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Interview With New Judge Leonard Marquez


Interview With New Judge Leonard Marquez

On February 27, 2018, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced the appointment of 25 California Superior Court Judges, including one in Contra Costa County: Leonard E. Marquez.  On April 5, 2018, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Jill Fannin administered the oath to Judge Leonard Marquez.  Immediately, our newest Judge began his assignment in Department 34 in the Pittsburg Courthouse. Judge Marquez is the second new judge in 2018.

Judge Marquez was an extremely active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and was Section Leader of the Litigation Section. In true CCCBA spirit, Judge Marquez was happy to share some of his background and advice for the May 2018 edition of my President’s Message in the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine: An Interview With Our Newest Judge, Hon. Leonard Marquez.

Interview with New Judge Virginia George


Interview with New Judge Virginia George

On December 22, 2017, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced the appointment of 33 California Superior Court Judges, including one in Contra Costa County: Virginia M. George.  Judge George was officially sworn in by Presiding Judge Jill Fannin on January 29, 2018, and she began her assignment in Department 30 in the Richmond Courthouse.  Judge George graciously took time to answer a few questions I asked of her for the “Women and the Law” themed Contra Costa Lawyer magazine.  For the full interview/article, click on this link:  Candid Interview With Our Newest Judge, Hon. Virginia George.

Virginia was a long-time volunteer with the Contra Costa County Bar Association, and before she was called upon by the Governor’s Office, she was set to be the Section Leader of the Estate Planning and Probate Section.  We know you will serve the citizens of Contra Costa County well in your new role.

 

Egg-Freezing: Will It Help Women at Work?


Egg-Freezing: Will It Help Women at Work?

Apple, Facebook, and other employers have often struggled to recruit and retain female employees in a male-dominated industry. Recently, these companies – as well as others including law and financial services firms – have been adding new employee benefits to attract high-quality, professional women to keep on their payroll.

One of the newest benefits offered is cryo-preservation, also known as egg-freezing. Some believe this new benefit is great for women who want to have a career and delay raising children, and for those women who have not yet found the right partner with whom to start a family. Others see this “benefit” as another way of forcing women to choose career over family, insinuating that women cannot have both a career and family simultaneously.

In my article titled “Egg-Freezing: Is it Truly an Employee Benefit,” co-author Claudia Castillo and I examine some of the social, economic, and legal issues surrounding this new employee benefit. We encourage you to read the article published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine and add your own comments to the conversation.

Is LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act?


Is LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

In my December 2014 post for Maximize Social Business, I explored some bad news for LinkedIn. First, in a new class action complaint filed in California (Sweet v. LinkedIn), LinkedIn is facing claims that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

The lawsuit involves LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” service, which is only available to premium account holders. The service identifies connections in the premium account holder’s network who share a common past employer with the job applicant.

So, essentially, it organizes, cross-references and provides information to premium account holders about those who might have some relevant information about the job applicant’s work at a prior employer.

The four named plaintiffs allege that they were denied jobs with prospective employers because those employers contacted other LinkedIn users identified by the “Reference Search” as having worked with them (and presumably, those identified LinkedIn users did not give positive feedback on the plaintiffs). To see more about this lawsuit, and my analysis of it, read my article titled: “Allegations of LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act“.

In my same post, I also analyze a $6 million settlement that LinkedIn entered into with the US Department of Labor regarding alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act due to the failure to pay employees all the time worked, including overtime, by those employees.

More Class Action Lawsuits: Employee Cell Phone Expense


More Class Action Lawsuits: Employee Cell Phone Expense

Many business owners believe that California is a very difficult place to conduct business and to have employees. That belief may soon gain more advocates as a result of a recent California court decision that employers must consider. The Court determined that employers must reimburse employee cell phone expense when employees use their personal phones/mobile devices for work related purposes. The Court focused on California Labor Code Section 2802, among others. The Court reasoned that employers should not benefit from a “windfall” by relying on employees to pay for their own cell phone plans while using such devices for the benefit of employers. This is true, the Court decided, even if the employee does not suffer any additional out of pocket expenses for having their own cell phone plan (for example, employees who have an unlimited plan, or who do not get charged per call, really do not suffer any detriment by using periodically their own devices for work).

You can read more about Cochran v. Schwans Home Services, Inc. and some practical pointers in my October 2014 post titled “Cell Phone Expenses: Next Wave of Employee Class Action Lawsuit?” at Maximize Social Business.