When Words Alone Constitute Severe and Pervasive Harassment

The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” may apply in Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment cases, but it doesn’t work in FEHA harassment claims. In Augustine Caldera v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Fourth Appellate District recently issued a published opinion finding…

Using the Workers’ Compensation Exclusive Remedy to Preclude Litigation

When an injury arises “out of and in the course of employment,” whether by an employer or a co-worker, typically the injured person has to pursue any remedies exclusively through the workers’ compensation system.  (Labor Code § 3602.)  This also applies to prisoners who are working for pay, even if it is a job that…

No Take Backs: What Happens When an Employee Rescinds a Resignation?

By Mitchell Wrosch Ruth Featherstone, an at-will employee with Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG), took an approved medical leave to treat a sinus condition. Seven days after she returned to work, Featherstone called her supervisor and resigned. After the conversation, the supervisor e-mailed Featherstone to confirm her resignation in writing and the separation began…

Atkins v. City of Los Angeles

By Mitch Wrosch Plaintiffs were six recruit police officers hired by the City of Los Angeles between 2008 and 2009. Each of them entered the Academy shortly after their hire. Upon completion of the Academy’s six-month training course, the recruits would have started a 12-month field probationary period as police officers. But all six plaintiffs…