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Veronica M. Gray

Veronica M. Gray is a prominent trial attorney in Orange County, California with over three decades of experience litigating and negotiating employment issues for her clients. She is the Chair of the Employment Practice Group at Nossaman LLP where she advises employers on a broad spectrum of employment matters, including wage & hour, wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment, compliance audits, policies & procedures, employment agreements, trade secrets and unfair competition.

Veronica has a track record of partnering with her clients to embrace their issues to ensure attainment of their goals and objectives. The very nature of her practice has an impact on the business world as she counsels business owners and senior level executives in addressing their most valuable asset – the talented individuals who work at their companies. A high performing effective speaker, trainer, and mentor, Veronica regularly presents on employment and business related topics.

Veronica was recognized by Los Angeles magazine in 2011 as a Southern California "Super Lawyer" in Employment & Labor.

Posts by Veronica M. Gray

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Rules – No Franchisor Vicarious Liability

Posted in Court Decisions, Litigation

The California Supreme Court recently held in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (Cal. Aug. 28, 2014) that a franchisor could not be held vicariously liable under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for alleged sexual harassment in the franchisee’s workplace in the absence of evidence establishing that the franchisor “retained or… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Bill Mandating Paid Sick Leave Signed By Governor

Posted in Legislation, Recordkeeping, Wage and Hour

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. just signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which takes effect on July 1, 2015.  The new law requires nearly every employer in California to provide any employee who has worked in California for 30 days with paid sick leave, at an accrual rate of one hour for… Continue Reading

Sea Change: Ninth Circuit Holds That FedEx Drivers Are Employees — Not Independent Contractors

Posted in Court Decisions, Litigation, Wage and Hour

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the nearly decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, holding that drivers in California (as well as in Oregon) are FedEx employees, not independent contractors.  Alexander et al. v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc. (California); Slayman et al. v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc. (Oregon). In December 2010, the… Continue Reading

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

Posted in Class Actions, Wage and Hour

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how the end result is achieved.”  Notably, even if that right is not exercised, the hirer will be deemed the… Continue Reading

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds Undocumented Workers Are Not Barred From All Relief

Posted in Court Decisions, Discrimination

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co. the California Supreme Court recently held that an undocumented worker who fraudulently obtained employment through use of someone else’s social security number may seek damages for employment discrimination and retaliation.  The Court reasoned that undocumented employees like Mr. Salas are entitled to pursue claims for retaliation and discrimination against… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Background Checks – Buyer [Employer] Beware!

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination, Forms, Litigation, Privacy

As we recently reported at our annual employment law seminar and discussed in “Did You Know…New Informal Guidance From EEOC & FTC Re Background Checks,” background checks are not only the focus of the EEOC and FTC, but also plaintiff class action attorneys.  Underscoring this point is the recent putative class action filed against UBS Financial Services, Inc…. Continue Reading

Did You Know…New Informal Guidance From EEOC & FTC Re Background Checks

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, Privacy

As we recently reported at our annual employment law update, additional restrictions are being placed on the use of background checks in light of the potential for disparate impact and invasion of the right to privacy. Recently, the EEOC and FTC** issued joint informal guidance concerning the issues employers may face when consulting background checks… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Update Re California Family Rights Act (CFRA) – Proposed Pending Amendments

Posted in Leave Laws

As you know in the past we have provided updates regarding changes with respect to the leave laws. Now on February 21, 2014, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing Council published proposed amendments to the CFRA regulations. These regulations are intended to clarify some aspects of the existing regulations and also to adopt many of… Continue Reading

Did You Know…The Continuing Saga of Arbitration Agreements & Unconscionability

Posted in Court Decisions

In light of the United States Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the California Supreme Court recently reversed its own prior decision where it had held that an arbitration agreement that requires an employee to waive the right to a hearing [Berman hearing] before the state labor commissioner is contrary to public… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Lady Gaga Settles Wage and Hour Claim

Posted in Wage and Hour

As we reported to you earlier in the year during our annual employment seminars, Lady Gaga was sued by her former personal assistant who alleged Lady Gaga violated federal law by failing to pay her overtime for being “on-call” 24/7.  Her personal assistant claimed overtime ”for every hour of every day” beyond 40 hours a week during her 13 months of employment.  As… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Public Employees’ Facebook “Like” is the Internet Equivalent of a Political Yard Sign

Posted in Court Decisions, Privacy, Social Media

The courts are taking steps to protect communications made via social media; e.g., Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-cv-03305 (D.N.J. Aug 20, 2013) (holding that private Facebook posts are protected under the Stored Communications Act). Likewise, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that “liking”  something on Facebook is a form of… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Employee Privacy Rights May Be Trumped By Third Party Requests for Disclosure of Contact Information

Posted in Privacy

The California Supreme Court ordered the County of Los Angeles to disclose non-union employees’ contact information to SEIU Local 721.  The Union sought to amend the bargaining agreements to require the County to disclose addresses and phone numbers of non-members.  The Supreme Court considered whether California’s right to privacy outweighed the Union’s right to the information.  Notwithstanding… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Additional Guidance Released by NLRB on Confidentiality and Employee-Related Investigations

Posted in Investigations, National Labor Relations Board

As we reported in August 27, 2012, in Banner Health System* the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that an employer violates Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it maintains a blanket policy that prohibits employees from discussing workplace investigations. On April 16, 2013, the NLRB’s Division of Advice released a memorandum of advise providing further guidance… Continue Reading

Did You Know…A Sea Change in Class Action Certification

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation

In Comcast v. Behrend, a class action case involving how much Comcast charged cable TV subscribers, the United States Supreme Court held that as a prerequisite for certification of a class action, a plaintiff must introduce admissible evidence to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.  Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority… Continue Reading

Did You Know…New Regulations Released Governing Disability Discrimination in California

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Handbooks

As we recently reported to you at our 2013 Emerging Employment Law Seminar,  the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) implemented new and amended regulations governing disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, and the interactive process under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (2 Cal. Code Reg. Sections 7293.5 et seq.).   The regulations emphasize… Continue Reading

Did You Know…New Pregnancy Regulations in Effect in California

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Handbooks, Leave Laws

As we recently reported to you at our 2013 Emerging Employment Law Seminar, the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) implemented new and amended regulations addressing employers’ obligations and employees’ rights and responsibilities regarding pregnancy under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Title 2, California Code of Regulations, Sections 7291.2 et seq.).  Employers… Continue Reading

Did You Know…New FMLA Regulations Are In Effect

Posted in Forms, Leave Laws, Wage and Hour

As we recently reported to you at our 2013 Emerging Employment Law Seminar, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued a Final Rule which amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  The Final Rule primarily impacts leave for military service members and became effective on March 8, 2013.  A new poster was published  in… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Department of Homeland Security Issues New I-9 Form – Now in Effect

Posted in Forms, Recordkeeping

The new, revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is now available.  Employers should begin using this new form immediately, including when reverifying documents for employees (e.g., updating due to name change, confirming new I-94 or EAD expiration date, etc.).  However, the new I-9 does not need to be completed for existing employees who already have a completed… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Class Certification Denied in Wang v. Chinese Daily News

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage and Hour

In Wang v. Chinese Daily News, the Ninth Circuit reversed the class certification it had previously affirmed and remanded the matter for further consideration of Rule 23(a) commonality and Rule 23(b)(3) predominance.  Notably, the Ninth Circuit applied the 2011 United States Supreme Court decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart and held that Wal-Mart‘s  prohibition on “trial by… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Blanket Confidentiality Requirements Regarding Employment-Related Investigations Violate Section 7 of the NLRA

Posted in National Labor Relations Board

As part of its current campaign to take more aggressive positions regarding policies applicable to nonunion workers, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled  that a human resources consultant’s routine practice of asking employees involved in employment-related investigations not to discuss them with co-workers ran afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The majority… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Nossaman Partner to Give Presentation on Employment Practices Insurance at Annual SHRM Conference

Posted in Events, Insurance

Joan M. Cotkin, a Nossaman partner specializing in insurance coverage issues, has been selected by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to present, “Employment Practices Insurance: Acquiring and Using EPLI To Reduce or Eliminate Exposure To Claims.”  Joan will be making this presentation at SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta, GA on Tuesday,… Continue Reading

Did You Know…New Bill Introduced in the House – Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act – Would Overturn Dukes Ruling

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination, Legislation

On June 20, 2011,  the United States Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes which significantly impacted enforcing anti-discrimination laws (as well as other laws) by way of class actions. One year later, both Al Franken, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act.    If… Continue Reading

Did You Know…Wage and Hour Class Actions Can Be Converted into Individual Arbitrations Which Can Significantly Reduce an Employer’s Exposure

Posted in Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage and Hour

Employers who have arbitration agreements may be able to convert putative wage and hour class actions into individual arbitrations, reducing their potential exposure from millions (or hundreds of millions) to thousands of dollars.  In 2010, the Supreme Court held in Stolt–Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp. that if the parties to an arbitration agreement… Continue Reading

Did You Know…The NLRB Releases Third Report on Social Media Do’s & Don’ts

Posted in National Labor Relations Board, Social Media

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel has now released a third report addressing social media issues.  We previously discussed the first two reports, which primarily addressed employee terminations triggered by social media use.  The Operations Management Memo focuses on cases addressing  employer social media policies and provides several examples of broadly worded policy… Continue Reading