May 26, 2015
jury in a breach of contract, wrongful termination, retaliation and wage and hour claim against a Santa Fe Springs employer. Mr. Brown switched hats and represented the employer in this case.
In a trial lasting 9 days, the jurors came back with a unanimous verdict against the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff had alleged that she was wrongfully terminated on November 25, 2013 for complaining about the calculations of her commissions. She also claimed that the company willfully misclassified Plaintiff as an independent contractor, breached their contracts, and violated various wage and hour labor laws. The Plaintiff sought mid six figures from the employer plus attorneys fees, estimated at $125,000.
Mr. Brown presented evidence to the jury that the Independent Sales Representative contract was properly terminated and that the company had good cause to terminate the contract. The evidence established that Plaintiff was harming the company by claiming to the sales department that she was being “cheated” and the owners were being “dishonest”. Mr. Brown also proved that the June 1, 2012 Independent Sales Representative contract made her an independent contractor under the law.
Plaintiff had alleged at trial that she was really an employee and not an independent contractor. Plaintiff sought payment of her “residuals”, a percentage of the monthly revenues obtained on clients she brought into the company. The contract, however, contained a “condition precedent” that Plaintiff bring in five (5) new customers per quarter. The evidence clearly established that Plaintiff did not meet this requirement and, as a result, she was not entitled to payment of any residuals. The evidence also established that Plaintiff was unable to get along with many of her co-workers and was constantly involved in issues where management had to get involved.
The Norwalk jury of 8 women and 4 men took two hours to deliberate.
Originally, the Complaint contained 10 causes of action.
(1) Breach of 2010 Employment Contract;
(2) Breach of 2012 Independent Sales Rep. Agreement;
(3) Retaliatory Discharge/Retaliation (Labor Code Section 98.6);
(4) Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy;
(5) Non-Payment of Wages Due (Labor Code Section 200, et seq);
(6) Willful Failure to Provide Accurate Itemized Statement of Wages (Labor Code Section 226, et seq);
(7) Failure to Allow Inspection of Personnel File (Labor Code Section 226);
(8) Failure to Reimburse for Employment Related Expenses (Labor Code Section 2802);
(9) Willful Misclassification as Independent Contractor (Labor Code Section 226.8); and
(10) Quantum Meruit.