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This post was authored by Joshua A. Goodman. In October 2017, we reported  that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Janus v. AFSCME, a case out of Illinois challenging the constitutionality of mandatory agency shop fees for public employees.  Illinois, like California, is one of several states where agency shop arrangements are authorized in the public sector. An agency shop requires that, as a condition of employment, an employee within the defined bargaining…
NuScience Corporation is a California corporation that researches, develops and distributes health and beauty products, including nutritional supplements. In 2009, NuScience obtained by default a permanent injunction in a California federal court against Robert and Michael Henkel, the nephew of a woman from whom NuScience purchased the formula for a nutritional supplement, prohibiting them from selling or marketing NuScience’s trade secrets. Before the federal court injunction was entered, NuScience terminated the employment of David McKinney,…
NuScience Corporation is a California corporation that researches, develops and distributes health and beauty products, including nutritional supplements. In 2009, NuScience obtained by default a permanent injunction in a California federal court against Robert and Michael Henkel, the nephew of a woman from whom NuScience purchased the formula for a nutritional supplement, prohibiting them from selling or marketing NuScience’s trade secrets.  Before the federal court injunction was entered, NuScience terminated the employment of David McKinney,…
High-stakes trade secret cases are typically aggressively prosecuted. But plaintiffs (and their attorneys) who prosecute these claims face substantial risks if the evidence does not support the contention that a trade secret has been misappropriated. Even a plaintiff who may have initiated a misappropriation action in good faith risks attorneys’ fees and malicious prosecution liability by continuing to prosecute the matter after it learns that the case is not substantiated. Section 4 of the Uniform…
Latham & Watkins isn’t off the hook yet. On April 17, 2012 and September 3, 2014, we blogged about a malicious prosecution claim brought against Latham & Watkins in the Los Angeles Superior Court.  The suit alleged the Plaintiffs, William Parrish and Timothy Fitzgibbons, were former officers and shareholders of Indigo Systems Corporation, which was purchased by FLIR Systems, Inc. in 2004.  From 2004 to 2006 the Plaintiffs worked for FLIR, leaving in 2006 to…
On October 9, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 331, the Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency Act (CRONEY bill), into law.  The CRONEY bill, effective January 1, 2016, applies to cities, counties, and special districts that have adopted a “Civic Openness In Negotiations” (COIN) or a similar type of ordinance. In recent years, some agencies adopted COIN ordinances to increase transparency in the collective bargaining process.  COIN ordinances typically include some or all…
Both the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) and PERB regulations recognize the right of an employee organization to request factfinding following a declaration of impasse.  That right, however, is not absolute: Government Code section 3505.4(a) and PERB regulation 32802(a)(1) mandate that such a request be made “not sooner than 30 days, but not more than 45 days, following the appointment or selection of a mediator.”  In Lassen County In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority (2015), PERB held that…
California Business & Professions Code § 16600 contains a strong public policy against non-competition agreements.  To address this prohibition, some employers have included choice of forum provisions in their employment contracts to give them the option of initiating an action in a more non-compete friendly jurisdiction and obtain leverage in the litigation.  Some federal district courts have enforced those forum selection clauses.  Marcelo v. Ivy Ventures, LLC, No. C 10-04609, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134333 (N.D.…
Last week, in Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District, upheld the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for an employer where it determined that an employee’s inability to work for a particular supervisor, because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance, is not a disability recognized under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In Sutter Medical…
In another decision expansively interpreting California Business & Professions Code § 16600 and which could have a significant effect on employment litigation settlements, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s enforcement of a settlement agreement and remanded the case to the district court to determine whether a no employment provision in the agreement is a “restraint of substantial character” to the Plaintiff’s medical practice.  Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group; Med