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Settlement With the Department of Labor, Releasing FMLA and CFRA Claims Prevents Future Actions

In Dumas v. New United Motor Mfg. Inc. Slip Copy, 2007 WL 1223806 N.D.Cal.,2007.decided on April 24, 2007, the district court held that an employee’s claim that the employer violated the CFRA because it terminated him in retaliation for taking protected family medical leave is barred because the employee released this claim when he signed the DOL settlement agreement. The court said that the language of the DOL settlement document is broad and states that by accepting the settlement plaintiff is giving up his right under the FMLA to bring suit for “lost or denied wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation.” The FMLA is the federal counter-part to the CFRA and FMLA is incorporated into the CFRA. Pang v. Beverly Hospital, Inc., 79 Cal.App.4th 986, 993, 94 Cal.Rptr.2d 643 (2000). Accordingly, plaintiff released all FMLA and CFRA related claims when he signed the settlement and his claim here that defendant violated the CFRA is therefore barred. May 2007.