In recent years, many firms have turned to contract labor as a means to reduce certain overhead costs associated with hiring full-time employees. But as our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, companies that rely heavily on contract labor will want to take particular note of the recent $137 million racial discrimination verdict against Tesla. The verdict (which could be increased or decreased, depending on what happens during the appeal) was noteworthy not only for the sheer size of it, but the fact that Tesla – not the contracting firm that was the direct employer of the plaintiff – is the one cutting the check. racial discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

One of the main benefits companies gleaned from having contract laborers (as opposed to direct employees) was that employment law requirements could be shifted onto the contractor. But this verdict underscores the fact that the contracting firm can also be held accountable, so it’s best if all companies adhere to lawful employment practices.

In the Tesla case, a Black elevator operator employed by a staffing agency (third party) reportedly faced substantial and persistent racist treatment while working at Tesla. The workers who allegedly subjected him to ongoing disparagement were also hired and paid by another firm. In fact, most of the workers on site were directly employed by this third-party firm.

In determining liability, the court looked at who controlled the workers and which firm directed the work occurring on site. What the courts held was that Tesla was a joint employer, and that it was jointly and severally liable for the verdict. As our employment attorneys in Los Angeles can explain, joint and several liability occurs when there is a legal responsibility that is shared by two or more parties in a lawsuit. Someone who is wronged may sue any or all of those parties, and one may be ordered to pay the total amount of damages. Continue Reading ›

An electric automaker that recently became a publicly-traded company is now being sued for alleged workplace gender discrimination, with the plaintiff (a former sales and marketing VP) alleging the “bro culture” at the firm had become toxic. gender discrimination attorney

According to TechCrunch.com, plaintiff, who had a long employment history with other prominent car manufacturers, joined the Rivian team in California late last year. She was fired, however, after reporting gender discrimination to the human resources department. Although the company has declined to comment on the discrimination allegations, plaintiff has not only filed her claim in court, but also made a statement with the American Arbitration Association and written a blog post on the company’s issues on Medium.

Among her claims:

  • She was regularly ignored by a superior when trying to point out problems.
  • She was routinely kept out of important meetings attended by male peers who were making key decisions.
  • Choices regarding her team were made without her input.
Two days after complaining to HR about these issues, she was fired. 
Rivian’s transition to a publicly-traded company is one that has been highly anticipated, with an estimated $8.4 billion anticipated in the initial public offering. It’s estimated there will be 135 million shares sold at somewhere between $57 and $62 each. Underwriters can buy tens of millions more shares, potentially raising the value of the company by nearly $10 billion. 

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Taking aim at the use of quotas at warehouse distribution centers in California, Assembly Bill 701 requires companies with sizable warehouse distribution centers to disclose pace-of-work standards and quotas to workers either upon hire. As our Los Angeles employee rights attorneys can explain, companies are being required to provide a written description of each quota to which the employee is subject – including:

  • Quantified number of tasks to be performed/materials to be produced/handled within a defined period of time.
  • Any potential negative consequences that could result from failure to meet that quota. Los Angeles employee rights attorney

By regulating warehouse performance metrics, state lawmakers have sought to hold huge warehouse conglomerates, such as Amazon, accountable for logistics facilities quotes that many argue make these workspaces unsafe.

The bill faced sharp opposition from business interests, but nonetheless passed and was approved by the governor. The measure is intended to empower warehouse workers against unsafe quotas set by algorithms. High workplace injury rates have been closely associated with unreasonable productivity goals. Continue Reading ›

California wage theft has cost a construction company more than $1.7 million in fines by the state Labor Commissioner’s Office. The fines stem from alleged failure to pay workers, resulting in overtime and minimum wage violations.Los Angeles wage and hour attorney

As our Los Angeles wage theft attorneys can explain, companies that steal fair wages from their workers have increasingly been the target of state regulators and labor authorities. Employees who have been victimized by wage theft do have legal recourse, and should consult with an experienced employment lawyer.

In this case, according to FOX 5 San Diego, the construction company in question reportedly failed to pay employees properly as they worked on jobs at both residential and construction projects. It’s purported that 265 workers were impacted by these unfair practices.

The labor commissioner launched an investigation into alleged wage and hour violations starting three years ago, when workers first began reporting they were only being paid for 40 hours of work a week, despite consistently working overtime on mixed-use construction projects in both Los Angeles and San Diego.

The company is reportedly appealing the citations, which allocated $1.6 million in payments to the workers. The Labor Commissioner’s Office will hold a hearing to determine whether the citations will be affirmed, modified or dismissed.

It should be noted that just because a company agrees to pay workers a flat rate doesn’t mean they should be denied pay for overtime hours they earned. California labor laws are in place to protect workers. It’s imperative that workers track their hours and how much they are paid so that they can take action against an employer that swindles them. Continue Reading ›

Employers who intentionally commit wage theft in California could find themselves facing criminal grand theft charges. Assembly Bill 1003, a new law recently signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, allows employers of all sizes to be held criminally accountable for intentionally stealing workers’ wages or tips. Individual owners, managers, and executives may be found personally responsible in criminal court. employment lawyer

The law establishes a new type of grand theft. Any company that steals more than $950 from a single employee or $2,350 from two or more employees over a consecutive, 12-month stretch will potentially face criminal charges.

What’s more, the law also encompasses protections for independent contractors as well as employees. That means hiring entities would face equal consequences for theft of wages involving independent contractors as they would employees. As our Los Angeles wage and hour theft attorneys can explain, that significantly broadens the scope compared to most other California and federal employment laws.

Grand theft is punishable either as a misdemeanor (up to one year in jail) or felony (up to 3 years in prison). Fines are often imposed as a result of the penalties as well. The new law allows wages, tips, or other compensation that are subject to a prosecution may be recovered as restitution. It should be noted, however, that civil litigation may still be the best way to recover all damages. If your employer is arrested for wage theft, it’s important to discuss your legal options with an attorney.

Employers should take decisive steps now to ensure their policies are fair and lawful to ensure they do not run afoul of the new law. Continue Reading ›

Nearly 40 percent of LGBT employees experienced some type of unfair treatment at some point during their careers, according to a newly-released analysis funded by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Adverse treatment included being fired, rejected as an applicant, or harassed due to their gender identity or sexual orientation, the report showed. lgbt discrimination lawyer

It’s estimated that nearly 8 million workers in the U.S. identify as LGBT, though our Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination lawyers opine that’s likely a low estimate. These workers are protected from employment discrimination in California under certain provisions of the Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA).

Nationally, LGBT workplace protections have been patchy. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that employment non-discrimination protections should be extended to LGBT people across the country. Despite this, the survey revealed 9 percent of LGBT employees experienced some form of discrimination in the last year. About 11 percent of LGBT employees of color reported they were terminated – or never hired at all – in the last year because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

The survey culled information from nearly 1,000 LGBT workers, looking at employment discrimination in the last year, last five years, and over the course of their lives. Continue Reading ›

The pandemic had sweeping effects on California workers and the economy at large. Some companies saw increases in demand, but for many workers, the impacts were both adverse – and lasting. According to the new study released by the AARP, older women saw some of the worst effects, and they don’t appear to be subsiding. Fair employment advocates say age discrimination and sex discrimination play no little part in the phenomenon. Workers who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their age or gender should reach out to a long-time, trusted Los Angeles employment law firm.Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer

Some of the primary takeaways from the AARP study,

  • About 40 percent of mid-career and older women workers experienced at least one job interruption during the pandemic.
  • Of those who are still unemployed, roughly 70 percent have been out-of-work for six months or more.
  • Among those who are still employed, most remain concerned about their financial future and potential unemployment.
  • More than 25 percent report their financial situations have worsened over the course of the pandemic.

One common thread for all employed women was the implication of caregiving. It was reported that 1 in 3 took care of a child or grandchild home during the pandemic for remote schooling. For many, that meant they could only work certain shifts or hours or reduced hours. Nearly half of employed women at some point during the pandemic were caring for either a child, grandchild, or adult family member or friend.

Then factor in that age discrimination in hiring has long been a stubborn problem in America’s workplaces for years. Older and mid-career women are often the most significantly impacted. The AARP’s survey of nearly 34,000 women workers found that almost a third who were job hunting believed age discrimination had been a hurdle in their efforts to secure a new position. Continue Reading ›

Stronger protections against California workplace harassment and discrimination are on the way, with Gov. Gavin Newsome’s signing of the “Silenced No More Act,” or SB 331. The measure builds on the protections established in 2018 with the Stand Against Non-Disclosures (STAND) Act, targeting non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Los Angeles Employment Lawyer

As our Los Angeles employment lawyers can explain, SB 331 amends both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Code of Civil Procedures, Section 1001. It imposes major restrictions on both employment settlement agreements and severances. Continue Reading ›

California workplace racial discrimination led to a jury verdict of $137 million against car maker Tesla. The plaintiff, an elevator operator, alleged the auto manufacturer turned a blind eye to racial abuse he suffered as a Black employee.racial discrimination lawyer

According to The New York Times, plaintiff worked at the company’s factor in Fremont for about a year. Throughout his tenure, supervisors reportedly used racial slurs repeatedly when referring to him. He was one of the many Black workers interviewed by the Times in 2018 about workplace racial discrimination at the international company.

In interviews, internal communications and sworn legal statements filed by more than two dozen current and former employees and contractors for the country revealed years of serious racial harassment and discrimination reported at the company’s factory in Freemont, CA. The company previously said that in a company of its size, sometimes there would be inevitable “bad behavior,” but insisted there was never any pattern of discrimination or harassment.

Among the incidents reported by employees of color: Continue Reading ›

Most people are aware that state and federal anti-discrimination laws protect them from adverse employment actions on the basis of certain protected classes, such as race, gender, disability, and age. However, fewer know that per a legal doctrine known as associational discrimination, employers may also be barred from discrimination against workers based on a relationship they have with a member of a protected class. Los Angeles employment lawyer

Employers can be held liable for associational discrimination as well as associational retaliation. Such claims can be filed under provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (federal), as well as the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). The ADA explicitly bars excluding or denying equal jobs/benefits to a person who is qualified on the basis of a known disability. It also prohibits discrimination of a qualified person based on their relationship to or association with someone who has a disability.

Associational discrimination laws can also be filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which shields workers on the basis of gender, religion, national origin, and race. As our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain though, this law doesn’t expressly bar associative discrimination like the ADA does. However, numerous courts have upheld associational discrimination is applicable under Title VII. In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed such a case, joining numerous other federal appeals courts in reaching this conclusion. Continue Reading ›

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