March 2014

Even the Smallest Victims Have Rights

The statistics on childhood victimization rates are staggering even before one considers the problem inherent in counting the victims—i.e., underreporting by the victims themselves. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, 1 in 12 children have experienced sexual victimization, including sexual assault or rape. In addition to physical injuries, the psychological injuries can be life-altering. Abused children may become prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other psychiatric disorders lasting well into adulthood.

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Arbitration Provisions in Employment Applications

California employers need to be careful when including mandatory and binding arbitration provisions and other similar provisions in their employment applications.

In a recent Ninth Circuit case – Schavarria v. Ralph’s Grocery Company (9th Cir. 2013) 733 F 3rd, the Court upheld the district court’s finding that Ralph’s arbitration clause in its employment application was procedurally unconscionable and substantively unconscionable.

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Overtime and Misclassification Class Actions

Here at Janssen Malloy LLP, we have handled overtime class actions on behalf of local workers, obtaining in excess of $1 million dollars for clients.  Currently, oral argument is being heard on a case that could have a tremendous impact on overtime and misclassification class actions that we are watching very closely.

The case is Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat. Assn., (2012) 275 P. 3d 1266 (granting cert.). One of the issues presented to the court is whether a statistical sample of class members may be used to prove class-wide liability in a wage and hour misclassification case.

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CA Court Narrows Cell Phone Prohibition Law

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District issued an opinion narrowly interpreting California Vehicle Code section 23123(a), which restricts drivers’ use of cell phones. Vehicle Code section 23123(a) prohibits drivers from “using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.” The case, People v. Spriggs, involved a man who was cited for using a popular mapping app on his iPhone while operating his car. Mr.

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