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What Break Periods Am I Entitled To?

By Eugene Lee | May 20, 2017

Under California law (which is much more generous to employees than federal law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, and 10 minutes breaks for every 4 hours you work. There are other requirements…

California Supremes Limit Arbitration Waivers

By Eugene Lee | April 6, 2017

The key excerpt from this latest ruling from the California Supreme Court, McGill v Citybank, says it all: In previous decisions, this court has said that the statutory remedies available for a violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA; Civ. Code, § 1750 et seq.), the unfair competition law (UCL; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200…

My Boss 1099s Me, Am I Really an Independent Contractor?

By Eugene Lee | January 16, 2017

If your boss gives you a 1099 tax form each year, does that mean you are an independent contractor? What if you signed an independent contractor agreement? What if you submit invoices to your boss to be paid? The answer may surprise you.

Can My Boss Fire Me at Any Time for Any Reason? What is “at will”?

By Eugene Lee | January 21, 2013

“At-Will”. California is an “at-will” employment state. What does this mean? In most cases, it means that your boss can fire you at any time for almost any reason or no reason at all. She can fire you because she

What Happens to Huge Verdicts AFTER the Headlines

By Eugene Lee | January 19, 2013

Multi-million dollar verdicts routinely headline the news. But what few seem to know is what happens to those verdicts long after the jury and the public have moved on. More often than not, those verdicts get cut down to size or get lost in a perfect storm of appeals. In Stevens v. Vons Companies, a…

Largest Sexual Harassment Verdict in History – $168 Million

By Eugene Lee | January 6, 2013

A Sacramento hospital has the dubious distinction of being hit with what may be the largest sexual harassment verdict in history. On August 7, 2008, Mercy General Hospital terminated Ani Chopourian, a 45-year-old former cardiac surgery physician assistant who was educated at UCLA and Yale, allegedly for failing to show up for an on-call shift…

Need Your Faith in Humanity Reaffirmed?

By Eugene Lee | December 24, 2012

Sometimes I go for days without opening a newspaper. It gets downright depressing reading about all the school shootings, political gridlock and homicides. But every now and then, I come across something that actually reaffirms my faith in humanity. Take a look at “26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year” and be…

Called as a Witness? Get Your Witness Fees

By Eugene Lee | December 18, 2012

Have you ever been called to testify as a witness at a deposition (a “deposition” is a fancy way of saying a lawyer-conducted witness interview conducted under oath that is recorded by a court reporter) or at a trial? If so, then you have the right to recover “ordinary witness fees”. According to California Government…

US Supreme Court Says Class Actions Can Be Banned

By Eugene Lee | April 27, 2011

Have you ever sat down and read the “fine print”? That long, boring document with tiny print that falls out of the box of whatever you just bought? Me neither. But maybe we all should from now on. In AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion et ux., AT&T had charged consumers $30.22 for phones that they…

Psychological Warfare in Lawsuits

By Eugene Lee | April 24, 2011

They say war is hell. Well, so is litigation. Things can get downright nasty in the legal trenches. Some lawyers even cross ethical lines and risk disbarment in order to win. In a recent patent infringement lawsuit between warring technology giants Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Corp., federal magistrate judge Barbara Major found that Qualcomm had…