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Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in California

Got Labor Pains: The Blog


Forced to Quit Due to COVID-19 Concerns: California Judge Allows Ex-Detention Center Officer to Pursue Constructive Discharge Claim

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many frontline workers in a terrible quandary: either they go to work and face contracting a potentially fatal disease–which they may then spread to their household and community–or quit and deal with the loss of income. Making matters worse is that many employers have not taken adequate steps to… Read More »


California Expands AB 5 Exemptions to Cover More Professional and Entertainment Services

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

In September 2019, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 5. This landmark bill codified a prior ruling from the California Supreme Court adopting the so-called ABC Test in worker classification cases. The ABC test requires a “hiring entity” to prove that a given worker is an independent contractor–as opposed to an employee–based on three… Read More »


Forced to Help Cover Up the Boss’ Affair: Can You Sue a Former Employer for Causing You “Emotional Distress”

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to experience emotional stress, or even trauma, in the workplace because of a poor relationship with their boss. But can such distress form the basis of a valid legal claim against an employer? Put another way, in situations like these, can you sue your former boss for… Read More »


Are Confidentiality Agreements Governed by Federal or State Law? Google Lawsuit May Turn the Tide Against Tech Giant

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) governs “labor relations,” i.e., the process of workers engaging in collective action or forming a union. Since the NLRA is a federal law, it normally overrides or “preempts” state laws that might also touch upon labor relations. The U.S. Supreme Court explained this preemption rule in a landmark… Read More »


Will Amazon Be Forced to Give Warehouse Workers Bathroom Breaks? Proposed California Legislation Would Regulate Employers’ Use of Strict “Quota” Systems

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a boon for large online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart, which can rely on their massive network of warehouses to fulfill remote orders for customers following stay-at-home orders. Unfortunately, this places increasing demands on warehouse employees to put their own health and safety at risk. For example,… Read More »


Can I Discuss My Former Employer in a Court Filing? California Lawsuit Addresses Conflict Between Confidentiality Agreement and Anti-SLAPP Motion

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Many California employers require their key employees to sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements. Such agreements are designed to protect the employer’s confidential trade secrets. So if an employee leaves the employer for a competitor, any disclosure of the employer’s trade secrets could prompt a breach of contract lawsuit against the now-former employee. Fourth District:… Read More »


Are U.S. Tech Companies Protecting an Ancient Form of Social Hierarchy? California Authorities Charge Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California attracts workers from all parts of the globe. This means that various aspects of foreign cultures also find themselves imported into the United States–including certain practices that may violate federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Indeed, a recent lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) addresses a particular… Read More »


Is Your Company Ready to Reopen? California Public Health Officials Issue Formal Guidance to Employers and Employees

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California remains a major epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most businesses, even those in what are considered “essential” industries, continue to struggle with how they can safely reopen without putting their employees or customers at unnecessary risk. To facilitate this process, the California Department of Public Health recently released an “Employer Handbook for a… Read More »


“We Never Consider a Job Applicant’s Age”: Is an Employer Telling the Truth–or Is It Just a Pretext for Discrimination?

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Proving employment discrimination is often easier said than done. Even if you believe you were denied a job or other employment opportunity, such as a promotion, because of your age, sex, race, or some other legally protected status, the employer can turn around and argue it had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the actions… Read More »


What Happens If I Sign an Arbitration Agreement After Suing My Employer?

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California employers often try to keep labor disputes out of court by requiring their employees to sign binding arbitration agreements. Normally, these agreements are signed before a dispute arises, such when the employee starts work. But it is also possible to sign an arbitration agreement after an employee has already filed a lawsuit or… Read More »

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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