Zoe Palitz appointed as advisor to the California Lawyers Association Executive Committee on Labor & Employment

Altshuler Berzon LLP attorney Zoe Palitz has been appointed to serve as an advisor to the Executive Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the California Lawyers Association (formerly the State Bar Association).

Advisors to the executive committee plan and lead the section’s programs, including writing for the California Labor and Employment Law Review, presenting a radio program broadcast on KALW called “Your Legal Rights,” and organizing annual conferences and webinars on topics including public sector employment, wage and hour litigation, and traditional labor law.

Zoe looks forward to planning panels at this year’s annual conference, assisting with the section’s efforts to increase diversity in the labor and employment bar, and enhancing its programming aimed at junior attorneys.

Zoe says “it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with labor and management-side attorneys across the state and to develop quality programming in the areas of labor and employment law.”

Court grants preliminary injunction protecting rights of Southwest flight attendants to use sick leave to care for family

On May 17, 2019, the Alameda County Superior Court granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction in TWU Local 556, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co., Case No. RG-18933251, requiring Southwest Airlines Co. to permit its California-based flight attendants to use their accrued sick leave to care for ill family members, in accordance with the “kin care” provisions of California Labor Code §233 and sick leave ordinances in Oakland and Los Angeles.  Altshuler Berzon LLP is representing the plaintiffs in the case and brought the preliminary injunction motion.

In granting the motion, the Court rejected Southwest’s affirmative defenses, which sought to preclude application of California and local labor protections laws to its flight attendants, who often travel outside the state in the course of a work day.  The Court found that Southwest’s California-based flight attendants who start and end all trips in California, and perform more work in California than in any other state, are likely entitled to the protections of California law.

As a result of the preliminary injunction, Southwest can no longer deny its flight attendants their “kin care” rights or discipline them for exercising those rights.  You can read the Court’s order here.

Update:  On April 6, 2021, the Alameda County Superior Court granted the plaintiffs’ ex parte application to enter a consent decree requiring Southwest to implement certain “kin care” policies and to dismiss the complaint pursuant to the settlement agreement reached by the parties, which ensures that flight attendants’ rights to use sick leave to care for family will continue to be protected through an enforceable court order.  A copy of that consent decree is available here.

Two Altshuler Berzon LLP Lawyers Named Among Top 75 California Labor and Employment Lawyers of 2019

On July 10, 2019, the California Daily Journal announced its 75 top California labor and employment lawyers for 2019.  Two Altshuler Berzon LLP partners, Michael Rubin and Jim Finberg were included in that select group.  Michael’s work enforcing low-wage workers’ rights under the California Labor Code, and protecting their ability to do so through California’s Private Attorney General Act against employers’ attempts to undermine that law, were cited by the Daily Journal.  Jim’s work enforcing California’s Fair Pay Act to combat wage discrimination against women in the tech sector, including pending cases against Google, Inc., and Oracle America, Inc., were highlighted by the Daily Journal.