A groundbreaking California employment bill will overhaul the way workers are designated for the purposes of workers’ compensation, liability, benefits, responsibilities and more. AB5, born of the rise of the so-called “gig economy,” has passed both the state Assembly and the Senate, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it. This will change the way California designates who is an employee, who is an independent contractor and the rights and responsibilities associated with each. employee misclassification

The law goes into effect on December 31st – but it’s as if all independent contractors/gig workers magically transform into employees all of the sudden. As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, what this law does is codify last year’s California Supreme Court ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

Essentially, that ruling made it harder for employers to label workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Misclassification of an employee is one of the primary reasons for employment litigation in California.

How AB5 and Dynamex Makes the Contractor v. Employee Call

Both the court case and the new law differentiate employees from independent contractors using a three-part “ABC” test. Continue reading

A long-running legal battle between the Los Angeles times and one of its sports writers concluded recently when a jury in Los Angeles was awarded more than $15 million in damages for age discrimination and disability discrimination. The claim was first filed six years ago, according to The Washington Post.age discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Plaintiff, a sports reporter for the Times, suffered a small stroke while covering a spring training in Arizona. He was also later diagnosed with chronic migraines. After this, the newspaper slashed his three-times-a-week column down to two. The reasoning given by the newspaper was that the columns were not well-written and resulted in a poor reflection on the newspaper. The columns he did produce were subsequently more heavily scrutinized than ever.

A few months later, he was suspended, demoted to reporter and resigned – all over a video surfaced that the Times asserted showed a conflict of interest. Plaintiff argued he never had a business relationship with the producer. Plaintiff then went to work for a competitor newspaper before filing his lawsuit, alleging he’d been the victim of workplace age discrimination and disability discrimination. Continue reading

The Department of Justice under President Donald Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to establish formal precedent that would allow employers to terminate workers because of their transgender status. Orange County employment LGBT employer discrimination attorneys know this is a sharp deviation from the Obama administration’s stance, as well as that of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and California law. transgender worker discrimination

In a brief submitted to the SCOTUS, attorneys for the administration requested a ruling holding that Title VII protections, which bar workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion and sex, doesn’t extend to a person’s transgender status.

The case that gave rise to this issue involves a funeral home that fired a worker who was transgender on that basis. A lower court ruled that the funeral home committed wrongful termination on the basis of unlawful discrimination. That ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last year. The Trump administration is asking for that ruling to be overturned. Continue reading

A group of Californians are suing the state to prevent enforcement of a state senate bill signed by the governor last year that requires publicly-held corporations with principle executive offices here to have a minimum of one female on their boards of directors. That requirements is slated to go into effect by the end of this year. Then by the end of 2021, boards with five members are required to have at least two female members and boards of six or more must have at least three.gender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The whole idea behind Senate Bill 826 was to even the imbalance of power that exists from longtime discrimination against women in the workplace. However, the group of taxpayers now say the law amounts to a kind of reverse gender discrimination and is an overreach of government power.

In Crest et al v. Padilla, three plaintiffs assert that the law amounts to a quota system and is unconstitutional in light of Article I, Section 31 of the state constitution. As our L.A. gender discrimination lawyers can explain, this provision prevent discrimination of workers on the basis of sex. Plaintiffs are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to block taxpayer-funded resources that would be necessary for enforcement of the measure and initiate a permanent injunction to block enforcement. Continue reading

Roughly 85 percent of working women will become mothers at some point during their careers. There are numerous legal protections in place to ensure they aren’t discriminated for this, including California’s rule against pregnancy-based harassment as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, a federal law. And yet, pregnancy is often treated some sort of deviation from the ideal norm.pregnancy discrimination

Almost all pregnant workers will need some time away from work to attend prenatal appointments. Others will need more time off due to the need for emergency medical care. Unfortunately, too many employers all too often respond to these needs with a penalty – which is illegal. Women go to the hospital for a few days, only to learn when they return home that they’ve lost their jobs, their health insurance and sometimes, ultimately, their homes – told their pregnancy-related hospital stays amounted to “unauthorized absences” or “no-call-no-shows.”

Some of these absences are covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (which allows unpaid time off for medical emergencies) but this is only applicable to companies with 50 or more workers – and employees need to have held that job for at least one year. That means 44 percent of all U.S. workers won’t have that protection. Continue reading

A federal appellate court has requested the California Supreme Court clear up confusion about the state’s employee meal break and rest break laws, which often lead to wage theft claims. Employment attorneys in Orange County recognize this decision handed down by the court could have a significant impact on both employers and workers in the Golden State. wage and hour lawsuit

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Cole v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc., the primary questions the court seeks to answer are:

  • Whether the lack of a formal workplace policy on rest and meal breaks is a violation of state law.
  • Whether an employer’s failure to maintain records of rest and meal breaks results in the rebuttable presumption that they were not provided.

A rebuttable presumption in civil law is when the court assumes something to be true unless it is proven otherwise. An example of a rebuttable presumption in civil litigation would be that a driver in the rear of a rear-end collision is presumed negligent. (In criminal law, the best-recognized rebuttable presumption is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.)

In this employment law case, it would mean it could be presumed that meal breaks were not given (due to the lack of records) unless the employer can prove otherwise. Continue reading

Employment attorneys in Los Angeles have noted an uptick in employment complaints stemming from religious discrimination. Turns out, this coincides with a notable uptick in government restrictions and social hostilities against religious persons between 2007 and 2017.religious discrimination

Policies, laws and actions by state authorities that restrict religious practices and beliefs, according to the Pew Research Center, are up around the world as well as in the U.S. Hostilities – which include violence and harassment – is also on the incline.

The most recent data we have suggests that over the last decade, more than 50 governments – including those in Russia, China and Indonesia – have been imposing either a level of restriction on religious activity considered either “high” or “very high.” Nations where individuals report feeling a “high level of social hostility” due to their religion rose from 39 up to 56 in the course of those 10 years.

Pew tracked the not only restrictions of religious freedoms (limits on certain activities or outright harassment) but also government favoritism of some religious groups or belief systems to the exclusion of others. The latter could mean providing funding, property or other benefits. The average global score for both is up by 20 percent. Continue reading

The California Supreme Court ruled that a national news network employer’s termination of an employee could amount to protected activity under anti-SLAPP laws, even if ultimately those activity are deemed unlawful. At the very least, it’s going to mean careful evaluation of employment lawsuits against news organizations in California. discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Plaintiff, who is black, alleged that as an employee, he suffered racial discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. The network argued the claim violates anti-SLAPP laws intended to shield businesses from frivolous lawsuits intended to chill speech or some other protected activity of public importance.

Analysts famed the case by considering whether a media company’s free speech right to decide who produces content that’s distributed to an audience of millions supersedes the employee’s right to a discrimination-free workplace. Based on the line of questioning, our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys surmise the court had no intention of effectively giving media organizations carte blanche reign to discriminate against their employees simply by citing the First Amendment and anti-SLAPP laws. But while that aspect of the case was remanded back to the lower court, that’s still no guarantee the worker will, especially given allegations of plagiarism, which for that industry, is often considered a fire-able offense.

Attorneys for the major network argued that editorial decisions included things like who to hire and which assignments should be given to whom. All of this, they said, is connected to furthering the mission of public speech, and thus the decision to fire the plaintiff producer should protected under anti-SLAPP laws.

Employment discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles and throughout the state had been watching closely how the case unfolded. Continue reading

Despite the rhetoric of corporate lobbyists, California discrimination claims are anything but easy wins. The process is difficult, complex and expensive – and deep-pocketed defendants have both the advantage and incentive to drag these cases out, in the hopes plaintiffs will throw up their hands and walk away.employment discrimination

This is not to say they shouldn’t be pursued, but only under the direction of an experienced employment attorney who understands the risks, can realistically explain your odds, has a proven track record of success and in whom you feel you can place your trust.

It’s important to note that not all types of discrimination are unlawful. For instance, it is legal to discriminate on the basis of age in California – so long as the person impacted isn’t 40 or older. There are some states that protect younger workers from age-based discrimination, but California isn’t one of them. However, if, for example, both workers are over 40, age discrimination can still apply. Continue reading

An increasing number of tech-based software companies that hire workers in a non-traditional setting are facing down the potential of a wave of employment lawsuits – potentially class action litigation – because of the fact they have long likely been misclassifying workers. Employment attorneys for companies looking to ward off this potential expense are preemptively doling out checks. If cashed, these payments have the effect of a worker signing away any possible right to pursuit of a future claim.Los Angles employee misclassification worker

Workers are strongly advised against cashing these checks until reviewing their legal rights with a Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer – because your claim to damages from an employee lawsuit may far exceed the amount on that check.

That’s because by designating drivers and others as “independent contractors” as opposed to employees, companies like Lyft, Uber and a new startup, Getaround Inc., are able to sidestep any duty to cover major expenses like retirement benefits, overtime, workers’ compensation and various liabilities to third parties for worker negligence. Companies also get away with denying routine rights, such as regular breaks and mealtimes. Collectively, this all adds up to significant coin. Continue reading