The joint employment of a fast-food franchisor can’t be established in California employment lawsuits just because the company asserts control over the franchisee’s branding. Instead, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that plaintiffs will need to show sufficient control over things like worker hours, wages and job conditions under numerous legal theories. wage and hour lawyer

In the case before the Ninth Circuit, Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., the court held that the McDonald’s Corporation didn’t exercise sufficient control over the workers at a Bay Area franchisee to be held as a joint employee for alleged violations of state wage laws. Continue reading

People diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make excellent employees. However, many are denied opportunities – for a job, for advancement, for benefits and more. Disability discrimination is all too often a daily occurrence for those with ASD, especially because the spectrum is so broad and the condition still not well understood.disability discrimination lawyer

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 1 in 59 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism annually, a figure that has steadily increased in recent years.

As our Los Angeles workplace disability discrimination attorneys can explain, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ban disability-based discrimination in employment.

Discrimination is understood to mean that a qualified job applicant or employee is treated unfavorably by a job applicant because of his or her disability. Continue reading

When a 34-year-old former California correctional officer secured a $1.7 million settlement from her former employer in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, she thought that might be the end of it. The agency was accused of failing to accommodate her pregnancy, ultimately resulting in her baby’s stillbirth. But she’s back in court facing them again, this time for a clause in the settlement that required her to resign – and barred her from ever working for the agency again. no rehire clauses

Although she does not want to return to that line of work, her concern is the impact this condition might have on her ability to collect disability retirement. A court hearing has been scheduled to address the issue, but this is something our Los Angeles employment attorneys have found affects many, many workers who have been discriminated and retaliated against.

It’s the driving force for a pending bill that would prohibit “no rehire” clauses like this in employment discrimination settlement agreements. Continue reading

Companies can be held legally responsible for sexual harassment and even sexual assault of an employee in an employment lawsuit if business managers/supervisors/HR representatives failed to take action regarding previous complaints of harassment/gender discrimination.sexual harassment lawyer

A large auto manufacturer is facing a federal trial over allegations that it did nothing to aid an employee who was sexually harassed and later sexually assaulted on company property.

The worker filed the employment lawsuit last year and it’s now slated for trial in 2020. The employee alleged that her manager harassed and attacked her, all while assuring her that no one in human resources would intervene if she filed complaints – which, she says, ultimately proved true. Continue reading

Employee rest periods and overtime are worker rights guaranteed in California by statute and overseen by regulators at the state’s Department of Industrial Relations. Although there are exceptions, most workers are guaranteed at least 10 minutes of rest for every 10 hours worked and must be paid overtime for every hour worked over 40. The laws are clear, and yet our employment wage and hour lawyers know far too many companies run afoul of them. employee rest breaks

Some large banks in the country have been accused – and made to pay – repeatedly for failures in providing employees with rest breaks or pay overtime as required by law – in California and other states.

Recently, a federal judge in New Jersey approved a $35 million settlement to current and former employees at Wells Fargo & Co. who were made to work unpaid overtime outside normal hours. That lawsuit was initially filed three years ago, with the financial firm’s accused of not paying for all hours worked and/or not paying overtime. Workers were reportedly forced to work off-the-clock in order to meet unrealistic sales targets that would be impossible to achieve in a typical 40-hour workweeks.

That same bank had previously been accused of rest break violations. Continue reading

Several former chicken plant workers are suing more than a dozen processing businesses, subsidiaries, affiliates and consultant companies, accusing them of conspiring to keep wages and benefits low for workers, overwhelmingly immigrants. The employees filed the wage and hour lawsuit on their own behalf, though the case could eventually encompass thousands of workers if approved for class action status.wage and hour lawsuit

Employee wage and hour attorneys understand the defendants include some of the largest chicken companies in the U.S., responsible for production and processing of some 90 percent of chicken sold in the country.

Price Fixing Allegations

The federal lawsuit alleges the companies took turns paying for annual, secret gatherings of their respective representatives in Florida to share with each other wage and benefit information – which they then used to fix those wages and benefits. Managers of companies would also be in contact with each other throughout the year when new positions would open up, discussing what the wages and benefits would be for the new post. Plaintiffs alleged this led to a pattern of controlling wages. Continue reading

With the stroke of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pen, the sweeping California employment law limiting businesses’ use of independent contractors has become law and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. employee misclassification

Assembly Bill 5 had the overwhelming support of the state legislature, and the governor’s signature was widely anticipated, as his office had already voiced support for the measure.

Orange County employment lawyers know the goal is to reduce instances of worker misclassification, which is when employees are improperly designated as “independent contractors” rather than “employees,” which deprives them of a host of basic protections afforded to employees, such as:

  • Minimum wage;
  • Sick days;
  • Health insurance benefits;
  • Meal breaks;
  • Rest breaks;
  • Workers’ compensation insurance.

Continue reading

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 superior court judge in Napa County has ordered a retrial in the employee pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against one of the most sought-after chefs who owns two of the most popular fine dining restaurants in the country. The defendant had been cleared last month of wrongdoing, but the victory may be short-lived. The plaintiff, who alleges pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination and sexual harassment are rampant in the restaurant industry, will now have another chance to plead her case – in the same court with a new jury.pregnancy discrimination

As The San Francisco Chronicle reported, the trial judge agreed to plaintiff’s request for retrial, finding credence in her arguments that:

  • There wasn’t enough evidence to justify the verdict;
  • There was juror misconduct by the jury and defense counsel;
  • Some of the defense witness testimony and evidence lacked credibility.

To prevail in the case, the plaintiff needed to show it was more likely than not she was discriminated against by her employer because of her pregnancy. The judge ruled plaintiff had met that proof burden. Continue reading

The American labor union representing some 160,000 television and film actors, radio personalities, journalists, singers and others is arguing a 2017 California age discrimination law that censors celebrity ages online should be reinstated. The law was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on First Amendment grounds.age discrimination

The goal of AB 1687  was to crack down on rampant age discrimination in youth-oriented Hollywood, but the effect has been the ages and birthdays of famous actresses and actors can be removed from online entertainment employment services sites like IMDb.com, at the entertainers’ request.

Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers understand that SAG-AFTRA’s argument to have it reinstated was met with a great deal of skepticism from the appellate court justices.

Both Overinclusive and Underinclusive? 

IMDb, wildly popular with 250 million unique visitors monthly, was created in the early 1990s, with its website launched in 1996. The law had forced the company to remove actors’ ages if they were subscribers to the site’s premium service and asked them to do so. Continue reading