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Under California’s Broad Definition of “Wages,” Executive-Level Employees May Be Able to Pursue Labor Code Wage Claims to Recover Unpaid Stock Grants, Bonuses, and Other Forms of Compensation

Posted August 25th, 2021 by in Wages and Overtime Law.

It should be well understood that an employee, including an executive, deprived of compensation promised by the employer and earned by the employee has a potential cause of action for breach of contract. But did you know that such an employee may also have a wage payment claim under applicable labor laws, particularly the California […]

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In Defense of Class Actions: A Response to Gibson Dunn’s Commentary on the Ten-Year Anniversary of Dukes

Posted August 17th, 2021 by in Class Actions and Collective Actions.

In recent companion pieces marking the 10-year anniversary of Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes,[1] counsel for Wal-Mart celebrated the judicial assault on class actions and urged that it continue,[2] while counsel for the plaintiffs rightly observed that discrimination class actions are not dead yet.[3] As class action practitioners who have represented employees, consumers, tenants, and others, […]

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Facebook v. Duguid and the Textualism Gap

Posted April 5th, 2021 by in Commentary.

As Justice Kagan has famously declared: “We are all textualists now.” But textualism, while purporting to be the ultimate in objectivity and impartiality, is actually anything but evenhanded. In the hands of its fiercest proponents—namely those on the conservative side of the judicial spectrum—it means different things in different cases and for different people and […]

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Is Caste Discrimination Illegal in the United States?

Posted October 14th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

A ground-breaking lawsuit against Cisco tests this novel question. On June 30, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of a Dalit Indian (“untouchable” caste) engineer who alleges that he was discriminated against by high-caste Indian supervisors and coworkers.[1] The suit alleges that Cisco management […]

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LGBTQ Rights in the Balance: Equality Act Still Needed in the Wake of Bostock

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia has rightly been heralded as a true milestone for LGBTQ rights, including by my colleague Alok Nadig, who describes the decision here. Bostock brings LGBT Americans into the fold of Title VII’s protections against discrimination “because of sex” and has important ramifications with regard to other federal laws adopting similarly-worded […]

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Time for Long Overdue Reparations—Support H.R. 40

Posted June 17th, 2020 by in Race Discrimination.

In this cultural moment, the conversation surrounding reparations for American’s cardinal sin of slavery, segregation, and racial oppression will likely gain momentum. It is about time for this issue to become of part of mainstream social and political discourse and for significant progress to be made. The case for reparations has been laid out here, […]

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Can I Be Fired for Participating in Peaceful Protests?

Posted June 11th, 2020 by in Employment Law.

At Sanford Heisler Sharp, we are committed to the bedrock principle of equal justice under law.  We support and stand behind peaceful protests to bring about long-needed societal reform, take on systemic racism, and make our world a better place for everyone. In the familiar words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to […]

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Supreme Court Endorses Mixed-Motive Age Discrimination Claims for Federal Sector Employees

Posted April 6th, 2020 by in Age Discrimination.

In cases against private employers under the Age Discrimination of Employment Act (ADEA), employees must establish traditional “but for” causation. See Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., 557 U.S. 167 (2009). This basically means that the termination or other adverse action at issue would not have happened without the unlawful discriminatory motive. This standard is grounded in […]

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Can I be Fired for Refusing to Report to Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Posted March 27th, 2020 by in Employment Law.

Click here to read the Chinese version of this post We are largely in uncharted territory, but the answer may depend on factors such as the severity of the crisis in your location, what kinds of orders and directives (e.g. a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order) are in effect where you live and work, the state […]

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Class Actions 101: the Xs and Os

Posted December 20th, 2018 by in Class Actions and Collective Actions.

You can learn a lot from a sports blog.  Including, oddly enough, the purposes of class action lawsuits. Last month, while browsing the latest news on one of my favorite sports teams, I unexpectedly came across a dialogue on the NHL concussions lawsuit and settlement. See NHL Players Concussion Injury Litig., No. 14-md-2551 (D. Minn.), […]

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42 U.S.C. § 1981: A Recipe for Race Relations and Reconciliation in the Wake of Charlottesville?

Posted February 14th, 2018 by in Race Discrimination.

Congress initially enacted the protections of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The act was passed between the ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In relevant part, the current act provides: (a) Statement of equal […]

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Private Insurance Whistleblower Law: The California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act

Posted October 2nd, 2017 by in Whistleblower Law.

Most, if not all, states have insurance fraud prevention statutes designed to punish those who defraud private insurers. California, however, has enacted a law that takes insurance fraud prevention a step further. The California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) contains qui tam provisions that allow individuals or entities, known as relators: i) to blow the […]

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Are Law Partners Covered by Employment and Anti-Discrimination Laws?

Posted August 16th, 2017 by in Employment Discrimination.

The short answer is quite possibly. In many cases, law partners may be regarded as “employees” under Title VII, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other laws – and therefore eligible to sue their firms for employment discrimination, retaliation, and similar unlawful treatment. The issue of whether a […]

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