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Employers are not Required to Indemnify a Former Employee's Attorney's Fees When the Employer Successfully Defends Claims

On October 12, 2011 in Nicholas Labratories LLC v. Chen (California Courts of Appeal – 4th District, No. G044105) the court held that an employer is not required to indemnify its former employee for attorney's fees when the employer successfully defended claims brought by the employee. The court distinguished this from cases in which lawsuits are brought by a third party against an employee, in which case the employer would be required to indemnify the attorney's fees.

In this case, however, the employer sued the plaintiff relating to breach of contract and negligence. The employee then cross-complained against the employer for the attorney's fees arising out of the costs from defending himself against the employer's claims using Labor Code Section 2802. The trial court held that the Labor Code only indemnifies employees when a third party sues the employee arising out of the scope of his employment. The appellate court affirmed finding that the Labor Code section did not apply to the case at hand.

If you are dealing with an employment law related claim such as discrimination, sexual harassment or any other related case then it is important that you seek guidance from an experienced attorney. A Southern California sexual harassment lawyer from Spray, Gould & Bowers LLP will be able to provide the legal representation you need. Contact the firm for more information.

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