As of this month, all state departments in California are required to track all claims of sexual harassment. Now, they will be able to do so using a single streamlined system managed by the California Department of Human Resources.Los Angeles employment lawyer

The system was proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018 following an investigation by The Sacramento Bee revealing the state spent $25 million over the course of three years to settle sexual harassment lawsuits against state employees. In many cases, offenders kept their jobs, despite repeated complaints and even as victims were forced to resign and be subject to no rehire clauses if they settled their civil cases. (No rehire clauses are now outlawed thanks to the passage of AB 749 last fall.)

The data tracker went live on Jan. 1, 2020 and cost $1.5 million to launch. Before this, the state had no uniform way of tracking allegations of sexual harassment across its 150+ departments. Continue reading

It’s being touted as one of the most consequential bills that would bolster employees’ ability to organize that the U.S. has seen in 80 years. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, H.R. 2474, is slated to go before the U.S. House of Representatives next week, where it’s likely to pass. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to gain much traction in the Senate, but it does signal an increasing push toward progressive labor legislation.Orange County labor lawyers

If enacted, the PRO Act would alter decades-old federal labor laws to shift more power to workers. This would extend to situations involving:

  • Employer-employee disputes;
  • Penalties for companies proven to have broken labor laws (including retaliation against workers attempting to unionize);
  • Collective bargaining rights for hundreds of thousands of workers who currently don’t have them.

Right-to-work laws, which is exist in 27 states, would also be weakened under the PRO Act. Continue reading

For 20 years, a Bay Area officer for the California Highway Patrol said he was harassed and even endangered by his co-workers because of his homosexuality. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that as if enduring constant taunts and vandalism at numerous substations wasn’t enough, the openly gay officer reported that on a daily basis, he was denied backup from his colleagues while handling dangerous calls. He was the only officer consistently denied backup. When he won offer of the year, the picture of the previous year’s winner remained prominently in the lobby, until the following year when someone else won. No one else had been denied that honor. He began to suffer anxiety, stress, headaches and stomach issues. He became suicidal. He filed for workers’ compensation, and was eventually granted disability retirement, effectively ending his employment with the agency. LGBT discrimination attorneys

In 2016, he filed his second administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Housing and Employment, alleging sexual orientation discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A request for summary judgment in favor of the defense was granted on the basis of a missed filing deadline.

Now, a California appellate court has reinstated his case, finding merit with plaintiff’s claim for exception under the doctrines of equitable tolling, continuing violation and constructive discharge.

Our Los Angeles LGBT discrimination attorneys are committed to helping those who have faced workplace harassment, hostility and discrimination due to their sexuality obtain justice.  Continue reading

California may see an increase in workplace retaliation claims since Assembly Bill 749 , which bans no-rehire clauses with limited exception in employment dispute settlements, was enacted this month. Los Angeles employment attorney

Prior to the passage of this bill, it was common practice for companies to settle discrimination or harassment claims with employees with a settlement that included a no-rehire clause. These provisions can vary in scope, but usually indicated that any future application for employment by that person wouldn’t be considered, and if the worker was hired by chance, he or she would be terminated automatically.

The California Chamber of Commerce had argued the law wasn’t necessary because there were already existing laws against overly-broad no-rehire clauses (specifically, Business and Professional Code section 16600).

The new law, codified in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 1002.5, indicates that no agreement to settle an employment dispute should contain any provision that prohibits, prevents or otherwise restricts an aggrieved person who is settling from obtaining future employment with that employer or any parent company, division, affiliate, subsidiary or contractor. Companies can include no-rehire provisions in cases where the company made a good faith determination that the person signing committed sexual harassment or sexual assault OR where there was a legitimate (i.e., non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory) reason for firing that person. There is also an exclusion for severance agreements. Continue reading

Even though there have been significant strides in cancer awareness, treatment and survivor rates, people with cancer still experience barriers to equal workplace opportunities. Employees too often face California disability discrimination due to misconceptions about their ability to work during and after receiving cancer treatment. disability discrimination attorneys

Yet another example of this was recently reported by The Fresno Bee, which detailed the story of a Tulare woman who is suing her former employer, a ranch and beef company, for allegedly firing her after she took medical leave while undergoing chemotherapy. She had worked at the company for two decades and had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

As our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers understand it, plaintiff is alleging a range of civil rights violations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, breaches of the state’s Unfair Business Practices Act and wrongful termination. Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to consider how federal employment discrimination laws should be applied to church-run schools. Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer

Although our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can for certain how the verdict will go, but we do know that in recent cases weighing the church-and-state relationship, the court has tended recently to side with religious groups.

The cases that the court heart last month deal with another aspect of this same divide: The role the government can or should play in the regulation of religious institutions, particularly if they are receiving taxpayer funding. Both cases were filed by teachers in California Catholic schools accused of employment discrimination. The schools insist that the teachers’ positions fall under the court-established “ministerial exception” to job discrimination. The court will be asked to consider just how broad that exception really is and how to balance the competing interests of shielding workers from discrimination and steering clear of meddling in the affairs of religious organizations. Continue reading

Pregnancy discrimination remains an ongoing problem in workplaces throughout the U.S. and California. Women make up half the workforce, and almost 85 percent of them will become mothers at some point during their careers. And yet, as our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers have seen time and again, pregnancy and childbirth are treated as if they are some kind of deviation from the norm. That’s because many workplaces are constructed around the arcane idea that the ideal worker is male. Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyer

An employer commits pregnancy discrimination when taking adverse action on the basis of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Some pregnancy-related medical conditions may include:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Preeclampsia

Pregnant workers with these conditions are entitled to reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Food Service Industry Pregnancy Discrimination

Continue reading

The Trump administration recently loosened labor law protections by making it more difficult for franchise employees to sue corporations for wage theft under the joint employer rule. Those who work for subcontractors and staffing agencies will have a tougher time securing legal remedy for labor law violations. The new rule issued by the Department of Labor also makes it more challenging to prove that a corporation is responsible for the labor law violations committed by franchise owners and contractors. Los Angeles wage theft lawyer

The new rule, which is no surprise having been on the table since last April, are enacted under the administration’s supposition that reducing corporate regulation will stimulate economic growth. It’s been praised by business groups, but worker advocates and unions sharply oppose it.

Central to this rule was the question of whether a corporation can be considered the “joint employer” of a worker for a franchise. There have been numerous cases wherein large companies have been sued for labor law violations – including wage theft – that was committed by the owner of a franchise. What this rule does is set a higher standard for “joint employer.” As our Los Angeles wage theft lawyers can explain, the new rule stipulates that companies are considered joint employers only if they:

  • Hire
  • Fire
  • Supervise
  • Set pay
  • Maintain employment records

Continue reading

Sexual harassment training was supposed to be mandatory for virtually all employees in California as of Jan. 1, 2020. That was thanks to Senate Bill 1343, which was passed in September 2018. However, that date has been pushed back to Jan. 1, 2021 because of SB 778, which state lawmakers quietly passed in August. SB 778 pushed back the implementation of SB 1343 by a full year.Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers

You’d be forgiven for being mistaken and not realizing employers had another full year before they are mandated to be in compliance. CapRadio was. In a correction, the media outlet wrote, “(SB 778) came with no announcements or notification from the lawmaker’s office.”

That said, our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers would encourage companies to that haven’t already begun the process may want to explore how to do so this year so there aren’t any surprises with compliance issues in 2021. The more your workers understand about sexual harassment and your company policies for dealing with it, the more likely it can be appropriately handled from the start (which means better morale for your workers and less chance of litigation for you). It will also allow you to be prepared well ahead of time so your company isn’t scrambling last-minute to comply. Continue reading

A worker for Amway, a multi-level marketing company that sells home, health and beauty care products, is suing the company and alleging he and other sellers should be classified and paid as employees, rather than independent contractors. Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer

Our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys are watching this case closely because it could impact a host of other similar types of business models, such as LuLaRoe, Young Living, Scentsy, Rodan + Fields, Avon Products, Herbalife and others.

Amway sells products like detergent and mouthwash, promoting itself as a means for sellers to become “small business owners.” They thrive on person-to-person sales. These types of companies have come under fire for reportedly predatory business models that require salespersons to buy several hundred or thousand dollars in products just to get started. In some cases, individuals have drained their savings and retirement accounts. The Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings about these types of pyramid schemes, but the companies remain in business.

Most of these companies refer to their salespersons as independent “participants,” “distributors” or “contractors.” But are they?

Not according to the plaintiff in the latest California employment lawsuit against Amway. Continue reading