IN THIS ISSUE: EMPLOYMENT LAW: Breaking News: California Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employers in Regards to Class Action Waivers, But Not in Regards to PAGA Claims – EMPLOYMENT LAW: Privacy Rights and the Public Records Act – EMPLOYMENT LAW: No Duty to Reasonably Accommodate Employees for Medical Marijuana Use – CONSTRUCTION LAW: Design Professional Liability – NEVADA LAW: Defending Against Requests for Taking Depositions of Apex Witnesses
Breaking News: California Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Employers in Regards to Class Action Waivers, But Not In Regards to PAGA Claims
On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a long awaited opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014 WL 2808963). Long awaited is an understatement, as the underlying case was filed in 2006.
Competing interests of transparency in government and elected officials and government employees’ right to privacy has stirred up a debate throughout California. A recent California appellate court ruled that government officials and employees’ private communications sent on personal devices and not stored on public servers are not subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
The increased decriminalization of marijuana use raises questions of whether employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees who use it for medical reasons, and whether they can terminate the employee for failing a drug test.
The California Supreme Court has agreed to review a case greatly affecting construction defect litigation. All working contractors and subcontractors know how difficult it can be to force design professionals to be involved in construction litigation, even when their work is clearly at issue.
An “Apex Witness” is the person that sits at the highest level of a large organization, such as the Chairman of the Board, President of the Company, or Chief Executive Order. Most courts throughout the country recognize that deposition notices directed at an official at the apex of a company creates tremendous potential for abuse or harassment.
IN THIS ISSUE: EMPLOYMENT LAW: She Is An At-Will Employee – I Can Fire Her, Right? – EMPLOYMENT LAW: Beware: A Snazzy Job Title Does Not Automatically Make An Employee Exempt – NEVADA LAW: Evidence Preservation, Spoliation, and the Potential for Adverse Inferences
The Nevada Supreme Court has held that a litigant is under a duty to preserve evidence which it knows or reasonably should know is relevant to an action, even where an action has not been commenced and there is only a potential for litigation. Fire Insurance Exchange v. Zenith Radio, Corp., 103 Nev. 648 (1987).
Many unwary employers fall into the trap of giving an employee the title of “Manager” or “Supervisor” only to find out that in fact the employee was misclassified. One of the most common mistakes an employer can make is to assume that a job title alone makes an employee “exempt” versus being “non-exempt.”
This is a situation we see fairly often. The employer has an employee that it wants to terminate. The employer says, “I don’t have to have a reason. I can fire her any time, she’s an at-will employee!” What could possibly go wrong?