The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some employees of religious schools, social service centers and hospitals will not be allowed to sue for employment discrimination, due to the ministerial exception. The 7-2 decision (with two liberal justices siding with the conservative majority) pointed to a unanimous ruling eight years ago that found “ministers” could not sue churches for employment discrimination. Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer

But this ruling not only solidified that previous ruling, it expanded the protections these companies have against nondiscrimination litigation. The ministerial exception holds that the First Amendment protects churches and other religious organizations from government interference in employment decisions of “ministers” because, as Chief Justice John Roberts concluded, that would strip the church over control of those who personify its beliefs. But the question the court didn’t answer in 2012 was who, exactly, was a minister? Here, the majority decided that teachers are among those who can be considered”ministers,” in turn opening the door for countless other employees.

Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyers recognize that this was a significant blow to the hundreds of thousands of employees who work for these organizations (by some estimates, there are more than 300,000 private school teachers alone). Continue Reading ›

Recently, California employment law regulators filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Silicon Valley technology company Cisco, Inc., accusing the multinational firm of failing to intervene in harassment experienced by an Indian-American employee by two of his managers because he’s from a lower Indian caste than they are.Orange County employment discrimination lawyer

The Indian caste system is an ancient one that divide’s the country’s Hindus into four different social hierarchy groups. Privilege is bestowed on the higher castes while prejudice and repression is sanctioned against lower castes. India’s constitution banned caste-based discrimination in 1950, but much like the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, enforcement has been a process.

As our Orange County employment discrimination attorneys can explain, neither Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nor the California Fair Housing and Employment Act bars discrimination on the basis of one’s caste. However, it does protect against discrimination on the basis of religion. What regulators in the case against Cisco are alleging is that the caste system stems from the Hindu faith, and thus this type of discrimination can be covered against discrimination on the basis of religion.

The court’s position on this is being closely watched by many of the hundreds of thousands of Indian immigrants living and working in California. Continue Reading ›

A supermarket chain has agreed to pay nearly $3 million to settle a class action California pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for its refusal to allow pregnant workers to go on light duty – something it allowed other temporarily disabled workers to do.pregnancy discrimination

As our Orange County pregnancy discrimination lawyers can explain, both federal and state law provides protection for pregnant workers. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat women affected by pregnancy or related medical conditions the same way they would non-pregnant workers or applicants who have a similar ability/inability to work. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender – which includes pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions. FEHA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation for a known physical disability of an employee unless they can show doing so would create an undue hardship. Continue Reading ›

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month sparked a global outcry over policing practices and a notable shift in the conversation over the Black Lives Matter movement. It also set off an avalanche of response from corporate America, which rushed to express solidarity with the black community, some promising billions of dollars collectively to advance the causes of racial equality and justice. Public reaction to this has been mixed, in part because it’s unprecedented; companies have been largely silent on this issue before now, despite the fact that it’s not a new one (as those of us in Los Angeles well know). But the other skepticism stems from the fact that many firms don’t appear to be as vigilant on equity and diversity within their own ranks. racial discrimination attorney

Social justice advocates point out that racial disparities go far beyond policing and are calling on these companies to closely examine their hiring and promotion practices for possible racial bias.

As our Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyers can explain, lots of companies have committed to diversity in years past, some on their own and some because a court ordered them to do so. But in many corporations, there remains significant unchecked structural bias for people of color and also women. Continue Reading ›

A prominent, national law firm is facing a growing number of lawsuits pertaining to its secretive compensation system that former attorneys say hides systematic pay discrimination against women. Some of those include claims, filed in 2018, included plaintiffs who worked for the firm in California, as the ABA Journal reported. gender discrimination

In that case, the lawsuit alleges there was an enforced “code of silence” with regard to pay and productivity wherein partners kept compensation information confidential. That left female attorneys out in the cold, unable to discover or attempt to equalize their pay. Guidelines at the firm were reportedly changed to discourage – but not outright forbid – discussions of pay among partners and employees.

Recently, a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the law firm’s motion to dismiss these lawsuit, though the court did dismiss several of the pregnancy discrimination claims. Continue Reading ›

In a landmark civil rights case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that existing law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers from workplace discrimination – a huge win for LGBT equality that The New York Times characterized as “stunning.” LGBT discrimination lawyer Orange County

As our Orange County employment lawyers can explain, the question in this case was whether the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring discrimination on the basis of sex extends to lesbian, gay and transgender workers. In a 6-3 vote, justices ruled that it does. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the 172-page majority opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. This has the potential to benefit millions of gay and transgender workers.

While previous LGBT rights cases in recent years have been concerned with constitutional law, this new ruling, which covers two sets of cases – Bostock v. Clayton County and Stephens v. R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. – is concerned primarily with statutory interpretation. The first were two lawsuits filed by gay men who alleged they were terminated from their jobs because they are gay. The second was a lawsuit filed from a transgender woman who allege

Delivery drivers across the country have been filing lawsuits in recent years demanding they have been cheated out of overtime and other benefits. As our L.A. overtime lawyers know, delivery service drivers are too frequently victims of wage theft. This can come in numerous forms, including:

  • Not being paid their full, earned wages.
  • Not properly reimbursed for car expenses when they own the vehicle they drive.
  • Improperly categorized as a contractor when they are an employee. L.A. overtime lawyer

Sometimes workers in this industry are paid daily rates for a certain number of hours when in reality, their work takes longer than the hours they’ve formally logged. Continue Reading ›

The studios, producers and executives from the show Criminal Minds are facing an L.A. sexual harassment lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The complaint alleges that a director of photography for the show (which ended earlier this year after 15 seasons) engaged in repeated instances of sexual harassment which went unchecked by the defendants. The director was personally sued last year by a cameraman for sexual harassment. Now, the state is pursuing claims against CBS, ABC and Disney, claiming that not only was the director’s conduct not addressed, but anyone who “resisted or tacitly evaded” his abuse or advances. L.A. sexual harassment lawyer

Among the claims laid out in the L.A. sexual harassment lawsuit:

  • A technician was fired after he resisted a butt slap and reported it.
  • A video playback department worker corroborated the technician’s claims – and was subsequently fired.
  • More than a dozen men were fired at the photography director’s request.

Continue Reading ›

The State of California is suing the nation’s two biggest ride-share companies, asserting violations of a new state law against employee misclassification. Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer

As our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys can explain, at issue is the fact that the firms are treating their workers as if they are independent contractors as opposed to employees. The state attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit, and is joined by several other city attorneys, including Los Angeles.

The law is California Assembly Bill 5, known as AB5 for short or “the gig worker law.” It was passed last fall and went into effect Jan. 1st. Continue Reading ›

Three years ago, a young woman using a wheelchair asked Pope Francis why some who are disabled aren’t able to receive Communion or go Mass. The Pope responded that discriminating against those with disabilities is “one of the ugliest things” one can do. Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer

This month, the U.S  Supreme Court heard oral arguments via telephone regarding an employment disability claim filed by a former teacher at a Catholic school in California who said her employer declined to renew her contract after she informed them she’d need more time off for cancer treatment.

The employee died after a 5-year breast cancer battle. However, the disability discrimination claim against her former Catholic school employer in Torrance is moving forward. The trial court had sided with the school, which claimed it could not be sued for disability discrimination because of the ministerial exception. Continue Reading ›

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