §1021.5)  8.18
            • (a)  Requirements for Obtaining Fees Under CCP §1021.5  8.19
            • (b)  Relationship of CCP §1021.5 to Other Fee-Shifting Statutes  8.20
      • 4.  Parties From Whom Prevailing Plaintiff Can Seek to Recover Attorney Fees Under Fee-Shifting Statutes
        • a.  Any Liable Party  8.21
        • b.  Intervenors  8.22
        • c.  Real Parties in Interest  8.23
        • d.  Amici Curiae  8.24
        • e.  Apportionment Among Liable Parties  8.25
      • 5.  When Attorney Fees Are Available to Prevailing Defendants Under Fee-Shifting Statutes  8.26
        • a.  Two-Way Fee-Shifting Statutes  8.27
        • b.  Frivolous Suit  8.28
    • C.  Contractual Fee-Shifting Under CC §1717  8.29
      • 1.  All Contractual Attorney Fee-Shifting Provisions Are Reciprocal  8.30
      • 2.  Fee Provision Applies to Entire Contract  8.31
      • 3.  For Attorney Fees to Be Available, Action Must Be on a Contract  8.32
      • 4.  Party Prevailing on the Contract  8.33
        • a.  Only One Prevailing Party Per Contract  8.34
        • b.  Settlement Offers  8.35
        • c.  Decision by Court on the Contract Claim Necessary  8.36
        • d.  No Prevailing Party in Case of Voluntary Dismissal  8.36A
        • e.  When Some Defendants Settle and Others Proceed to Trial   8.36B
      • 5.  Contractual Fee Shifting of Noncontract Claims  8.37
    • D.  Special Issues in Arbitration  8.38
    • E.  Attorney-Client Relationships Eligible for Attorney Fees Recovery
      • 1.  Pro Se Attorneys  8.39
      • 2.  Other Fee Agreements  8.40
  • III.  CALCULATING ATTORNEY FEES
    • A.  The Lodestar  8.41
      • 1.  Reasonable Hourly Rate  8.42
        • a.  Relevant Legal Community  8.43
        • b.  Market Rate in Relevant Legal Community  8.44
          • (1)  Market Rate Generally Applicable  8.45
          • (2)  Exception to Market Rate  8.46
          • (3)  Work Performed by Nonattorneys  8.47
      • 2.  Reasonable Hours
        • a.  Compensable Activities  8.48
        • b.  Duplicative Tasks  8.49
        • c.  Partial Success  8.50
        • d.  When Different Fee-Shifting Statutes Apply  8.51
    • B.  Upward and Downward Adjustments to the Lodestar  8.52
      • 1.  Upward Adjustment  8.53
        • a.  Federal Law on Upward Adjustments  8.54
        • b.  California Law on Upward Adjustments  8.55
      • 2.  Downward Adjustment  8.56
        • a.  Limited Success  8.57
        • b.  Rejection of Settlement Offer That Exceeded Recovery  8.58
        • c.  Recovery of Only Nominal Damages  8.59
        • d.  Special Circumstances Would Make Full Award Unjust  8.60
        • e.  Unreasonably Protracted Litigation  8.61
        • f.  Factors May Not Be Double Counted  8.62
        • g.  Effect of Defendant’s Status as Public Entity  8.63
    • C.  Fees in Common Fund Cases  8.64
      • 1.  Federal Approach  8.65
      • 2.  California Approach  8.66
    • D.  Settlement Issues
      • 1.  Limitations on Recovery Related to Fed R Civ P 68 and CCP §998 Settlement Offers  8.67
        • a.  Ambiguity of Settlement Offer as to Fees and Costs Is Held Against Drafter  8.68
        • b.  Effect of Informal Settlement Offer  8.69
      • 2.  Other Settlement Issues
        • a.  Fee Waivers Must Be Explicit  8.70
        • b.  Agreement Not to Oppose Plaintiff’s Fee Petition  8.71
  • IV.  TAX ISSUES  8.72
  • V.  TIMING OF FEE APPLICATION  8.73
    • A.  Fee Application in Federal Court  8.74
    • B.  Fee Application in California Court  8.75
    • C.  Effect of Appeal of Merits  8.76
    • D.  Fee Motion Does Not Toll Time to Appeal  8.77
  • VI.  APPELLATE REVIEW OF FEE AWARDS
    • A.  Standard of Review  8.78
    • B.  Attorney Fee Order Must Be Expressly and Separately Appealed  8.79
    • C.  Finality of Fee Order  8.80
    • D.  Fees for Work on Appeal  8.81
  • VII.  ISSUES OF PROOF
    • A.  Burden of Proof on Fee Motion  8.82
    • B.  Billing Records
      • 1.  Contemporaneous Billing Records Are Best  8.83
      • 2.  Use of Reconstructed Billing Records  8.84
      • 3.  Contents of Billing Records  8.85
      • 4.  Exercising Billing Judgment  8.86
      • 5.  Establishing Reasonable Rates  8.87
  • VIII.  TO WHOM DOES THE STATUTORY ATTORNEY FEE BELONG?
    • A.  Ownership of Attorney Fees Award Under Federal Law  8.88
    • B.  Ownership of Attorney Fees Award Under California Law  8.89
  • IX.  COSTS AND EXPENSES  8.90
    • A.  Costs and Expenses Under Federal Law  8.91
    • B.  Costs and Expenses Under California Law
      • 1.  Statutory and Nonstatutory Costs  8.92
      • 2.  Contracts Providing for Costs  8.93
    • C.  Expert Witness Fees  8.94
  • X.  POSTJUDGMENT INTEREST
    • A.  Interest Under Federal Law  8.95
      • 1.  Date Interest Begins to Accrue  8.96
      • 2.  Interest Rate  8.97
    • B.  Interest Under California Law
      • 1.  Date Interest Begins to Accrue  8.98
      • 2.  Interest Rate  8.99
    • C.  Interest and Public Entities  8.100
  • XI.  RETAINER AGREEMENTS BETWEEN PLAINTIFFS AND THEIR LAWYERS
    • A.  Drafting Fee Agreements  8.101
    • B.  Particular Provisions Included in Contingent Fee Agreements
      • 1.  Treatment of Attorney Fee Awards  8.102
      • 2.  Fee Work  8.103
      • 3.  If Counterclaim Likely  8.104
      • 4.  Payment of Attorney Fees Under Fee-Shifting Provision  8.105
      • 5.  Attorney’s Charging Lien  8.106
      • 6.  Attorney’s Discharge or Withdrawal for Cause  8.107

9

Taxation of Judgments and Settlements

Robert W. Wood

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Recoveries Taxed Based on Nature of Underlying Claim  9.1
    • B.  Significant Developments Affecting Employment Recoveries  9.2
      • 1.  End of Tax-Free Treatment of Emotional Distress Damages  9.3
      • 2.  Attorney Fees Taxation  9.4
      • 3.  Tort or Tort-Type Rights Requirement Deleted  9.5
  • II.  DETERMINING WHAT IS TAXABLE  9.6
    • A.  Character of the Payment  9.7
    • B.  Nature of the Claim  9.8
    • C.  General Rule: Gross Income  9.9
    • D.  Damages on Account of Physical Injuries or Physical Sickness  9.10
      • 1.  What Constitutes Personal Physical Injuries?  9.11
      • 2.  Definition of Physical Injury or Sickness  9.12
      • 3.  Redress for Tort or Tort-Type Right Not Required  9.13
      • 4.  Emotional Distress Damages Are Taxable Income  9.14
      • 5.  Medical Expenses Remain Deductible  9.15
  • III.  TAX TREATMENT OF SPECIFIC RECOVERIES  9.16
    • A.  Wages and Wagelike Recoveries  9.17
      • 1.  Unpaid Wages  9.18
      • 2.  Back Pay  9.19
      • 3.  Front Pay  9.20
      • 4.  Severance Pay  9.21
    • B.  Nonwage Recoveries  9.22
      • 1.  Reimbursement for Medical Expenses  9.23
      • 2.  Emotional Distress  9.24
      • 3.  Wrongful Termination  9.25
      • 4.  Sexual Harassment  9.26
      • 5.  Fraud  9.27
      • 6.  Punitive Damages  9.28
      • 7.  Interest on Award  9.29
    • C.  Discrimination Actions  9.30
    • D.  Award of Attorney Fees  9.31
      • 1.  Issues Raised by Award of Attorney Fees and Costs  9.32
      • 2.  Commissioner v Banks Decision  9.33
      • 3.  Attorney Fee Awards Under Fee-Shifting Statutes  9.34
      • 4.  Deduction for Attorney Fees in Unlawful Discrimination Cases
        • a.  Above-the-Line Deduction  9.35
        • b.  Actions in Which Deduction Is Permitted  9.36
      • 5.  Determining Person Entitled to Attorney Fees (for Taxation Purposes)  9.37
  • IV.  WITHHOLDING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
    • A.  Tax Withholding
      • 1.  Withholding Requirements Apply to All Wage Income  9.38
      • 2.  Failure to Withhold and Pay Taxes  9.39
    • B.  Tax Reporting  9.40
      • 1.  Wages or Wagelike Compensation  9.41
      • 2.  Special Rules for Back Pay Reporting  9.42
      • 3.  Nonwage Compensation  9.43
      • 4.  Attorney Fee Awards  9.44
      • 5.  Punitive Damages  9.45
  • V.  ADDRESSING AND PLANNING FOR TAXATION ISSUES  9.46
    • A.  Deciding Whether to Allocate Settlement Amounts  9.47
    • B.  Allocating Among Claims  9.48
    • C.  IRS Not Bound by Parties’ Allocation  9.49
    • D.  Using a Tax Advisor  9.50
    • E.  Disclosure on Plaintiff’s Tax Return  9.51

10

Additional Statutory Remedies

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  10.1
  • II.  DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS BASED ON APPLICANT/EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS  10.2
    • A.  Acts That Pertain to Multiple Characteristics
      • 1.  Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Govt C §§12900–12996)  10.3
      • 2.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Amended (42 USC §§2000e—2000e–17) (Title VII)  10.4
      • 3.  Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 USC §1983)  10.5
      • 4.  Ralph Civil Rights Act (CC §51.7)  10.6
      • 5.  Bane Act (CC §52.1)  10.7
    • B.  Race
      • 1.  Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 USC §1981)  10.8
      • 2.  Additional Acts to Consider  10.9
    • C.  Religion  10.10
    • D.  National Origin, Ancestry, Citizenship
      • 1.  Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)  10.11
      • 2.  Limitation on “English Only” Rules (Govt C §12951)  10.12
      • 3.  Additional Acts to Consider  10.13
    • E.  Physical Disability
      • 1.  Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 USC §§12101–12213)  10.14
      • 2.  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC §§701–796l)  10.15
      • 3.  Additional Act to Consider  10.16
    • F.  Mental Disability  10.17
    • G.  Medical Condition  10.18
    • H.  Marital Status  10.19
    • I.  Gender
      • 1.  Equal Pay Act
        • a.  State Equal Pay Act (Lab C §1197.5)  10.20
        • b.  Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 USC §206(d))  10.21
      • 2.  Additional Acts to Consider  10.22
    • J.  Age
      • 1.  Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)  10.23
      • 2.  Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)  10.24
      • 3.  Additional Act to Consider  10.25
    • K.  Sexual Orientation  10.26
    • L.  Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Medical Conditions  10.27
    • M.  Gender Identity  10.28
    • N.  Genetic Information
      • 1.  Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)  10.29
      • 2.  Protection for Genetic Information (Govt C §12940)  10.30
  • III.  CLAIMS BASED ON HIRING PROCESS
    • A.  Psychological Exam  10.31
    • B.  Lie Detector Test
      • 1.  Prohibition Against Applicant Lie Detector Tests (Lab C §432.2)  10.32
      • 2.  Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA)  10.33
    • C.  Fingerprints and Photos (Lab C §1051)  10.34
    • D.  HIV/AIDS Testing
      • 1.  Prohibition Against HIV/AIDS Test for Employment (Health & S C §§120975–121023)  10.35
      • 2.  Additional Laws to Consider  10.36
    • E.  Medical Exam  10.37
    • F.  Previous Arrests
      • 1.  Criminal Record (Govt C §12952; Lab C §432.7)  10.38
      • 2.  Specified Marijuana Arrests (Lab C §432.8)  10.39
    • G.  False Representations Inducing Employee to Move (Lab C §§970–977)  10.40
    • H.  Unauthorized Access to Applicant’s Credit History
      • 1.  Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA) (CC §§1785.1–1785.36)  10.41
      • 2.  Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) (CC §§1786–1786.60)  10.42
      • 3.  Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC §§1681–1681x)  10.43
      • 4.  Limitation on Background Credit Checks (Lab C §1024.5)  10.44
    • I.  Prohibition Against Illegal Terms (Lab C §432.5)  10.45
  • IV.  SEXUAL HARASSMENT  10.46
  • V.  ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION BASED ON EMPLOYEE’S EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER ANTIDISCRIMINATION STATUTES  10.47
  • VI.  ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION BASED ON EMPLOYEE’S EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER OTHER EMPLOYEE RIGHTS STATUTES
    • A.  Exercising Rights Under Labor Code (Lab C §98.6)  10.48
    • B.  Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim (Lab C §132a)  10.49
    • C.  Exercising Rights Under Worker Safety Statutes
      • 1.  State Law (Lab C §6310)  10.50
      • 2.  Federal Law (29 USC §660)  10.51
    • D.  Refusing to Work in Unsafe Conditions (Lab C §6311)  10.52
  • VII.  ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION BASED ON PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE CONDUCT
    • A.  Jury Duty
      • 1.  State Law (Lab C §230(a))  10.53
      • 2.  Federal Law (Protection of Juror’s Employment Act (28 USC §1875))  10.54
    • B.  Serving as Witness (Lab C §230(b))  10.55
    • C.  Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
      • 1.  Seeking Relief (Lab C §230(c))  10.56
      • 2.  Seeking Medical/Psychological Help (Lab C §230.1)  10.57
    • D.  Crime Victim Attendance at Judicial Proceedings (Lab C §230.2)  10.58
    • E.  Public Safety Activities
      • 1.  Emergency Duty as Safety Personnel (Lab C §230.3)  10.59
      • 2.  Volunteer Firefighter Training (Lab C §230.4)  10.60
      • 3.  Civil Air Patrol Employment Protection Act (Lab C §§1500–1507)  10.61
    • F.  Visiting Child’s School
      • 1.  Required Appearance After Suspension (Lab C §230.7)  10.62
      • 2.  Participation in School Activities (Lab C §230.8)  10.63
    • G.  Organ and Bone Marrow Donation (Lab C §§1508–1513)  10.64
    • H.  Financial Condition
      • 1.  Prohibition of Discharge for Wage Garnishment
        • a.  State Law (Lab C §2929)  10.65
        • b.  Federal Law (15 USC §1674)  10.66
      • 2.  Protection for Debtor in Bankruptcy (11 USC §525)  10.67
    • I.  Leave for Military Service
      • 1.  State Law (Mil & V C §394)  10.68
      • 2.  Federal Law (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) (38 USC §§4301–4335))  10.69
    • J.  Discussion of Wages or Working Conditions (Lab C §§232–232.5)  10.70
    • K.  Conduct During Nonworking Hours  10.71
    • L.  Employee’s Political Views  10.72
  • VIII.  WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS  10.73
    • A.  State Law
      • 1.  Whistleblower Protection Acts; Labor Code §§1101–1106  10.74
      • 2.  Additional Acts to Consider  10.75
    • B.  Federal Law
      • 1.  Sarbanes-Oxley Act  10.76
      • 2.  Additional Acts to Consider  10.77
  • IX.  WAGES AND HOURS
    • A.  Acts That Pertain to Employee Wages and Hours
      • 1.  California Labor Code (§§200–856)
        • a.  Conduct Regulated  10.78
        • b.  Chart of Sample Labor Code Sections Covering Wages and Hours of Specific Employees  10.79
        • c.  Remedies  10.80
        • d.  Chart of Examples of Remedies for Violation of Wages and Hours Statutes  10.81
      • 2.  Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) (Lab C §§2698–2699.5)  10.82
      • 3.  Unfair Competition Law (UCL) (Bus & P C §§17200–17210)  10.83
      • 4.  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (29 USC §§201–219)  10.84
    • B.  Required Notices  10.85
    • C.  Failure to Pay Wages on Time  10.86
    • D.  Chart of Labor Code Provisions Setting Time or Place of Payment  10.87
    • E.  Method of Payment (Lab C §212)  10.88
    • F.  Wage Statements and Records (Lab C §226)  10.89
    • G.  Compensation
      • 1.  Minimum Wage (Lab C §1197)  10.90
      • 2.  Overtime (Lab C §510; 29 USC §207)  10.91

Selected Developments

May 2018 Update

In Flethez v San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Ass’n (2017) 2 C5th 630, the court held that prejudgment interest may be recovered from any debtor, including a public entity, as long as the claimant shows (1) an underlying monetary obligation; (2) damages that are certain or capable of being made certain by calculation; and (3) a right to recovery that vests on a particular day. See §2.26.

An injured plaintiff whose medical expenses are paid through private insurance may recover no more than the amounts the plaintiff or his or her insurer paid for the medical services received or still owing at the time of trial. Howell v Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 C4th 541, 566. See also Moore v Mercer (2016) 4 CA5th 424 (following Howell). See §3.5.

In Light v Department of Parks & Recreation (2017) 14 CA5th 75, the plaintiff sued her former employer for retaliation and failure to prevent retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Govt C §§12900–12996), and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She alleged that after she refused to tell a supervisor what she discussed with an investigator regarding a coworker’s discrimination complaint, the supervisor isolated her, moved her to a different office, verbally and physically attacked her, and told her she would no longer work for the employer when her current assignment was over. In addition, another supervisor rescinded an offer to train her for a new position, she was later rejected for promotion to that position, and the employer ultimately reduced her scheduled hours to zero. The court found that for purposes of the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the workers’ compensation exclusivity provision was not a bar, because unlawful discrimination and retaliation in violation of FEHA falls outside the compensation bargain. See §§3.11, 3.22.

In Paleg v Kmart Corp. (CD Cal, July 11, 2017, No. CV 17-00899-SVW-SP) 2017 US Dist Lexis 108155, the court held that workers’ compensation exclusivity provisions also do not bar a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress when the underlying harm alleged is for age discrimination. See §§3.11, 3.22.

In Matson v UPS (9th Cir 2016) 840 F3d 1126, the Ninth Circuit held that the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (LMRA) (29 USC §185) did not preempt a state law hostile work environment claim, when the determination of whether the employer favored men in particular assignments did not turn on the interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement. See §3.12.

In Olson v Manhattan Beach Unified Sch. Dist. (2017) 17 CA5th 1052, the court held that a grievance filed under a collective bargaining agreement did not satisfy the claim requirements of the Government Claims Act (Govt C §§810–996.6). Further, the plaintiff’s argument that the filing of a claim would have been a futile act did not excuse compliance with the Act’s requirements. See §3.13.

In calculating damages, an employer is entitled to an offset for the amount which the employer affirmatively proves the employee has earned or with reasonable effort might have earned from other employment. However, this duty to mitigate does not require that the plaintiff accept a position that is not substantially equivalent to, or of the same quality as, the one that was lost. In this regard, see Wadler v Bio-Rad Labs., Inc. (ND Cal, Feb. 6, 2017, No. 15-cv-02356-JCS) 2017 US Dist Lexis 16522 (defendant did not offer any reliable data establishing availability of comparable jobs as a statistical matter; further, plaintiff held high-level position and had acquired decades of seniority; relying on generic job titles to show availability of comparable positions was particularly inappropriate). See §§3.14, 4.20.

In Freeman Expositions, Inc. v Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (CD Cal, Apr. 24, 2017, No. SACV 17-00364-CJC (JDEx)) 2017 US Dist Lexis 62087, the court held that a noncompete agreement signed in Nevada between a Nevada resident and a Nevada corporation and containing a Nevada choice of law provision could not be enforced in California after the employee moved to California. See §3.34.

In Minnick v Automotive Creations, Inc. (2017) 13 CA5th 1000, the court of appeal held that the employers’ vacation policy lawfully provided that employees did not begin to earn vacation time until after their first year of employment. Because plaintiff’s employment ended during his first year, he did not have any vested or accrued vacation pay and was not owed any vacation wages. See §4.16.

The California minimum wage will increase from $11.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour between January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2023, depending on the size of the employer’s workforce. See §4.115.

In Arias v Raimondo (9th Cir 2017) 860 F3d 1185, the court permitted an employee to proceed with a retaliation action against his employer’s attorney, who had threatened him with deportation if he did not dismiss his FLSA action against the employer. See §4.116.

The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) (38 USC §§4301–4335) does not prohibit the compelled arbitration of a servicemember’s claims against his employer. Ziober v BLB Resources, Inc. (9th Cir 2016) 839 F3d 814. See §4.125.

Effective January 1, 2018, Lab C §6310 prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against an employee who has (1) reported a work-related fatality, injury, or illness (except for purposes of a workers’ compensation claim); (2) requested access to occupational injury or illness reports and records; or (3) exercised any other rights protected by the federal OSHA (29 USC §§651–678). See §4.125.

The maximum penalty for a Cal/OSHA citation classified as “willful” has been increased from $70,000 to $124,709. Lab C §6429. See §4.131.

The New Parent Leave Act (Govt C §12945.6) became effective January 1, 2018. It requires employers with 20 to 49 employees to provide up to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave for an employee to bond with a new child within 1 year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. See §4.132.

California WARN (Lab C §§1400–1408), our state’s counterpart to the federal act, is triggered by a “layoff,” which is defined as “a separation from a position for lack of funds or lack of work.” Lab C §1400(c). Unlike the federal WARN, California’s act does not include a time component. In International Bhd. of Boilermakers, etc. v NASSCO Holdings, Inc. (2017) 17 CA5th 1105, the employer laid off about 90 employees for a period of approximately 4–5 weeks. The employer did not provide notice of the layoff to its employees, and when the employees sued, the employer argued that California WARN did not apply because the layoff was temporary only. The court rejected that argument. Under California WARN, a “separation from a position” can be permanent or temporary. There is no reasonable basis to conclude that a 4–5 week layoff does not constitute a “separation from position,” but a 6–7 month layoff does. The legislative history and underlying public policy support the conclusion that an employer has the obligation to provide notice even if the intended layoff is temporary and short term. See §4.145.

When and how employers may consider criminal convictions continues to be a hot topic, both nationally and in California. Against this backdrop, AB 1008 amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to preclude most employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record or conviction history until after a conditional employment offer is made, and imposed new notice and disclosure requirements if this information is sought. See §4.146I.

In McGill v Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 C5th 945, the California Supreme Court held that a predispute arbitration agreement that waived the right to seek public injunctive relief under the UCL in any forum was against public policy. See §5.14.

Whistleblower protections under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) (Pub L 111–203, 124 Stat 1376) only extend to individuals who have reported a violation of the securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v Somers (2018) 583 US ___, 138 S Ct 767. See §5.16.

Effective January 1, 2018, a whistleblowing employee bringing a civil action under Lab C §1102.5 may also seek injunctive relief from the court. Lab C §§1102.61, 1102.62. See §5.16.

An employer may compel arbitration of a returning servicemember’s claims under USERRA. Ziober v BLB Resources, Inc. (9th Cir 2016) 839 F3d 814. See also Ziober v BLB Resources, Inc. (9th Cir 2016) 839 F3d 814, 817 (USERRA does not supersede arbitration clauses in employment agreements when those clauses do not reduce, limit, or eliminate rights under USERRA). See §5.17.

In Lopez v Friant & Assocs., LLC (2017) 15 CA5th 773, 780, the court held that penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) (Lab C §§2698–2699.5) are available for violations of Lab C §226(a) (concerning wage statements), without proving injury as required under Lab C §226(e). See §7.5.

In Kim v Reins Int’l Cal., Inc. (2017) 18 CA5th 1052, the court held that a plaintiff who settled and dismissed his individual wage claims against the employer was no longer an “aggrieved employee,” and therefore could no longer maintain a PAGA representative action. See §7.12.

The court in Betancourt v Prudential Overall Supply (2017) 9 CA5th 439, 445, affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration, “because a defendant cannot rely on a predispute waiver by a private employee to compel arbitration in a PAGA case, which is brought on behalf of the state.” And the Ninth Circuit in Poublon v C.H. Robinson Co. (9th Cir 2017) 846 F3d 1251, 1263, acknowledged that a provision waiving a PAGA representative action is unenforceable, but noted that this does not automatically mean that the provision is also substantively unconscionable. See §7.50.

Although PAGA actions generally may not be waived through arbitration clauses (see Iskanian v CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 C4th 348), claims for recovery of wages under Lab C §558 are subject to arbitration. Esparza v KS Indus., L.P. (2017) 13 CA5th 1228, 1245. See §7.50.

In PAGA actions, the California Supreme Court has held that the “default position” is that discovery of represented employees’ contact information is proper and “an essential first step to prosecution of any representative action.” Williams v Superior Court (2017) 3 C5th 531. Courts may not condition disclosure on proof that the representative plaintiff was subjected to Labor Code violations or that there was a noncompliant uniform or companywide policy. Privacy interests may be addressed through procedures adopted for class action discovery. See §7.56.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, 131 Stat 2054) added IRC §162(q). Under that new section, effective December 23, 2017, payments made or incurred that relate to sexual harassment and abuse claims will no longer be deductible to the extent that they are (a) payments of a settlement subject to a nondisclosure agreement; or (b) payments of attorney fees for such a settlement. See §9.26.

Effective January 1, 2018, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer with five or more employees to (a) include on any application for employment questions that seek the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal conviction history; or (b) inquire into or consider the conviction history of the applicant, until after the employer has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. Govt C §12952(a). See §10.38.

Labor Code §6310 prohibits retaliation against employees who complain about workplace safety or institute or testify in proceedings under the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Cal/OSHA) (Lab C §§6300–6719). Lab C §6310(a). Effective January 1, 2018, the statute also prohibits retaliation against employees who report a work-related fatality, injury, or illness, or request access to occupational injury or illness reports and records. Lab C §6310(a)(4). See §10.50.

In Kesner v Superior Court (2016) 1 C5th 1132, the California Supreme Court held that an employer’s duty to exercise ordinary care in the use of asbestos includes preventing exposure to asbestos carried by the bodies and clothing of on-site workers. When it is reasonably foreseeable that workers, their clothing, or personal effects will act as vectors carrying asbestos from the worksite to household members, employers have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent this means of transmission. See §10.52.

About the Authors

HILLARY JO BENHAM-BAKER is a partner in the law firm of Campins Benham-Baker LLP in San Francisco, where she represents employees in discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour matters. Ms. Benham-Baker is the author of chapter 3 (Damages for Wrongful Termination and Other Tort Claims). She received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, with Outstanding Achievement in Pro Bono, and her B.A. with Honors from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Ms. Benham-Baker is a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California State Bar. Ms. Benham-Baker was named as a 2011 Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

BRENDA F. BIREN is a partner in the law firm Sayad & Biren PC, a boutique employment law firm in San Francisco. Ms. Biren is a co-author of chapter 4 (Remedies Under Antidiscrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes). She received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and her A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Biren represents both employees and employers in a wide variety of employment, discrimination, wage and hour, privacy, unfair competition, and compliance matters, both advising and litigating in these areas of the law. Ms. Biren’s litigation experience is extensive and she has handled the representation of clients in mediation, arbitration, and trial as well as administrative proceedings before the California Labor Commissioner, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She has also handled the negotiation of employment and executive compensation agreements and severance packages, and she has conducted investigations. Ms. Biren has spoken frequently regarding employment law issues, written articles on employment law for publication, and appeared on television discussing employment issues.

JULIA CAMPINS is a partner in the law firm of Campins Benham-Baker LLP in San Francisco. Ms. Campins is the author of chapter 5 (Equitable Remedies). She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her B.A. from Columbia College. Ms. Campins is a member of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections and the National Employment Lawyers Association. She serves as co-editor of the ABA Section of Litigation Class Actions and Derivative Suits Newsletter, and has also authored several articles for that publication, as well as the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter and the National Employment Lawyers Association’s publication The Employee Advocate. In 2011 Ms. Campins was named a Rising Star among Northern California attorneys by Super Lawyers Magazine. Ms. Campins specializes in representing employees and plaintiffs in employment discrimination, civil rights, and employee benefits actions.

MICHAEL FREEDMAN is an associate attorney in the San Francisco office of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., a plaintiff-side employment law firm that specializes in class actions on behalf of low-wage workers. Mr. Freedman is a co-author of chapter 8 (Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest). He received his J.D. from Stanford School of Law, and his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College (cum laude). Mr. Freedman’s practice focuses on complex employment, appellate, and civil rights litigation.

BRIAN J. MILLS is a partner in the Orange County office of Snell & Wilmer in Costa Mesa. Mr. Mills is a co-author of chapter 6 (Punitive Damages). He received his J.D. (magna cum laude) from Loyola University School of Law, and his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. Mr. Mills is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Orange County Bar Association, and the Warren J. Ferguson American Inn of Court. Mr. Mills concentrates his practice in employment litigation and counseling, providing clients with ongoing advice on personnel matters; conducting investigations into workplace disputes and violence; and developing employee handbooks, contracts, and personnel policies tailored to meet clients’ business needs. He represents employers in all areas of litigation in state and federal court and in arbitrations, handling claims of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, reasonable accommodation of disabilities, retaliation, wrongful termination, and class action and individual wage and hour disputes. Mr. Mills practices before state and federal agencies, including the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the California Employment Development Department, and the California Labor Commissioner. Mr. Mills received the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Service from the Public Law Center, and in 2011–2012 was named a Rising Star among Southern California Lawyers in employment and labor law by Super Lawyers Magazine. He serves as a board member on the Orange County Community Tennis Association and helps organize the Top Gun Charity Tennis Tournament. Mr. Mills has also written and spoken on numerous employment law topics.

CARA PANEBIANCO is a founding partner in the law firm of E Squared Law Group LLP in San Francisco. Ms. Panebianco is the author of chapter 2 (Breach of Contract Remedies). She received her J.D. from Golden Gate School of Law and her B.A. from Texas A&M University. Ms. Panebianco is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California. She focuses her practice on employment law, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and accommodation claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, the California Family Rights Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, pregnancy disability leave, wage and hour claims, and workplace safety and leave issues. In addition to her private practice, Ms. Panebianco is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, where she teaches Legal Basics of Human Resources. Before starting her own firm, Ms. Panebianco was an associate at the Shea Law Offices, and before that she worked with the Fair Employment and Housing Commission on decisions and regulations related to both employment and housing.

HUNTER PYLE is a partner in the law firm of Sundeen Salinas & Pyle in Oakland. He is a co-author of chapter 7 (Civil Penalties Under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)). Mr. Pyle received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1997 and his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1994. In 2007, he was named “one to watch” in the Daily Journal’s “Top Northern California Law Firms.” In 2009 and 2010, he was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Every year since 2011 he has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer.” In 2014, Mr. Pyle joined both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum of the Top Trial Lawyers in America. In addition to practicing law full time, Mr. Pyle is a Lecturer at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, where he teaches the Employment Law course to second and third year law students. He has also been a faculty member of the Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop for several years. Mr. Pyle is also the primary contributor to two blogs, www.workersrightsblog.com and www.pagalawyers.com.

SANFORD JAY ROSEN is the senior partner in the law firm of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP in San Francisco. Mr. Rosen is a co-author of chapter 8 (Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest). He received his LL.B. from Yale Law School and his A.B. from Cornell University. Mr. Rosen is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, COCA, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the California Employment Lawyers Association. He specializes in general litigation, civil rights and civil liberties litigation, appeals, and attorney fees. Mr. Rosen has been selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list every year since its inception in 2004. He received the 2008 Diversity Pioneer Award from the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) for his work in increasing minority representation in legal education and the profession. In addition, Mr. Rosen has been honored by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (MALDEF), The Prisoners Union, and the City and County of San Francisco. He has also written and spoken on behalf of CEB and other organizations.

PAMELA M. SAYAD is the senior and founding partner of Sayad & Biren PC, a boutique employment law firm in San Francisco. Ms. Sayad is a co-author of chapter 4 (Remedies Under Antidiscrimination and Other Employee Rights Statutes). She received her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame School of Law and her A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Ms. Sayad represents both employees and employers in a wide variety of employment, discrimination, wage and hour, privacy, unfair competition, and compliance matters, both advising and litigating in these areas of the law. Her practice includes representation of executives in the negotiation of employment and executive compensation agreements and severance packages. She also represents clients in white collar criminal defense investigations and litigation. She is an experienced and highly regarded mediator, especially in employment mediation. Ms. Sayad regularly speaks on employment issues to both legal and lay audiences and has appeared on television and radio talk shows discussing employment issues.

MARY-CHRISTINE (M.C.) SUNGAILA is a partner in the Orange County office of Haynes and Boone, LLP in Costa Mesa. Ms. Sungaila is a co-author of chapter 6 (Punitive Damages). She received her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, and her B.A. from Stanford University. Ms. Sungaila is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Orange County Bar Association. She is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, a member of the National Chamber Litigation Center California Litigation Advisory Committee, State Coordinator of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s online iCivics education program, and California Ambassador for the Vision 2020 Equality in Sight Conference and Initiative. Ms. Sungaila concentrates her practice on appellate matters, advising clients statewide, nationally, and internationally on cutting edge and core business issues and providing clients with a strategic approach during pretrial and trial consultations, especially in situations in which a “key case” outcome may affect a series of cases for a client. She serves as a consultant to CEB’s Civil Appellate Practice, California Civil Writ Practice, and California Civil Discovery Practice. Ms. Sungaila has been repeatedly named as one of California’s Top Women Litigators by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, and is a prolific writer and speaker at CEB programs and other legal forums.

THE HONORABLE ALEXANDER H. WILLIAMS, III (Ret.) is a mediator, arbitrator, and discovery referee with ADR Services, Inc. in Los Angeles. Judge Williams is the author of chapter 1 (Approaching Employment Remedies). He received his LL.B. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his B.A. (cum laude) from Yale University. Judge Williams sat on the Los Angeles Superior Court for 24 years, the last three years of which he served as a full-time settlement judge, settling hundreds of major civil cases. In addition to his private practice as a mediator, Judge Williams teaches as an adjunct professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is a member of the California Judges Association, the American Bar Association, the Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment Law, and Litigation Sections of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the California Dispute Resolution Council (Board of Directors, 2010), the Southern California Mediation Association, the Judge Advocates Association, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Association of the United States Navy. Judge Williams handles mediation, arbitration, and discovery matters for employment, business, personal injury, real estate, and class action cases. He has been an instructor for Los Angeles Superior Court Settlement courses, and regularly teaches and speaks on judicial and dispute resolution matters. He was named Peacemaker of the Year by the Southern California Mediation Association.

ROBERT W. WOOD is the managing partner of Wood LLP in San Francisco. Mr. Wood is the author of chapter 9 (Taxation of Judgments and Settlements). He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his A.B. from Humboldt State University, and attended the University of Sheffield in England. Mr. Wood is certified as a Tax Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization and is a former Chair of the Taxation Law Specialization Commission and a former Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Tax Section. A central part of Mr. Wood’s national practice is advising lawyers, accountants, and litigants on the tax aspects of litigation payments and recoveries, and on appropriate tax planning and documentation of settlement agreements. He also regularly represents taxpayers before the IRS and the courts. In addition to more than 30 other tax books, he is the author of Taxation of Damage Awards and Settlement Payments (4th ed 2009 with 2012 supplement), Qualified Settlement Funds and Section 468B (2009), and Legal Guide to Independent Contractor Status (5th ed 2010), as well as hundreds of articles dealing with the tax treatment of litigation recoveries. He speaks nationally on this topic to accountants, lawyers, and businesspeople. Mr. Wood is the recipient of the V. Judson Klein Award from the Taxation Section of the California State Bar in 2006, and was named a Super Lawyer (2005–2011) by Super Lawyer Magazine, and one of the Best Lawyers in America (2006–2012) by Woodward/White, Inc.

CATHA WORTHMAN is a partner at the law firm of Feinberg Jackson Worthman & Wasow LLP in Oakland. Ms. Worthman is the co-author of chapter 7 (Civil Penalties Under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)). She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was admitted to the Order of the Coif, and her M.A. in International and Area Studies through a joint degree program, and her B.A. (with highest honors) from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Worthman represents employees and retirees in class actions and other public interest litigation, and provides advice and training for unions and other clients. She is a co-editor of the newsletter for the Employee Benefits Committee of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a contributing author to Employee Benefits Law (BNA). Ms. Worthman is also a supervising attorney with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Worker’s Rights Clinic. She was named a Northern California Super Lawyer in the field of Plaintiffs’ Employment Litigation in 2015 and 2016, a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2011–2014, and listed as a Top Woman Attorney in Northern California from 2011–2016.

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