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Author Archive
Tod C. Gurney
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What to Do When an Employee Sues You

It can be unsettling and a little hurtful when, despite the fact that you treat your employees really well, one of them brings a lawsuit against you. Having a lawsuit brought against you can compromise the integrity of your business. While it can be difficult to remain calm in the face of an employee lawsuit, Read More

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Use of Past Salary Justification for Pay Disparity Says California Court

California’s Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling in Rizo v. Yovino that held that an employer violated the Equal Pay Act because of its bright-line policy rule of paying new employees 5% more than their prior salaries. The district court agreed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), finding that basing compensation on an Read More

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Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Culture Matters  

Mergers and acquisitions as a growth strategy has become popular once again. Like any business deal, the long-term success takes hard work and a strategic approach to creating synergy between companies. It is not uncommon that employees of an acquired company fear losing their jobs, complain about being in the dark, and feel demoralized regarding Read More

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Wells Fargo California Whistleblower

An Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former manager at a Los Angeles-area Wells Fargo has ended with an order by the Department of Justice (DOJ) requiring the bank to rehire the former employee, clear his personnel file, and pay $5.4 million in back pay and legal fees. According to Read More

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Corporate Governance: Director and Officer Personal Liability

A career as an officer, director, or shareholder of a corporation brings great opportunity to be a lauded visionary, strategic thinker, and the leader of a profitable venture, with accompanying compensation. That being said, this position comes with great responsibility and the risk of personal liability is real even when proper liability insurance is in Read More

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Informed Employers Can Help Avoid FMLA/CFRA Lawsuits

California-based employers who employ 50 or more workers face regulations beyond the federal employment laws through the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), which expands employees’ rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The most common, Walmart, with stores in every state in the nation, is allegedly having issues adhering to the federal law and Read More

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Application of the “Commercial Common Sense Test” in Contract Disputes

When it comes to commercial contract disputes, there is a lot that a judge will consider before making any determinations. One factor a judge will consider is whether or not the terms of the contract are clear and unambiguous. While this might seem obvious, many contracts contain provisions that read in such a way as Read More

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Layoff or Reduction-in-Forces: What Does Each Mean for You?

Layoff, reduction-in-forces (RIF), downsizing: Employers use these terms all the time to let employees go, but no matter how they phrase it, the bottom line is that you are out of a job. However, while the end result of each of these actions is always the same, what terminology your employer uses to let you Read More

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Understanding Employment at Will in California

All employers throughout California operate under the presumption that employees are employed “at will,” meaning that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment at any time and without reason or prior notice. While that is true, employers should still terminate employment based on “a fair and honest cause or reason, regulated by Read More

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Are Employers Entitled to Monitor an Employee’s Company Cell-Phone?

In City of Ontario v. Quon, the Supreme Court ruled that employers have the right to read employees’ text messages – including personal ones – if they believe that the workplace rules are being violated. Though this ruling was handed down over six years ago, it is still a point of contention: Is it legal Read More

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