A California racial discrimination lawsuit alleges wrongful termination after a public service bus driver was placed on leave and then fired soon after filing a grievance against a passenger who reportedly made violent, racist statement toward the driver.racial discrimination employment attorney

Similar cases have been cropping up across the country, calling into question the age-old adage, “The customer is always right.” But if the customer is sexist or racist or abusive or violent, Orange County employment attorneys know companies have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from a toxic work environment. That include discriminatory actions of customers that go unchecked.

Another alleged case out of New York involved a large chain store worker and “cashier of the month” (who is also black) was fired for defending himself when a customer (upset for being told to leash his dog) told him he belonged in the ghetto, wouldn’t have a job if not for the current president, swore at the employee and called the former president a Muslim. The worker responded by saying the customer wouldn’t be speaking to him that way if they weren’t at his place of employment. The company said his firing was the result of the worker’s “failure to disengage and alert management about a customer confrontation.” However, a few days after The Washington Post published a story, the company backtracked and said they’d rescind the termination and offer back pay. But the worker didn’t want it, saying the environment at the company had become toxic. It’s also plausible he’ll receive more in a racial discrimination employment lawsuit. Continue reading

The future of California sexual harassment lawsuits hangs in the balance, as the public is closely monitoring word of Governor Jerry Brown’s decision whether to sign the controversial AB 3080. The bill would result in direct impact to workplace harassment and gender discrimination claims by impeding an employer’s ability to limit disclosure and discussion of such agreements with mandatory arbitration agreements signed as a condition of employment.

As our L.A. sexual harassment attorneys recognize, the bill if passed would amend a portion of California Labor Code (specifically adding a Section 432.4) outlawing forced arbitration agreements barring job-seekers (employees or independent contractors) from speaking out publicly or pursuing civil court remedy agL.A. sexual harassment attorneyainst employers who fail to protect them from sexual harassment or gender discrimination. (The bill doesn’t specifically use the term “arbitration agreements,” but those policies are what is targeted and would be affected.)

Some have argued that what’s in the bill is already largely covered within provisions already existing in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is the state’s anti-retaliation law shielding employees from retaliation if they have a reasonable belief of victimization from unlawful employment practices. Others say the bill, if passed, will be widely open to judicial challenge. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Perry v. Thomas (and again in 2011 with AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion) that the Federal Arbitration Act requires arbitration contracts generally be on equal footing with other types of contracts and that state law can’t interfere with federal policy.  Continue reading

When an employer sets out to recruit young people, men, white people, Christians, those without disabilities or other groups, this can be a violation of federal and state labor laws against employment discrimination. Specifically, such claims might be filed under the following umbrellas:

  • Age discrimination
  • Gender discrimination
  • Racial discrimination
  • Religions discrimination
  • Disability discriminationemployment discrimination attorney

A number of lawsuits filed recently against social media giant Facebook and numerous employers who advertise and head-hunt for workers on its platforms accuse the defendants of discriminatory advertising and hiring. If a person in a protected class is denied opportunity in the workforce because of their membership in that class, this is illegal.

In California, state law (specifically the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Family Rights Act) prohibits employment discrimination in the process of hiring, promotion/ demotion, transfers, wages, termination and other aspects of employment. Los Angeles employment discrimination law firms work to combat these types of acts by holding offenders accountable.  Continue reading

A quick internet search reveals dozens of jobs are listed at Amazon’s distribution and fulfillment center in Irvine, California (right here in Orange County) ranging from warehouse fulfillment to Whole Foods Shoppers. But there may be a reason such positions are constantly in rotation. Recently, Business Insider reported more than 200 delivery drivers are suing both Amazon and one of its third-party courier companies, TL Transportation, over claims of wage theft / unpaid wages.wage lawsuit

Orange County employment law attorneys have seen allegations of labor law violations by employees and designated independent contractors for the e-commerce giant and its partners piling up in recent years. Plaintiff lawyers say the company is using third-party contractors for its delivery posts in order to avoid legal liability for violations of state wage and hour laws. Third-party courier firms like TL, plaintiffs say, are tiny and thinly-capitalized, meaning they are unable to pay up when workers are cheated of rightful wages and mandated work breaks.

Just last month, a federal judge ruled this third-party courier’s pay system – which involved a flat rate for all delivery drivers, regardless of hours worked – failed to pay drivers properly, particularly with regard to overtime hours. It’s unclear precisely what Amazon’s liability will be in this, but our employee rights attorneys understand the class action lawsuit seeks to hold both firms accountable for willfully crafting an employment and pay structure that skirts labor laws and skimps on rightful pay. Continue reading

A worker at a California home furnishing store has filed a Santa Barbara wrongful termination and workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit, alleging her employer violated her rights as a whistleblower by falsifying her signature on work injury paperwork. wrongful termination lawyer

In her employment lawsuit, plaintiff alleges the retail furniture store based in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara sought to discredit her work injury claim and bolster its grounds to fire her after she was hurt while moving furniture with a co-worker. She reportedly filed a workers’ compensation claim, but the two owners of the business allegedly prepared a declaration with her name without her knowledge.

According to local news sources and court records of the complaint she filed, the declaration reportedly indicated she ad the other worker hadn’t moved any furniture on the day of the injury and conceded she never reported the job-related injury. Plaintiff alleges the store owners forged her signature on the document and that never was she interviewed by the store owners and that statements attributed to her were wrong. The store then denied her workers’ compensation claim – which is when she learned of the forged declaration. Concerned she may have been implicated in an act that was illegal, she felt she had no choice but to resign from her job right away. Continue reading

A number of former female employees of sportswear powerhouse Nike are alleging in a gender discrimination lawsuit they were systematically maligned and denied key professional opportunities simply because of their gender.gender discrimination attorney

The gender discrimination lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Oregon, alleges the maker of sports apparel willfully and intentionally discriminated against female employees with respect to their wages, promotions and other conditions of employment, causing and fostering a work environment that was hostile. The women are seeking class action status, with the two primary claimants having previously worked at the company’s headquarters in Oregon. One now works for the firm’s primary rival. The women say females at the firm were judged significantly more harshly than their male counterparts, which in turn resulted in lower wages, reduced stock options and less in bonuses. When they reported the disparate treatment to human resources, their allegations (including those involving sexual assault and harassment) were mishandled or else blatantly ignored.

In a written statement, the company insisted they vehemently oppose any form of discrimination and that its pay and benefits for workers and that the “vast majority” of its workers live by values that include respect for all others. Earlier this year, a group of women at the company presented the CEO and president with information gleaned in an internal gender discrimination survey. The CEO swiftly responded with a full restructure of the team, which included announcing the president would soon be retiring. The president was largely blamed by plaintiffs for not only creating but exacerbating gender discrimination on the job. He was reportedly being groomed to take over as CEO until all this came to light. Continue reading

A construction worker in Oregon has filed an employment lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and retaliation after he was fired for refusing to attend a mandatory weekly Christian Bible study.religious discrimination

The 34-year-old Native American said he expressed to his boss/ the business owner discomfort about going to the Bible study and even indicated it was probably illegal, but was told it was a condition of employment for which he would be paid. Although he still wasn’t comfortable with it, as a convicted felony, he badly needed the job and didn’t want to lose it. So he attended the once-weekly hour-long session, conducted by a Christian pastor. He did this for several months, but then finally said he could no longer stomach it and stopped going. He was fired soon thereafter.

In filing his religious discrimination employment lawsuit, plaintiff’s attorney said the case is clear-cut: A non-religious employer can’t require employees to go to a Bible study – paid or otherwise. It can be offered as a voluntary option, but it can’t be mandated as a condition of employment and employers can’t retaliate against workers who choose not to go. The attorney representing defendant business owner, meanwhile, asserts the requirement was not unlawful for at-will employees who were paid to go and it was considered part of their job. Further, defense attorney insists plaintiff wasn’t fired, but rather was an on-call employee who simply found other work while he was still on-call for the defendant.  Continue reading

Even as the issue of maternity leave for birth mothers is yet largely unsettled at many workplaces, questions pertaining to the rights of fathers, LGBTQ couples and adoptive parents has been largely left open.FMLA attorney

Of course, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 makes it clear that new parents are entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and this applies to fathers as well as mothers and adoptive parents. However, few families can afford for even one parent to take that amount of unpaid time off work. Many workplaces will offer birth mothers paid leave, but the question is whether it’s lawful to offer disparate levels of leave to other classifications of new parents.

A case recently taken on by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first such federal regulator lawsuit targeting parental leave policies granting more time to new mothers than new fathers. The settlement marks a shift in how both regulators and corporations are likely to respond to such policies.  Continue reading

California is one of the few states that prohibits transgender discrimination in housing and employment. Cal. Gov’t. Code Section 12940(a) stipulates it’s unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or employ someone or to discharge from employment or to discriminate against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges because of one’s gender identity. transgender discrimination

However, many other states lack such protections, and now, one transgender discrimination in employment case out of Michigan could go before the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially making it lawful for workplaces around the country to take adverse employment actions against workers on the basis of their sexual identity.

As reported by Lawrence-Journal World, the Kansas Attorney General is joining with officials from 15 other states, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to expressly declare transgender workers not protected by federal workplace anti-discrimination laws. In particular, they are requesting the U.S. Supreme Court reverse a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan, which decided the word “sex” used in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 – particularly in Title VII – does include transgender status and gender identity.  Continue reading

Two former full-time instructors providing services for the General Assembly while employed by a New York-based contractor say they were wrongly classified as independent contractors. The instructors, hired to teach both part-time and full-time courses in fields of technology, business and design, say they were wrongly denied overtime pay, rest breaks and meal breaks – despite working up to 16 hours daily to prepare lessons, grade assignments, meet with students and attend marketing events. As reported by EdSurge, the instructors say they were paid a flat fee, despite working 80 hours each week. In violation of California Labor Code, the instructors allege the company failed to document how many hours they worked and pay them overtime wages accordingly. They represent more than 1,200 current and former instructors who reportedly taught for the firm from 2013 through this year. appleonthedesk-300x225

In March, the judge proposed – and both parties agreed – to a $1 million settlement, which was signed in July and is now awaiting approval from the judge. After administrative and legal fees, there will be about $590,000 to split among the more than 1,200 instructors.

The case is unique for the fact that while we tend to think of the growing “gig” economy as being the primary source of a growing number of California employee misclassification lawsuits, many fields have employed independent contractors and allegedly failed to pay them.  Continue reading