Publications Archives

Expectation of Privacy in Employee Offices: Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc.

On September 2006, the California Second District Appellate Court reversed and remanded a lower court grant of summary judgment in an action brought by employee whose employer installed video camera surveillance equipment unannounced in her office to try to catch employees accessing prohibited pornography on company computers. Abigail Hernandez (plaintiff employee) claimed that the Hillsides Children's Center (employer) placed a video camera in the lockable office which plaintiff shared with another female employee and thus violated her right to privacy. The employer claimed that the camera equipment never actually recorded any footage of employees, and since the employees worked for a facility for abused and neglected children they had a diminished right to privacy. The trial court granted summary judgment for employer.

"Hostile Work Environment": Moakler v. County of Orange

Appellate Court addresses what constitutes a hostile work environment, specifically the requirement that the conduct be "continuous and pervasive."


Pamela Moakler, the Executive Director of the Office of Aging filed suit against her former employer, the County of Orange and Chris Norby, a county Supervisor for sexual harassment and retaliatory discharge. She alleged that during the court of her employment, she had three interactions with Norby over a five week period whereby he made derogatory and sexual comments to her.

The New FMLA Regulations

On November 17, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued the final regulations of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which went into effect on January 16, 2009. The new regulations clarify and make numerous changes to the original regulations founded in 1995 and add 2 new regulations that give families of military service members new rights to unpaid leave. Employers need to evaluate the new legal requirement, consult their legal department or outside counsel to ensure compliance with California Family Rights Act and update their policies and procedures, notices and forms accordingly.

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