Articles by Richard Levine
AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion: Trouble for Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses in California?
Does Concepcion mean the end of California's Armendariz protections for employee pre-dispute arbitration clauses? There's reason to worry that after this Supreme Court decision, “justice” in the employment dispute context may be “just us employers.”
Forum Selection Clauses in Employment Agreements
Make assumptions about forum selection at your own risk! An employment agreement that requires out-of-state dispute resolution may make the cost of enforcing your legal rights prohibitive.
Schachter v. CitiGroup: The Other Side of the Supreme Court’s Decision
In Schachter the California Supreme Court expressly holds, for the first time, that restricted stock and other forms of deferred equity compensation are "wages" for purposes of the California Labor Code. This means that employees can expect to be protected as to both attorneys' fees and arbitration fees in employment law disputes based on equity compensation.
Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc. : Is There a Right To Workplace Privacy in California?
As Hernandez makes clear, employees shouldn't count on having a right to privacy in the workplace. Rick Levine passes on some lessons from the evolving California law.
Yours, Mine and Ours: Who Does The Company’s Lawyer Represent?
Thoughts on Avoidable Conflicts in Light of the Pendergast-Holt Case. The very real dangers raised by dual representation (both to executives who regard company counsel as personal counsel and to those counsel themselves) rarely make headlines, as they have in the recent case of Laura Pendergast-Holt, former CIO of Stanford Financial. Rick Levine reviews the much-too-common circumstance where the problem is not jail time, but rather discovering --belatedly-- that “your” lawyer actually represents your adversary.
Post-Employment Non-Competes Unenforceable in California
Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP Finally Decided. The California Supreme Court finally lays down the law: don't even think about imposing a post-employment noncompete in California.
Arbitration Gets Even Worse for California Employees
Cable Connection, Inc. v. DirectTV, Inc. Cable Connection will have impact on all arbitration in California. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the Court gave any consideration to the real world effect on real world weaker parties who must either sign the arbitration “agreements” or forego employment or services. The wonderful world of compulsory arbitration (privatized justice) just got even more wonderful.
It All Comes Down to the Evidence: More on Reid v. Google
Both Google and Mr. Reid now face what is certain to be a very expensive - and lengthy - battle over an arcane evidentiary issue that they did not create. Rick Levine explains how we got here.
Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber: Supreme Court Discriminates Against Pay Discrimination
In the Ledbetter case, a sharply divided court held that the statute of limitations on a pay discrimination claim may run even before the employee knows about the violation. Justice Ginsburg characterized the majority's interpretation of Title VII as "cramped" and "parsimonious." Rick Levine tells you why he agrees.
The Counseled Employee: Heading Off Employment Issues Before They Become Legal Problems
When does it make sense for an employee to retain counsel? We look at two case studies from our practice.
Outsourcing the Judicial System After Grafton
You Didn't Really Need That Constitutional Right, Did You? A recent California Supreme Court case, Grafton v. Superior Court, raises serious questions about the purposes of alternative dispute resolution. How did we get to a point where arbitration clauses are enforceable when jury waivers are not? Rick Levine considers the constitutional issues at stake.
Should Your Employment Agreement Include An Arbitration Clause?
When is an arbitration clause the best strategy for your agreement? There's no absolute right answer. It all depends on who you are, what rights are at stake, and how much bargaining power you have in the negotiation.
Fair Warning for Employers: Ignore Wage and Hour Law at Your Peril
In December, both Wal-Mart and FedEx were hit by multimillion dollar judgments for California wage and hour violations. Such huge awards send a clear message to employers: mind those wage and hour laws or suffer the consequences! Here are some thoughts to help you analyze your company's situation.