Employment

Sexual Harassment

Summary:  Plaintiff was a social worker employed by a local county.  She claimed that she was harassed by an independent contractor for the county and made a number of employment discrimination claims, including sex and ethnic origin discrimination.  After significant discovery, we filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims.

Result:  While the motion for summary judgment was pending, the case settled for a nominal sum.

Attorney:  Jamie L. Dupree

Employment

Discrimination and Wage Claims

Summary: A correctional officer, who is a member of a minority group, alleged that a Northern California county had discriminated against him on the basis of his race by failing to promote him on several occasions over a number of years. He further alleged that the county had retaliated against him for complaining of discrimination allegedly directed at him and others. He also asserted a wage claim, seeking pay for certain training activities in which he had engaged.  

Results: We successfully brought a detailed motion for summary judgment in U.S. District Court on this race discrimination, retaliation and Fair Labor Standards Act case, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorney:
Martin H. Dodd

Employment

Wage Claim

Summary: Our client, a lighting manufacturer, employed the plaintiff as a salesperson for a territory that spanned several Western States. He worked for our client for more than a dozen years and was highly compensated.  Ultimately, our client terminated his employment, and the plaintiff sued for wrongful termination and unpaid wages (expense reimbursement) under California law. The plaintiff’s wage claim exceeded $200,000. In addition, under California law, the plaintiff could recover his attorneys’ fees if he was successful on his wage claim.  

We brought a motion for summary judgment on behalf of our client on the plaintiff’s wage claim, arguing that Washington state law, not California law, governed. Under Washington state law, no expense reimbursement was due the plaintiff because of the parties’ agreement about those expenses.  

Result: The court ruled that Washington state law applied, effectively ending the plaintiff’s wage claim. The case settled on very favorable terms after the key summary judgment victory.

Attorney:
Jamie L. Dupree

Employment

Wage Claim

Summary: The plaintiff alleged claims for fraud, arising from benefits and commissions that he alleged were promised but not provided.  Although the plaintiff lived and worked primarily in Washington, he claimed the California Labor Code covered him. Upon an order from the arbitrator, our client, an international trading company, inspected the plaintiff’s hard drive and email account, and found information very material to winning the case. 

Result: The arbitrator ruled in favor of our client on severance, statutory wage, and application of the Labor Code regarding both the work primarily performed in Washington and the fraud claim. The arbitrator awarded the employee only $35K in commissions, which was less than 10 percent of the damages he had claimed. 

Attorney:
Daniel A. Croley

Employment

Non-Compete Agreement

Summary: Our client was an executive and organizational coach employed by a large out-of-state company.  Her employer required her to sign a non-compete agreement that would have prevented her from working for a competitor or opening her own business. Our client hired us when she wanted to open her own consulting company.  We helped her understand her rights and obligations under her agreement with her employer and what she could and could not do in opening her own business.  We also corresponded with her former employer about the problems with her non-compete agreement under California law. 

Result: Through our assistance, she was ultimately able to open her very successful consulting business.

Attorney:
Jamie L. Dupree

Employment

Wrongful Termination Claim

Summary: The plaintiff alleged claims for fraud, arising from his move to California to accept a new position. Our client, a software company, filed and prevailed on two strategic motions to compel, and then filed a motion for terminating sanctions for alleged spoliation of evidence.

Result:  The Santa Clara Superior Court granted our client a summary adjudication on all issues of liability raised in the plaintiff’s complaint, while the terminating sanctions motion was pending. 

Attorneys and Professionals:
Daniel A. Croley

Employment

Trade Secret and Employee Mobility Case

Summary: A former employee joined a competitor and solicited his former employer’s customers to do business with his new employer.  We helped obtain key evidence and presented it quickly to the court to protect our client’s valuable customer relationships.  The employee brought a counterclaim for wages.

Result: Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunction for a period of several years against the former employee and successfully defended employee’s claim for wages.  United States District Court, Northern District of CA, 2008.

Attorneys and Professionals:
Daniel A. Croley