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Labor and Employment Law Section

News from the Section 

Message from the Chair from the December eNews

Michael E. WhitakerEach year in January, we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. The struggle of which Dr. King was an integral part changed the face of the American workplace and, more broadly, changed America.

During the August 29, 1963 March on Washington, Dr. King proclaimed "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Less than a year later, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, among other things, banned employment discrimination on the basis of race. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has played a pivotal role in the history of labor and employment law.

Your Labor and Employment Law Section offers lots of continuing education about employment discrimination law, as well as many other topics. We have online MCLE you can access any time, day or night, using a handy new webpage organized by category. Your Section also offers self-study articles from the Law Review, available here for as low as $15 a credit.

If your last name begins with "H" through "M," your Section's online MCLE and self-study articles offer a great way to complete your mandatory continuing legal education requirements before the February 2, 2015 deadline.

Michael E. Whitaker
Section Chair

Quotes of the Month

  • "If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming Educational Programs

21st Annual Public Sector Conference

Friday, April 24, 2015
The Claremont Resort & Spa
41 Tunnel Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
Earn 6.5 Hours MCLE Credit.

You can now REGISTER ONLINE for this program. For more information, see Public Sector Conference.

Save the Date  - Fifth Annual Advanced Wage & Hour Conference and Annual Meeting

July 9-10, 2015, J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Check this site for the latest information.

Get Online Ethics and Bias Specialty Credit from the Labor and Employment Law Section

Coming up on the February 2, 2015 MCLE compliance deadline? Your Labor and Employment Law Section offers a variety of online programs you can take any time of the day or night. Here are direct links:

Ethics

Bias

This Month in Labor and Employment Law News

This month's Labor and Employment Law News is devoted entirely to developments involving the National Labor Relations Board, which has become more newsworthy now that it has five members deemed properly appointed.

  • Claims brought in the California courts under the Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA") will be exempt from arbitration in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's decision to deny review of the California Supreme Court's decision in CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC v. Ishanian (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348. Results in federal court may vary.

  • President Obama signed a memorandum on January 15 giving federal employees at least six weeks paid leave after giving birth. He also proposed that Congress pass legislation providing $2.2 billion to help states create their own paid leave programs, a proposal most commentators decreed unlikely to succeed.

  • The Los Angeles Superior Court certified a class of about 1600 California Superior Court judges, Court of Appeal justices and California Supreme Court justices, plus about 1800 retirees. The class action alleges the judicial officers were denied raises to which they are entitled under Government Code §68203.

This Month in Labor and Employment Law History

  • January 5, 1914: Henry Ford announces the $5 workday, raising the workers' wages from a minimum of $2.34 to at least $5

  • January 15, 1929: Martin Luther King, Jr. is born
  • January 17, 1962: President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order 10988, authorizing collective bargaining for federal employees

Top Three Newly-Published Labor and Employment Cases

  • Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (California Supreme Court, January 8, 2015) 2015 DJDAR 277. The California Supreme Court held security guards were owed regular and overtime pay for all time required to be at the worksite, including sleeping time. The wage order language interpreted does not apply to the public housekeeping industry or to some workers performing health care duties.
  • Swanson v. Moreno Unified School District (California Court of Appeal, December 23, 2014) 2014 DJDAR 17043. A teacher defeated summary judgment in an employment discrimination case, even though it was undisputed she was discharged based on her poor performance reviews, because the employer "set her up for failure by giving her difficult assignments without the resources required to succeed..."
  • Ibarra v. Manheim Investments (9th Cir., January 8, 2015) 2015 DJDAR 285. When plaintiffs challenge removal under the Class Action Fairness Act, evidence by both sides must be allowed to prove whether over $5 million is in controversy (and the federal courts thereby have jurisdiction). In December, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens that removal notices need not include detailed proof of the amount controverted.

Write for the Labor and Employment Law Review

Don't miss this month's issue of the Labor and Employment Law Review, which includes the following feature articles:

  • A New Year Brings New Laws for California Employers -- a review of the most important new employment laws taking effect in 2015; and
  • The Interactive Process Dance: What Happens When the Music Stops? -- a discussion of what happens when the interactive process comes to an end.

COLUMNIST WANTED: The State Bar Labor and Employment Law Review is seeking out a regular columnist for our Wage and Hour Update. You will be writing the column every other issue (i.e., three times a year), alternating with columnist Lois M. Kosch. If you are interested, we encourage you to submit a writing sample constituting three case summaries of wage and hour cases from the past two months, along with a CV and a summary of your wage and hour experience. Please submit to ramit@mizrahilaw.com and david.peyerwold@ceb.ucla.edu by January 31, 2015.

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS WELCOME: We encourage you to take a look at our Guidelines and Editorial Policy and to send us your well-researched articles for consideration.

Section Publications on California Public Labor & Employment Law

Our Section published the two definitive treatises on California public sector labor and employment law:

Your Legal Rights

Labor and Employment Law Section on the RadioRadio station KALW and 15 other radio stations regularly broadcast "Your Legal Rights," a show in which callers can ask questions of attorneys with expertise in different areas of the law. Our Section sponsors programs on labor and employment law. Here's what's coming up next:

  • December 10, 2014, 7-8 p.m. Protected Leaves of Absence, with speakers Chaya Mandelbaum and Maribel Hernandez.

Tune into KALW at 91.7 FM for the San Francisco Bay area and on the Internet at www.kalw.org. To see all Labor-related programs in our archive, see Your Legal Rights.

Practice Tips

This month, Practice Tips offers some suggestions about civility in litigation.

  • Think twice before accusing your opposing counsel of bad motives. It is often more productive to simply describe the effect of your colleague's actions.
  • Think twice before refusing your opposing counsel a routine courtesy such as granting an extension of time. If you decline the request, it is often best to explain how granting the request would harm your client's legitimate interests.
  • Think twice before seeking sanctions. All too often it can result in counterproductive escalating disagreements.

Get Online Participatory MCLE Credit from the Labor and Employment Law Section

Get your MCLEs online! View Labor and Employment Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from over 100 Labor and Employment Law programs anywhere you have an Internet connection, any time of day or night. These can be downloaded at www.calbar.org/online-cle (select Labor and Employment Law), or go directly to the Labor and Employment programs.

Case Law Alerts

Have you signed up to receive Labor Case Alerts? These case summaries are being sent to you by the Labor and Empoyment Law Section, in cooperation with Phyllis Cheng, Director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Section members can sign up through My State Bar Profile.

Follow the Sections and CYLA on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn!

https://www.facebook.com/calbarsections http://www.twitter.com/calbarsections LinkedIn Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter.

Social media, anyone? The Sections and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) now have a page on Facebook, Twitter and a new LinkedIn account, where we can keep you up-to-date on our latest news and events.

We're also looking forward to interacting with a wider community and reaching out to people who are not currently members. We invite you to "Like" us and follow our "Tweets." And by the way, the CYLA definition of "young" is any California attorney under the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice.

Contact Us

Labor & Employment Law Section The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415-538-2590
FAX 415-538-2368
LaborLaw@calbar.ca.gov