Sexual harassment training was supposed to be mandatory for virtually all employees in California as of Jan. 1, 2020. That was thanks to Senate Bill 1343, which was passed in September 2018. However, that date has been pushed back to Jan. 1, 2021 because of SB 778, which state lawmakers quietly passed in August. SB 778 pushed back the implementation of SB 1343 by a full year.Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers

You’d be forgiven for being mistaken and not realizing employers had another full year before they are mandated to be in compliance. CapRadio was. In a correction, the media outlet wrote, “(SB 778) came with no announcements or notification from the lawmaker’s office.”

That said, our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers would encourage companies to that haven’t already begun the process may want to explore how to do so this year so there aren’t any surprises with compliance issues in 2021. The more your workers understand about sexual harassment and your company policies for dealing with it, the more likely it can be appropriately handled from the start (which means better morale for your workers and less chance of litigation for you). It will also allow you to be prepared well ahead of time so your company isn’t scrambling last-minute to comply. Continue reading

A worker for Amway, a multi-level marketing company that sells home, health and beauty care products, is suing the company and alleging he and other sellers should be classified and paid as employees, rather than independent contractors. Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer

Our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys are watching this case closely because it could impact a host of other similar types of business models, such as LuLaRoe, Young Living, Scentsy, Rodan + Fields, Avon Products, Herbalife and others.

Amway sells products like detergent and mouthwash, promoting itself as a means for sellers to become “small business owners.” They thrive on person-to-person sales. These types of companies have come under fire for reportedly predatory business models that require salespersons to buy several hundred or thousand dollars in products just to get started. In some cases, individuals have drained their savings and retirement accounts. The Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings about these types of pyramid schemes, but the companies remain in business.

Most of these companies refer to their salespersons as independent “participants,” “distributors” or “contractors.” But are they?

Not according to the plaintiff in the latest California employment lawsuit against Amway. Continue reading

A new study found that job discrimination began for over-40 applicants as soon as their age became known by the employer. Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer

The analysis, conducted by economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research in San Francisco, indicated that when workers applied in person for a position, they were “substantially” less likely to land that job than those who applied online. Researchers theorized the reason was the online applications didn’t ask job candidates for their age, and thus that information didn’t become apparent until the hiring entity has already had time to give at least initial consideration to candidates on the basis of their skills.

Ultimately, older workers in both scenarios still face age discrimination. However, at least a candidate who makes it to the interview stage has had an opportunity to highlight their desirability has an employee without age as a factor. And as our Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers point out, candidates who make it to the later stages of the interview process and are then denied may have an easier time proving discriminatory hiring practices. Continue reading

Is saying, “Ok, boomer” a form of age discrimination? The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the possibility. While we await a decision, companies may want to be wary of workers tossing the phrase around. age discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The pithy catchphrase went viral last year as a means of taking a dig at older generations – specifically the perception that aging individuals tend to be more judgmental, narrow-minded and rigidly conservative. Recently, while considering an age discrimination lawsuit, Chief Justice John Roberts, himself a baby boomer (those born between 1946 and 1964), asked hypothetically whether use of the phrase said during the hiring process would constitute age discrimination.

The case in question involves an older government employee who alleges she was discriminated against because of her age. When Roberts asked the question, the somber mood within the courtroom lightened as many chuckled. However, the plaintiff’s employment attorney did seize on it to make a serious point, noting that the use of ethnic slurs in the hiring process could easily be construed as evidence of age discrimination – why not a quip like, “Ok, boomer”? Continue reading

Workers at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA are done with the fun and games – at least when it comes to being allegedly underpaid. The California minimum wage lawsuit says the park’s employees aren’t being a living wage. As a result, many have been forced to sleep in their cars, struggle to feed their families and keep up with basic necessities. Orange County wage and hour lawyers

In the Orange County Superior Court lawsuit, the workers accuse the Walt Disney Corporation of unfair business practices and unlawful conduct. The minimum wage in the City of Anaheim is $15-an-hour by ordinance (it’s currently $12 hourly in the state of California).

The plaintiffs, representing some 400 employees at the park, are pursuing back wages, restitution and damages.

Our Orange County wage and hour lawyers aren’t the least bit surprised to hear this. A survey conducted of 5,000 Disney workers two years ago revealed that nearly 75 percent of the company’s employees don’t earn enough in wages to cover basic expenses every month. More than 50 percent said they’d been evicted from their homes. Two-thirds reported they weren’t sure where their next meal was coming from.

So why now? Continue reading

Not all state or federal labor laws can be applied equally to all workers. For example, you may know that the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act requires most employers to pay overtime for any hours worked in excess of 8 in a given day. But if you work in the public sector, the rules may be a bit different (or a lot different, depending on your job title). Los Angeles employment attorney

Employees for public agencies such as school districts, fire departments and public works agencies are not entitled to daily overtime by statute.

Still, there are some technicalities, so it’s always best to talk to a Los Angeles employment attorney if you aren’t sure. In some instances, public agency employers may not have violated state or federal law with regard to wage and hour requirements, but there could be violations of the collective bargaining agreement, and a claim could be filed under breach of contract laws. Continue reading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which sets precedent in California, affirmed a $54.6 million jury verdict in favor of Wal-Mart truck drivers for violation of California labor law. The retail giant challenged the earlier decision on numerous grounds, including improper application of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, the certification of the class and lack of jurisdiction. The federal appellate court rejected all of these in Ridgeway v. Wal-Mart, Inc., in effect reaffirming the state’s definition of what qualifies as compensable work. truck driver minimum wage

State labor laws stipulate that “hours worked” are to include all time a worker is subject to the company’s control and all time he/she is “suffered or permitted to work” – regardless of whether they actually do work. The drivers asserted the company didn’t pay them for time spent under the company’s control, such as during inspections, layovers and rest breaks. They sought damages, restitution and statutory penalties.

Prior to trial, plaintiffs were granted partial summary judgment on the minimum wage liability claims. Specifically, Wal-Mart wasn’t paying them for all their job duties. The company mandated that drivers take breaks without pay and controlled them during 10-hour layover time. By state law, they should have been entitled to receive minimum wage during these stretches. The trial court agreed that the company’s pay policy, if applied as written, would mean the drivers should be getting paid minimum wage during the times they were subject to their employer’s control. The question of whether the company actually violated the law, however, still had to go before a jury.

Jurors returned a verdict finding that in 7 of 11 disputed, non-paid tasks, the company violated state minimum wage laws. These tasks included layovers, rest breaks, pre-trip inspections and post-trip inspections. Continue reading

Two major corporations are suing the State of California alleging that a labor rights law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2020 is unconstitutional. Filed in Los Angeles federal court on Dec. 30, 2019, the lawsuit by Uber Technologies and Postmates are striking preemptively against Assembly Bill 5, which was intended to extend greater employment protections to those who work for companies like these and others within the so-called “gig economy.” But the plaintiffs say companies that rely on so-called “gig workers” were unfairly targeted while those in other industries were given more favorable treatment under the law with regard to how they classify workers. In turn, this has threatened the workers’ ability to be flexible. employee misclassification attorney Los Angeles

As our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys can explain, AB5 has been the subject of intense and bitter dispute, with drivers, food couriers and other workers caught up in the middle. These workers derive their income by accepting “jobs” through these companies’ smartphone and computer apps. Plaintiffs allege the law arbitrarily exempted various types of workers, including commercial fisherman, grant writers, travel agents, direct salespeople and construction truck drivers.

Written as a means of codifying the California Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (i.e., “the Dynamex ruling). Continue reading

A new law enacted last year now in effect gives California workers three years in which to file a lawsuit under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) instead of just one. California AB9

Previously, an employee who alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation or another claim under FEHA would have one year to file a file an administrative complaint, the prerequisite to filing a civil lawsuit. Aggrieved workers could either requires the state’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) issue an immediate Right to Sue Notice or else choose for the state to launch an investigation of the claim. As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, such an investigation can take a year or more if those involved opt to participate in the state’s mediation program. The DFEH can then issue a Right to Sue Notice after the investigation is concluded, and employees had one year from that date to actually file a lawsuit.

AB9, also referred to as the Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act, extends the one-year deadline to filing a DFEH complaint to three years. The worker still has just one year from the date of receiving the DFEH’s Right to Sue Notice to actually file the lawsuit. That means it could be four years or more before a potential California employment lawsuit is filed. The new statue of limitations is six times longer than the federal standard. Continue reading

The state’s new worker classification law takes effect on Jan. 1st. Those behind the AB5 legislative effort know it was an uphill battle – but it appears the fight isn’t over yet. Court cases challenging the law are piling up, some companies are saying they simply won’t cooperate (likely to lead to more litigation) and there is a looming multimillion-dollar ballot initiative gearing up for next November. employee misclassification lawyer

Our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys will be watching these developments closely to see how these disputes unfold.

AB5 is going to make it more difficult for companies to label their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Legislators backing the measure pointed to mounting evidence that companies are improperly classifying workers as independent contractors to avoid the added expenses of things like workers’ compensation benefits, health insurance, minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, the right to unionize and other benefits to which employees (but not independent contractors) are entitled.

Employer preparations for AB5 should already be well underway. If you operate a small business and still aren’t sure about whether your operations fall under the umbrella of AB5 or if so, how to restructure your employment model, it’s imperative that you contact a longtime employment law firm to help protect your legal interests. Some companies have been able to find creative workarounds that satisfy employees as well as their bottom line. This can include using staffing agencies, having contractors form an LLC (to qualify for a business-to-business exemption) and other strategies.  Continue reading