Late last year, a California appellate court reaffirmed longstanding principles that have important lessons for employers hoping to prevent their employees from taking trade secrets with them if they leave to work for a competitor.
Companies looking to waive class action rights of employees may instead be waving goodbye to provisions in their employment contracts. Two recent decisions in California—one administrative and one in the 9th Circuit—recently found that class action waivers in employment contracts were unenforceable as a matter of law and public policy, resulting in the removal of entire or partial contractual provisions. A similar issue will soon be heard by the Supreme Court.
The California Court of Appeal recently confirmed, in case there was any doubt, that plaintiffs must allege (and ultimately prove) actual reliance to adequately state a fraudulent prong Unfair Competition Law claim (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200). In Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC, the plaintiff brought a variety of claims related to her alleged wrongful termination, both against her former employer, and the employer’s payroll services provider. The Court of Appeal determined, among other things, that plaintiff lacked standing to bring the fraudulent prong UCL claim against the payroll services provider.
Consistent filing and service procedures will become less of an oxymoron in California – especially for those legal practitioners who appear in the state’s appellate courts. E-filing is currently not mandatory in most cases in appellate courts, but soon will be uniformly required, except for pro-se litigants. The State’s trial courts, California Superior Courts, can choose to implement e-filing if they do not already require it. New standard e-filing and e-service rules will become effective January 1, 2017. Those resentful of mid-afternoon traffic rejoice. Messengers and couriers beware.