• “In The Dark” about ADA and The Duty To Accommodate?

    The case of Dark v. Curry County from the 9th Circuit federal Court of Appeals adds more complexity to the continuing duty of employers to accommodate qualified employees with known disabilities. Here’s what happened. From the age of 16, Robert Dark suffered from epilepsy. He controls the condition with medication but still endures the occasional seizure, which is usually preceded by what is called an “aura.” An aura is “akin to a nervous jerk”; it indicates “the potential for a seizure on the day of the aura,” typically no sooner than one hour later. Dark says that a seizure follows an aura approximately half of the time.

    Dark had a job with the Road Department. He operated heavy equipment such as construction vehicles. Dark’s 16 year employment record was satisfactory.

    One morning, Dark experienced an aura. Despite this warning, Dark reported for work but told no one he might suffer an epileptic seizure. Later that day, Dark suffered a seizure and fell unconscious while driving a County pickup truck. Fortunately, Dark was operating the vehicle at a very slow rate of speed. His passenger, another Road Department employee, gained control of the vehicle and brought it to a safe stop.

    Dark underwent a medical examination at the County’s request. A neurologist, concluded that “because of the presence of poorly controlled idiopathic epilepsy, [Dark] should not work in high places, he should not work around moving machinery where sudden loss of consciousness would endanger either himself or others, and this would appear to severely limit him from the duties of the job described.” Dark’s doctor said this was a temporary condition and should come under control with adjustment of medication.

    The Road Department fired Dark. It sent him a letter concluding that Dark could not perform the essential functions and duties of his position because of his epilepsy and that his continued employment posed a threat to the safety of others. The County made no attempt to accommodate for Dark.

    Dark appealed to the Curry County Board of Commissioners. The Board affirmed, reasoning that Dark had “acted irresponsibly, recklessly, and with a total disregard of the safety of himself, other employees, and members of the public.” Dark filed suit alleging the County violated the ADA by discharging him while refusing reasonably to accommodate his disability.

    The county thought it had a “slam-dunk” and filed a motion for summary adjudication of the claim in their favor. The court denied the motion. Why? Because the county gave two different reasons for terminating Dark. The termination letter was replete with references to Dark’s disabling condition, such ”you cannot perform the essential functions and duties of the job of Maintenance and Construction Worker III as described is substantiated . . . . Following your on the job seizure on 1/15/02, the County had sufficient concerns regarding your medical condition to request an independent Neurologist to evaluate you . . . I believe a “seizure free” condition is critical for workers in your occupation . . .. [Y]our condition in my opinion prevents you from performing your duties . . . . “

    The letter mentioned the failure to report the aura but it was not cited as grounds for the termination. It was only after Dark appealed that the review board cited his failure to report as misconduct justifying his termination. But Dark was already terminated for his disability, so the misconduct was only thrown in after the fact of his completed termination. Even if the court considered the misconduct as a true reason, misconduct that is caused by the disability cannot be a legal justification for the termination. In addition, Dark and other employees had been involved in accidents before and not been disciplined. This raised the question of whether the accident was the real reason for the discipline.

    What should the County have done to accommodate Dark? There were other positions, flagman for instance, that Dark could have performed until his medication could be adjusted to bring his seizures under control. Said the court, “[w] e adopt the Tenth Circuit’s rule: in considering reassignment as a reasonable accommodation, an employer must consider not only those contemporaneously available positions but also those that will become available within a reasonable period.”

    So now an employer must not only consider reassignment to existing vacant positions, but those positions that may become vacant in the future. The employer is now responsible for reviewing the future needs of his operations and foreseeing what jobs might became available. The employer may be required to place the employee on leave of absence until the position becomes available. Must the employer also consider reassignment to a position that does not even exist but which may exist within a reasonable period? The case poses interesting challenges for employers who navigate the maze of ADA. But, such is nature of today’s employment law and vigilance and education is the best way to avoid a misstep in this tricky area.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Phillip J. Griego of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Legislative Pipeline

    PENDING LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

    The following bills are currently pending in California. These bills have not been passed, yet.

    Minimum Wage Increase –
    SB 1162 Proposal to raise the state minimum wage to $7.25 on September 1, 2006 and to $7.75 on July 1, 2007, and indexing increases every year thereafter.

    AB 1835 and 1844 Proposal to increase the minimum wage from $6.75 to $7.25 per hour effective July 1, 2007, and further increase it to $7.75 per hour effective July 1, 2008 and indexing increases every year thereafter.

    Sexual Harassment Training –
    AB 2095 Proposal too modify the current sexual harassment training statute by limiting the training requirements to employers with 50 or more employees in California, and by limiting the training requirement to supervisory employees within California. A recent rider to the bill would slightly modify the payday requirements, deleting the requirement that employees be paid at least twice per month provided employees are paid within seven days of the close of the pay period.

    Independent Contractors –
    AB 2186 Proposes a $50,000 penalty if an employer intentionally misclassifies employees as independent contractors in order to avoid unemployment insurance responsibilities.

    Unemployment Compensation –
    AB 2209 Proposal to void any agreement that prohibits an employee from pursuing unemployment compensation benefits.

    Arbitration –
    AB 2371 Proposal to eliminate an employer’s ability to mandate the use of arbitration to resolve discrimination claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

    Gender Pay Equity Violations –
    AB 2555 Proposal to increase penalties for paying lower wage rates based on gender. Also would require employers with 50 or more employees to provide each employee with a written statement setting forth the employee’s job title, wage rate, and explanation as to how the employee’s wages are calculated.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • When to Engage in the Interactive Process

    EMPLOYERS MAY HAVE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY CAN ACCOMMODATE AN EMPLOYEE EVEN IF THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT DISABLED

    In Gelfo v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, the California Appellate Court upheld the trial court’s decision that the employee was not “actually” physically disabled. However, the court went on to say that the lower court “erred in failing to determine, as a matter of law, that Lockheed regarded [the employee] as physically disabled” and should have engaged in an informal interactive process aimed at effecting a reasonable accommodation. The court held that employers must provide a necessary and reasonable accommodation to an applicant or an employee whom it regards as physically disabled. The lesson: if the employer thinks an applicant or employee may be disabled, the employer should engage in the interactive process of determining what, if any, accommodation will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Avoiding Costly Mistakes

    MISTAKES EMPLOYERS MAKE WHEN TERMINATING EMPLOYEES

    Wrongful termination litigation has become very commonplace in today’s business world. Employers oftentimes make innocent mistakes that, if avoided, can prevent disputes before they occur. The following is a list of common mistakes employers make when terminating employees.

    1. Failing to document performance issues when they arise. The time to make a record of problems is when they occur, not just when it is time to terminate an employee.
    2. Being dishonest about the reasons for termination. Employees who are not told the true reasons for their termination are more likely to question the termination. It may be difficult to confront someone with their lack of performance, but it is easier than defending a wrongful termination suit.
    3. Deviating from the employer’s written policies. Policies are written for a reason: to provide clear guidance regarding how to handle a situation. When you deviate from the policies, you increase the chance that an employee will think the termination was wrong.
    4. Protect confidential information. Employees should be reminded of any confidentiality agreements so that the employer clearly takes steps to protect such information. Failing to take appropriate steps to protect confidential information can deprive such information of valuable protection.
    5. ALL wages must be paid immediately upon termination or within 72-hours of quitting. This includes all accrued but unused vacation and/or PTO time. It does not include unused sick leave. Employer’s face stiff penalties for failing to timely pay final wages.
    6. Fighting unemployment insurance benefits in every case. Smart employees may use the unemployment insurance arena to obtain valuable evidence in preparation for a wrongful termination suit. Before trying to defeat an employee’s unemployment insurance benefits case, analyze your chances of prevailing and the overall cost of such a fight.
    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Terminating Employees on Extended Leaves of Absence

    HOW LONG CAN AN EMPLOYEE BE OUT OF WORK ON MEDICAL LEAVE BEFORE THE EMPLOYER CAN JUSTIFIABLY TERMINATE THE EMPLOYEE WITHOUT VIOLATING THE LAW?

    While no case has established a bright line rule that employers can follow when answering this question, Williams v. Genentech, Inc., provides very useful guidance. Rochelle Williams was a receptionist at Genentech who, after being criticized by her supervisors for mishandling a security incident, suffered stress and an exacerbation of an existing medication condition. Ms. Williams began a medical leave that lasted seven months. Genentech filled Ms. Williams’ position during the leave and when Ms. Williams could not locate another position at Genentech, she was terminated. The court found that Genentech did not violate the anti-discrimination statutes and that Ms. Williams could not prove that Genentech failed to accommodate her disability.

    Williams v. Genentech reveals important guidelines for employers dealing with employees on a medical leave of absence:

    • Reasonable accommodation does not require the employer to wait indefinitely for an employee’s medical condition to be corrected.
    • Maintain and follow established policies regarding medical leaves of absence.
    • Ensure policies provide that employees placed on FMLA/CFRA leave are guaranteed their position if the medical leave does not exceed 12 weeks and that if an employee requires a longer leave, the employee’s position is not guaranteed.
    • If necessary, be able to demonstrate that keeping the employee’s position open for extended periods creates an undue hardship.
    • If it is an undue hardship to keep an employee’s position available for more than 12 weeks, and if the employee’s position has been filled, attempt to find an alternative position for employee upon his/her return from medical leave.
    • Keep track of all correspondence regarding the expected return date. In Williams, numerous dates had been set for plaintiff’s return to work, but they were all extended by plaintiff’s doctor until she was finally able to return to work seven months later. This made it difficult for Genentech to determine whether the plaintiff would actually return to work.
    • Continue to engage in the interactive process of determining what, if any, reasonable accommodation would enable plaintiff to return to work.
    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Legislative Pipeline

    WHAT IS OUR LEGISLATURE DOING TO CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS?

    The California legislature is currently debating the following bills. We don’t know which ones will make it to the Governor, or which was he will sign, but keep on the look-out for these proposed laws effecting California businesses:

    AB 1912 – Misdemeanor to terminate an employee who brings a firearm to work in her car.
    AB 2095 – Modifies sexual harassment education requirements.
    AB 2186 – Bill to penalize overtime misclassifications.
    AB 2217 – Individual alternative workweeks.
    AB 2327 – Farm labor contractor rule changes.
    AB 2334 – Janitorial service contractor rule changes.
    AB 2371 – Invalidates arbitration agreements that cover FEHA violations.
    AB 2536 – Overtime for in-house workers
    SB 1188, 1189 – Prohibits payment of wages without a free way to cash.

    The current renditions of these bills can be viewed at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Rise of the Precedent Decisions

    THE LABOR COMMISSIONER ISSUES MORE PRECEDENT DECISIONS

    According to California Assembly, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner) has no authority to issue regulations regarding wage and hour laws. This authority has been delegated only to the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). The problem? The IWC has been suspended due to lack of funding. The result? No new regulations are being issued regarding wage and hour laws other than those passed by the legislature. The solution? Precedent Decision Orders issued by the Labor Commissioner. Section 11425.60 of the California Government Code allows for the designation as a “precedent decision” any decision that contains a significant legal or policy determination of general application that is likely to recur. The Labor Commissioner has recently started using this method to define its position regarding various wage and hour laws.

    So far, the Labor Commissioner has issued the following precedent decision orders:
    PD #2005-0001: Meal Period Payment is a penalty, not a wage
    PD #2006-0001: Commissions earning triggering events
    PD #2006-0002: WITHDRAWN due to waiting time penalty calculation error
    PD #2006-0003: Burden of proof; subterfuge of payment of final wages
    PD #2006-0004: Elements of vacation policy; burden of proof

    Copies of the Precedent Decisions can be obtained in .pdf format from: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSE-PrecedentialTopic.htm

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • History of Violence or Perceived Disability?

    CAN YOU REFUSE TO HIRE SOMEONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN “EMOTIONAL DYSFUNCTION” AND A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE?

    Maybe not! In Josephs v. Pacific Bell the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict in Joseph’s favor after Pacific Bell terminated Joseph for lying on his employment application about prior criminal convictions and refused to reinstate him. In 1982 Josephs was arrested for murder and found not guilty by reason of insanity. In 1985 Josephs was convicted of misdemeanor batter on a police officer. Joseph failed to disclose the conviction when he applied for a job at Pacific Bell in 1997 and, pursuant to Pacific Bell policy, was terminated when the background check revealed Joseph’s criminal history. Joseph sought reinstatement after expunging his record, similar to other employees with criminal backgrounds who were later reinstated. Pacific Bell refused, believing Joseph’s history of violence could endanger Pacific Bell customers with whom Joseph would have contact. The jury concluded that Pacific Bell discriminated against Joseph on the basis of an actual or perceived mental disability and that Pacific Bell did not have a sufficient basis to conclude that Joseph posed an actual threat to anybody’s safety.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Unruh Act Not a Bar to Suit Over Threatened Violence

    CAN AN EMPLOYEE SUE HIS EMPLOYEE FOR THREATS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION?

    The California Supreme Court previously held that the Unruh Act, which prohibits discrimination by businesses, does not apply to employment cases. (Rojo v. Kliger(1990) 52 Cal.3d 65). The California Appellate Court in Stamps v. Superior Courtrecently decided that claims previously believed barred by Rojo, can be brought by disgruntled employees. Many people assumed that Civ. Code, § § 51.7 and 52.1, which prohibit discriminatory violence and intimidation and against denial of civil rights by means of threats and intimidation were part of the Unruh Act. The Stamps court clarified the issue and held that Civ. Code, § § 51.7 and 52.1 were not part of the Unruh act. Employees can sue their employers for threats of violence or intimidation on the basis of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or position in a labor dispute, or for exercising any constitutional right.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

  • Corporate Officers’ Liability for Unpaid Wages

    CAN THE LABOR COMMISSIONER HOLD THE CEO OF A CORPORATION PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR UNPAID WAGES?
    In Jones v. Gregory a California Appellate Court confirmed that a Corporate CEO could not be held personally liable for corporate employees’ unpaid wages. The Labor Commissioner attempted to distinguish itself from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reynolds v. Bement (2005) 36 Cal.4th 1075 by arguing that while an individual employee cannot sue the CEO as an “employer,” the Labor Commissioner can. The Fourth Appellate District rejected this argument. The court pointed out that the Labor Commissioner was not trying to “pierce the corporate veil,” or that the CEO was “doing business as” the employer, implying that corporate officers could be held liable for wage violations if the plaintiff can pierce the corporate veil.

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
     
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
     

    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog.

    Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.