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

As longtime labor and employment attorneys, we represent individuals from all backgrounds. Recently, amid internal strife within the Democratic party, President Donald Trump stirred a firestorm of controversy when he called out four far-left Congresswomen (AKA “The Squad”), directing them to “go back” to the countries from which they/their ancestors came.national origin discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The exact phrase used within his series of tweets was:

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

The issue is not the fact that the president has some folks in an uproar, as this is nothing new.

EEOC Considers Comments in This Vein Evidence of Racial Discrimination

What our Los Angles racial discrimination employment lawyers can say is this:

Far in advance of this maelstrom, the federal agency responsible for enforcement of anti-discriminatory employment laws expressly noted a phrase very similar and in the same vein as that shared by the president, noting it to be the type of language that might violate federal anti-discrimination employment laws. Continue reading

The lunch time wars at Wal-Mart rage on. A class action Los Angeles labor and employment lawsuit over meal breaks has resulted in a $6 million verdict – and the introduction of something known as the “meal break discouragement theory.”employment attorney

In Hamilton v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., plaintiffs alleged the mandatory security check through which they had to exit and enter during every break consumed so much time, the end result was workers were left with less than their legally protected right to a full half hour for meals during their shift. Beyond this, workers alleged it was overly-intrusive, embarrassing to be required to remove feminine hygiene products from their purses. Break rooms were noisy, crowded, uncomfortable places to be.

It wasn’t that they were ever denied the opportunity to take a meal break. They were, however, soundly discouraged from it. A jury agreed with them, and in April, awarded $6.1 million. Continue reading

Three years ago, the Beverly Hills Police Department hired its first-ever female police chief. While her appointment was lauded, her tenure has been marred by a series of civil lawsuits against the department – namely by at least 20 employees alleging misconduct specifically by her.employment discrimination

The California employment discrimination claims assert professional misconduct and discrimination against employees on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and more.

In the most recent claim, jurors awarded a department employee $250,000, finding the chief targeted the worker for racist and homophobic harassment. This reportedly began when the chief learned plaintiff was a lesbian. The chief’s response – which she did not deny – was, “Ew! Gross!” Although the chief later admitted this comment, she insisted it was not intended to be discriminatory.

In another incident involving the same plaintiff, the chief reportedly told plaintiff that if she hoped to attend an upcoming holiday party, she was expected to “dress Mexican.” Continue reading

A former executive who worked at Netflix alleges she was terminated from her post because her superior was angered by the fact that she was pregnant and had made known her intention to take maternity leave.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, plaintiff had been part of the team that had helped launch original international content for the streaming services company. pregnancy discrimination Los Angeles

Plaintiff is a filmmaker in her 30s who alleges that once her pregnancy became known, she was removed from key projects and other executives began to shun her.

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in three cases alleging LGBTQ workplace discrimination. In an amicus brief (documents filed in appellate matters by non-litigants – or amicus curiae – with a strong interest in the stakes), some of the biggest U.S. companies urged the court to rule that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning workers. LGBTQ discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

In their brief, more than 200 companies in all argued that their own corporate anti-discrimination policies cannot serve as an adequate substitute to the law. It is the position of these companies – among them Amazon, Bank of America, Microsoft, Starbucks and Walt Disney – that LGBTQ workers have inherent protections under existing federal rights law.

Most argue this in the context of gender discrimination, but the problem is is no express terminology from the legislature opining these rights exist in U.S. law. That has resulted in courts in different jurisdictions reaching inconsistent conclusions. Continue reading

Civil claims based on California employment law can be difficult to prove, particularly when they involve a case of alleged harassment, which often boils down to “he-said-she-said.” But whether we’re talking about harassment, wrongful termination or retaliation, plaintiffs will generally bear the proof burden. This is why for so many cases, witness statements prove critical.workplace harassment

One of the reasons witnesses are so essential is that they are, if not wholly unbiased, at least gaining less from the lawsuit than either of the involved parties. This is important in jury trials and even settlement negotiations, when it’s unclear who really has the stronger case.

For instance, plaintiff could argue that he was fired for making safety violations and that the performance-related reasons the company gave for the termination were nothing more than pretext. However, absent some solid proof, your Los Angeles employment attorney is going to need more than your word alone to prove this.

Similarly a restaurant manager’s sexual harassment of a young female waitress may be difficult to prove on her word alone. However, if co-workers attest to seeing it, that helps to substantially bolster the case. Continue reading

Temperatures in cities throughout Southern California soar well into triple digits around this time of year. For those who must brave the heat and still make it to work, many companies are seeing workers skirt the dress code rules with attire that may not meet company professional standards. But are workplace dress codes legal in California? Can a company reasonably defend them in a court of law?workplace discrimination

As Los Angeles labor and employment attorneys can explain, companies are free to implement workplace dress codes by setting standards for what is appropriate for the company or industry.

However, what they may NOT do is discriminate against workers on the basis of gender, gender identity (including transgender employees/those in the midst of a transition), religion, race or physical disability. Continue reading

Landing a promotion is often a cause to celebrate. However, those who land supervisory roles in some industries find that when they move from an hourly post to a salaried position, they lose their access to overtime pay. That means employers start working them for as many hours they can, and workers end up being paid less per hour for all their new responsibilities. wage and hour lawyer

Los Angeles overtime lawyers know this is very often illegal, and workers are encouraged to discuss their concerns with experienced wage and hour attorneys.

This issue is all the more pressing given a new proposal by President Trump’s U.S. Labor Department, setting the salary threshold (the minimum to which all workers are entitled) to $679 weekly, or little more than $35,000 annually as of next year. That might not seem awful, but the effect is that adopting this proposal would leave behind millions of workers behind that would have gotten a boost of overtime protections per regulations that had been finalized by the Obama administration in 2016. Continue reading

Residential health care workers are winning the right to secure unpaid wages in California in wage theft lawsuits. However, actually getting paid has proven a different story, one our Orange County employment attorneys have been monitoring closely.wage and hour lawyers

While much has been made of the elder abuse in nursing homes and residential care facilities, the story of caregivers gets less spotlight, but isn’t much brighter.

Recently, the Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting unearthed a host of working conditions described as “abusive,” likely not only to endanger patients but also subject workers to unfair conditions. It underscores the need for more substantial oversight of owner/operators of these for-profit facilities. Continue reading