An employer targeted by a union attempting to organize its employees will likely be charged with committing an unfair labor practice (ULP) and investigated by the NLRB. Corporate campaigns, the use of “salts,” and other surreptitious tactics are used by labor unions to obtain recognition. At Rediger McHugh LLP, we have successfully assisted employers with their counter-campaigns to union organizing, and represented employers at NLRB elections, in trials before the NLRB, and in petitions for review of NLRB decisions in the federal courts of appeal. We have negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements with various labor unions throughout the United States, including multi-employer CBAs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, and have represented employers before labor arbitrators, and in federal court in suits brought by union-affiliated Taft-Hartley trust funds.
Few “employment law” attorneys have a working knowledge of traditional labor law, and the unique substantive and procedural rules that apply in this area of the law, but we do, as shown by our published decisions:
At Rediger McHugh LLP, we have successfully represented employers in actions involving employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wrongful termination, wage claims, unfair competition, trade secrets, and workplace violence injunctions before administrative agencies, judicial arbitrators, and in federal and state courts, including in jury trials. We have litigated numerous employment-related cases before administrative agencies, such as the EEOC, DFEH, WCAB, OSHA, the CUIAB and the California State Labor Commissioner, and in federal and state courts across the country, several of which have resulted in precedent setting decisions favorable to employers. We have been successful in exposing frivolous lawsuits through aggressive discovery at the outset of the litigation, and through the use of dispositive motions before trial. We have also been successful in representing our clients in jury trials in federal and state courts, as shown by our published and representative decisions below:
We have tried class action lawsuits, defeated motions for class certification, obtained dismissals of class action complaints, successfully moved to decertify class actions, and settled class action cases for nuisance value, in California State and federal courts.
Alldata Corporation v. NLRB (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001) 245 F.3d 803. Petition for review of NLRB decision finding that employer had committed unfair labor practice by discharging employee who had engaged in concerted activities granted, and NLRB’s petition for enforcement denied.
Hansen Brothers Enterprises and Teamsters Local Union No. 150 (1993) 313 NLRB 599. Supplemental Board proceeding involving issues of expenses deductible from interim earnings and computation of fringe benefit contributions for discriminates.
American Automatic Fire Protection Co. (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 483) (1991) 302 NLRB 1014. The continuing violation theory cannot be applied to a total contract repudiation so a construction industry employer’s repudiation of pre-hire labor agreement did not violate the Act.
California Dental Care, Inc. and Dentists, Physicians and Related Professional Unions, AFL CIO (1986) 281 NLRB 578. Supplemental Board proceeding involving issues of the computation of backpay and discriminatees’ duty to mitigate damages.
Handy Andy Associates (Teamsters, Local No. 150) (1985) 277 NLRB 208. Complaint alleging employer committed unfair labor practices by subcontracting its delivery operations dismissed.
Alldata Corporation v. NLRB (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001) 245 F.3d 803. Petition for review of NLRB decision finding that employer had committed unfair labor practice by discharging employee who had engaged in concerted activities by complaining about a reduction in commissions for salespeople granted, and NLRB’s petition for enforcement denied.
Universal Protection Service and SEIU, Local 24/7 (2014) 133 LA 1269. Grievance denied where contractor used its “best efforts” to secure employment for a security officer who had been removed from post due to “client request.”
Universal Protection Service and SEIU, Local 24/7 (2014) 133 LA 1707. Grievance denied where CBA provided that the failure to file a grievance in a timely manner resulted in the grievance being deemed “withdrawn with prejudice.”
A-1 Door and Building Solutions (Millmen, Local 1618) (2007) 123 LA 1286. Grievance denied where CBA permitted employer to lay off employee “out of seniority” because grievant’s skills and abilities where less than those of less senior employees.
American Lithographers (GCIU, DC 2) (2005) 121 LA 993. Grievance denied where CBA contained a “relative ability” seniority clause, permitting employer to assess the “ability and dependability” of employees being considered for a layoff.
Paratransit, Inc. (ATU, Local 256) (2002) 116 LA 1448. Grievance protesting employer’s failure to pay “minimum guarantee” to grievant who could only work limited hours due to medical restriction denied.
Paratransit, Inc. (SEIU, Local 22) (1993) 100 LA 981 . Grievance denied where employee who was fired for insubordination threatened employer when informed of discharge.
International Allied Printing Trades Association v. American Lithographers (Northern District of California, 2006) 233 FRD 554. Plaintiffs’ motion seeking relief from dismissal of lawsuit with prejudice denied.
Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, Local 2 v. Vista Inn Management Co. (Northern District of California, 2005) 393 F.Supp.2d 972. Motions to dismiss granted in part in suit brought by union for declaratory and injunctive relief to enforce CBA and successorship addendum.
Board of Trustees of the Mill Cabinet Pension Trust Fund for Northern California v. Valley Cabinet & Manufacturing, Co. (9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1989) 877 F.2d 769. Attempt by pension trust fund to pierce corporate veil and impose “alter ego” liability on employer rejected.
Trustees of the National Sprinkler Industry Pension Fund v. American Automatic Fire Protection Co. (District of Maryland, 1988) 680 F.Supp. 731. First reported federal court decision upholding employer’s repudiation of a pre-hire labor agreement pursuant to the NLRB’s Deklewa decision.
Northwest Administrators, Inc. v. B.V. & B.R., Inc. (9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1987) 813 F.2d 223. Whether employer and union intended seasonal employees to be covered by pension plan at time of execution of CBA was ambiguous, precluding summary judgment.
Paratransit, Inc. v. Superior Court (Medeiros) (2014) 59 Cal.4th 551. Employee’s refusal to sign receipt of disciplinary memorandum constitutes insubordination for which he can be fired, but that single act of disobedience did not disqualify him from unemployment benefits.
Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1244. Neither employee nor employer may recover attorney’s fees as prevailing party in an action alleging meal and rest period claims.
Nacht & Lewis Architects, Inc. v. Superior Court (1996) 47 Cal.App.4th 214. Attorney work product objection prevents discovery into attorney’s interview notes and strategies for witness selection.
Boler v. Superior Court (1987) 201 Cal.App.3d 467. Individual defendant in sexual harassment lawsuit may raise privacy objection to overbroad deposition questions.
El Dorado Savings & Loan Association v. Superior Court (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 342. Employees have a right of privacy under the California Constitution to the contents of their personnel files and employer has standing to object to overly broad discovery request.
U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Placer ARC (Eastern District of California, 2015) 114 F.Supp.3d 1048. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment granted in part, dismissing plaintiff’s claim of unlawful retaliation under the ADA.
Williamson v. Paratransit, Inc. (Hawaii District Court) 2015 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4710. District court granted employer’s motion for terminating sanctions and dismissal of former employer’s lawsuit alleging discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
Caraballo-Padilla v. Universal Protection Service (San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CGC-09491073) 2011 Cal.Super.LEXIS 9166. Summary judgment granted in favor of employer in retaliation case and employer was awarded its costs.
Mento v. Universal Protection Service (San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CGC-080481218) 2009 WL 6547479. Employee’s summary judgment motion denied in case for sex harassment and discrimination, failure to investigate and prevent harassment, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel. Later the court granted Defendants’ summary judgment motion, dismissing employee’s entire case against company and individual supervisors.
Saphore, et al. v. Immoos Fire Protection Systems Co, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 07AS00032) 2009 WL 2569476. Plaintiffs’ class action complaint for various wage violations dismissed, and employer awarded its attorney fees and costs, but award of attorney’s fees reversed on appeal.
Zamora v. Sacramento Rendering Co. (Eastern District of California, Case No. Civ. S-05-00789 DFL KJM) 2007 WL 137239. Partial summary judgment granted dismissing several claims for sexual harassment, assault, battery, and wrongful discharge, alleged against several defendants.
Cruickshank v. PDQ Automatic Transmissions Parts, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 04AS02097) 2007 WL 2188400. Summary adjudication granted in favor of employer, eliminating causes of action for age discrimination, retaliation, unpaid overtime, breach of contract, detrimental reliance and prayer for attorney’s fees.
Buchko v. California Department of Education, et al. (Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 03AS00795, 2004). Summary judgment granted in favor of employer and three individual supervisors in suit alleging hostile work environment, same-sex harassment, and retaliation.
Taormina v. Carando Machine Works (San Joaquin County Superior Court, Case No. CV 018607, 2003). Summary adjudication granted on Plaintiff’s federal and state wage and hour claims and intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.
Fisher v. PianoDisc, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 00AS02011, 2001). Summary adjudication granted on Plaintiff’s disability, sexual orientation discrimination, CFRA/denial of family leave, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages claims.
Taylor v. Scottpolar Corporation (Arizona District Court, 1998) 995 F.Supp. 1072. Partial summary judgment granted dismissing claims against individual defendants for retaliatory discharge in violation of Title VII and Arizona law, and dismissing prayer for punitive damages.
Baker v. Valley Slurry Seal Co. (2015). Arbitrator rejected employee’s claims for wrongful termination and discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on age, race/national origin, and sex. Thereafter, Sacramento Superior Court denied employee’s motion to vacate the arbitration award, and awarded employer over $11,000 in sanctions against employee’s attorneys under CCP 128.7.
Meine v. DataMAX (2007). Employee disqualified from severance pay where he had repudiated his employment contract by his actions and threats, and employer awarded its attorneys’ fees.
Gawlik, et al. v. Diogenes Youth Services, Inc., 2002 LA Supp. 109807. Summary judgment granted in favor of employer for one plaintiff who claimed she was wrongfully terminated for discrepancies in her time card, and following a hearing on the merits, arbitrator ruled second plaintiff not forced to resign after receiving a poor performance review.
Atkinson v. Scottpolar Co. (1995). Discharged employee’s claims for breach of employment contract rejected, and employer’s counterclaim for reimbursement of monies it paid for letters of credit based on the plaintiff’s post-termination conduct granted.
Savoca, et al. v. El Dorado Savings & Loan Association, 1988 WL 1097040. Claims by two plaintiffs alleging sex and age discrimination, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, emotional distress and constructive discharge, rejected.
Bartee v. Independence By The Book, Inc. (Los Angeles, Labor Commissioner Case No. 05-67060 LP, 2016). The California Labor Commissioner dismissed an employee’s claims for unpaid overtime, severance and vacation pay.
U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Placer ARC (Eastern District of California) 2014 WL 5419879. EEOC’s motions to take depositions, compel answers to requests for admissions, and to bring additional discovery disputes to a magistrate judge for resolution denied.
Maldonado v. Paratransit, Inc. (CUIAB Sac, Case No. AO-217589, 2010). The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board reversed the decision of an Administrative Law Judge and found that an employee’s conduct in using racial slur constituted misconduct connected with his most recent work, disqualifying him from receiving unemployment benefits.
Melvin v. Pitamber Enterprises (WCAB Sac, Case No. 238870, 1996). Workers Compensation Judge rejects Applicant’s petition for increased benefits alleging discrimination under Labor Code section 132a and denies his request for attorney’s fees under Labor Code section 5710.
DFEH v. Lucky Cafe, 1991 CAFEHC LEXIS 7. California Fair Employment and Housing Commission dismissed allegations in Accusation issued by DFEH that four waitresses were subjected to unlawful sexual harassment by the owner of a restaurant.
DFEH v. Valley Core Co., 1987 CAFEHC LEXIS 5. California Fair Employment and Housing Commission reduced amount of back pay awarded by ALJ to complainant who alleged sex discrimination in Accusation issued by DFEH; award of damages for emotional distress struck on petition for writ of mandate in superior court; case then settled for nuisance value at court of appeal before decision.
U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Placer ARC (Eastern District of California) 2015 WL 9653976. Jury returns unanimous verdict for the defendant rejecting the EEOC’s claims of failure to accommodate and constructive discharge brought under the ADA.
Grenfell v. Blue Printing Unlimited (Sacramento County Superior Court) 2009 WL 2985613 . Employer’s motion for nonsuit granted as to claim for termination in violation of public policy and jury verdict for it on claim of gender discrimination/sexual harassment in violation of FEHA.
Kirk, et al. v. Marquee Fire Protection (Sacramento County Superior Court) 2008 WL 4108111. Jury rejects the three plaintiffs’ claims for unfair competition, failure to pay wages and overtime, failure to provide accurate wage statements, missed rest breaks and meal periods, in lawsuit originally certified as a class action, but decertified prior to trial.
Cruickshank v. PDQ Automatic Transmissions Parts, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court) 2007 WL 2428822. Jury rejects plaintiff’s claim that she was wrongfully discharged in violation of public policy for complaining about safety and wage and hour issues and in post-trial proceedings, employer awarded $24,000.00 in costs from the plaintiff.
Torres v. Dixon Family Services (Solano County Superior Court) 2002 WL 725585. Motion for nonsuit granted dismissing lawsuit alleging retaliation under FEHA, defamation and wrongful discharge for alleged whistle blowing in violation of Labor Code section 1102.5.
Fister, et al. v. Regis Corp. (Los Angeles County Superior Court) 1998 WL 866033. Nominal verdict for two plaintiffs who alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy where their employer required them to pay for a missing bank deposit.
Hall v. Pacific Access Computers (Sacramento County Superior Court) 1996 WL 588565. Jury verdict for employer on wrongful termination, violation of public policy, and defamation allegations.
Frey v. Alldata Corporation (Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1995) 895 F.Supp. 221. Jury, and then judge in post-trial motion proceeding, rejected claim brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.
Reed v. Raley’s, Inc. et. al (Sacramento County Superior Court) 1992 WL 12146125. Motions for nonsuit granted as to all defendants where the plaintiff alleged wrongful demotion, breach of implied-in-fact contract, and interference with contractual relations.
Everett v. Christensen Boler & Co. (Solano County Superior Court) 1988 WL 1096991. Jury rejects plaintiff’s allegations of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, negligent infliction of emotional distress and race discrimination.
Barajas v. Bank (El Dorado County Superior Court, 2017). After resisting the plaintiff’s attempts to obtain information pertaining to putative class members, as well as compelling her to comply with the employer’s discovery requests and the court-ordered sanctions against her, the plaintiff dismissed her class action lawsuit seeking alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime, off-the-clock work, reimbursement of expenses, inaccurate wage statements, and missed meal periods.
Kane v. Valley Slurry Seal Company (Yolo County Superior Court, 2013). Six-week trial involving class action lawsuit brought on behalf of slurry workers alleging failure to pay proper prevailing wages, missed meal periods, missed rest breaks, PAGA penalties, waiting time penalties, unfair competition, inaccurate wage statements and related claims. All claims dismissed except for unfair competition which is on appeal.
Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1244. The California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that neither employees nor employers may recover attorney’s fees as a “prevailing party” in actions for missed meal or rest periods. After we defeated the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, the sprinkler fitter employees dismissed their entire lawsuit.
Warzee v. George Reed Inc. (Tuolumne County Superior Court, 2012). After defeating the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, we obtained dismissal of the entire action brought on behalf of truck drivers alleging they had not been provided with meal and rest periods under California law by arguing that their lawsuit was preempted by the federal transportation law.
Kirk v. Marquee Fire Protection (Sacramento County Superior Court, 2008 WL 41081110). After the court certified a class of sprinkler fitters on issues of unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, banking of hours, inaccurate wage statements, and missed meal periods, we were successful in decertifying the class action. We then tried the case as to the individual plaintiffs and obtained a jury verdict in favor of our client.
Sprinkler Fitters Local Union 669 v. Pro-Tech Fire Protection Systems, Corp. (Eastern District of California, 2009). We settled for nuisance value a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of sprinkler fitters alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, unfair competition, unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, inaccurate wage statements, missed rest breaks and insufficiently funded contracts.
Disclaimer: Each case is different and prior results are no guarantee of future success.