A proposed class action lawsuit alleges banks, insurance companies, investment firms and loan officers were able to discriminate against older, female prospective new hires and customers using Facebook Inc.’s targeted ad platforms. The complaint, filed in San Francisco federal court, insists the company allowed financial service and other advertisers target their ads to certain consumers on the basis of age and gender – even though the company has already been taken to task for similar discriminatory ad practices.employment discrimination

If it’s proven that this violated civil rights and employment rights laws, Facebook could be vulnerable to paying billions in damages to users across the country.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Reuters the relative novelty of the internet doesn’t usurp the civil rights and employment law protections that Americans enjoy. A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company is taking the time to review the complaint, and expressed pride with the gains the social media giant has made on this front over the last few years. Continue reading

The hostility – contrived or otherwise – between Millennials & Generation Z v. Baby Boomers has become pervasive in media, public forums and online – recently giving birth to the viral phrase, “Ok, Boomer!” It’s been used by younger generations in response to interrupted city hall presentations on climate change, Donald Trump tweets, cringe-worthy YouTube videos or really any remark of condescension toward those under 30 or issues of great importance to them. The phrase is on memes, t-shirts and a growing inventory of merchandise, and The New York Times announced it “marks the end of friendly generational relations.”

Just keep it out of the office. age discrimination

As our Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers can explain, “Ok, Boomer!” may seem at worst a rudely dismissive declarative statement on generational differences, but if it worms its way into workplace vernacular, it’s likely to be presented as evidence at some point in an employment lawsuit. That’s because age (over 40) is a protected category in the workplace. There are numerous state and federal laws that shield older workers from discriminatory, adverse employment action on that basis. However, it’s notoriously challenging to prove. A phrase like this tossed around more than once, particularly among more than one staffer or supervisor, the case for age discrimination can get much easier.

Referred to as the “digital equivalent of an eye roll,” it might seem harmless with strangers online or even across the Thanksgiving dinner table, but it can pretty quickly cease to be a joke and start being a real problem in the workplace. And it’s not that even employment attorneys can’t take a joke, but the fact is it’s been more than 50 years since the passage of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 and still 6 in 10 older workers say they have experienced age discrimination at work. Continue reading

A federal judge in California has ruled that plaintiffs in a gender discrimination lawsuit against Walmart Inc. must file their cases individually, rather than altogether in class action litigation. The decision wasn’t especially surprising, given a similar ruling made by a federal court in Florida earlier this year. Although this will create challenges for the individual plaintiffs, it could ultimately mean higher damage awards for some of the individuals. gender discrimination lawyer

This case, Renati v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., involved of a group of 18 women who had originally been part of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Dukes et al v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which certified a class of 1.5 million workers (more than any other in history), all asserting that the retail giant was in violation of Title VII for disparate pay and benefits to female workers compared to their male counterparts. Women alleged that not only were they paid less than men, they were also overlooked for promotions and raises that were handed over to men less-qualified. One plaintiff was reportedly told that a certain position she sought was “a guy’s job.”

However, the SCOTUS reversed itself on the class certification issue in 2011, finding that while all the women shared the same cause of action predicated on gender discrimination claims, there was no common practice, policy or set of facts applicable to all plaintiffs. There was simply too much variation from case-to-case. Therefore, cases would have to be filed either individually or in smaller groups. Continue reading

A federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that a nuclear power plant did not violate public policy by firing an employee who tested positive for alcohol at work. The plaintiff in Bennett v. Talen Energy Corp. argued that he was not given an opportunity to participate in the Employee Assistance Program, which offers help with personal problems (including substance abuse), even though that option had been given to other employees after their first violation. wrongful termination attorney

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled firstly that in that state (just as in California), employers have virtually unfettered right to terminate workers without cause because it’s an “at-will” employment state. However, barring a claim of discrimination or some whistleblower activity, the only cause of action plaintiff would have had here would be violation of public policy. Plaintiff argued the firing violated the public policy that encourages workers to get help for alcohol and substance abuse problems. The court, however, found that public policy exceptions to at-will employment in a situation like this would be extremely limited, and this case didn’t fit any of the previous case law exceptions. In other words, there is no rule or regulation the company violated by firing the employee for being drunk at work, even if it was a first offense.

This is in line with previous court decisions in similar cases. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that while alcoholism and drug addiction can be considered disabilities under the American Disabilities Act, that doesn’t mean the employee can’t be fired for being drunk at work. What the ADA requires is that workers be given time off for treatment. What it does not mandate is that employers tolerate workers under the influence of alcohol or drugs on-the-job or that they allow workers to use on-the-clock. Continue reading

“No-rehire” clauses have long been boilerplate verbiage in employment lawsuit settlements. If you sue your employer for harassment or wage-and-hour violations or discrimination, you might well get compensation for your trouble – but you may still be out of a job. In California, that era is coming to an end. no rehire clause California

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, AB 749 will go into effect, stipulating that with only limited exception, all no-rehire provisions in employment settlement agreements will be considered void as a matter of law.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed the bill seeking to end this common practice, by which both sides agree to part ways, with the understanding the employee’s subsequent application won’t be considered or if by chance the worker is hired again, that employment can be automatically terminated. Continue reading

Filing a California employment lawsuit is a big decision – one that can be rewarding in more ways than one. However, it’s important to understand that not all termination of employment actions are illegal just because they seemed unfair. wrongful termination lawyer

As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, these claims must stem specifically from violations of:

  • Federal anti-discrimination laws
  • State anti-discrimination laws
  • Labor laws (including whistleblower protections)
  • Employment contracts
  • Retaliation (for claims of things like discrimination, harassment or workers’ compensation)
  • WARN Act violations (mass layoff cases)

In other words, unfair doesn’t always mean wrongful, at least legally speaking. Continue reading

A class action lawsuit on behalf of college football players alleges violations of minimum wage laws. Filed by a former university player who went on to play for the NFL and now the CFL, accuses the NCAA and many Division I schools of refusing to pay student athletes as they should.minimum wage law violation

The action – the latest in a string of wage and hour lawsuits against the NCAA by its athletes – follows a recent decision by the league to allow players to profit from their own name, likeness and image, the plaintiff says, isn’t enough. That decision came shortly after California passed a law allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals. That could end up being a huge break for amateur players, but the reality is, those kind of offers are only going to be available to a select few players. Other students employed by the universities or the NCAA are paid – those who sell the popcorn, those who tear the tickets – why not the players on the field? For most of the players, these games aren’t hobbies – they’re the start of a career. Both training and games are taken on at no small physical risk and personal sacrifice.

The primary plaintiff in the case, who played for the school between 2013 and 2016, asserts that student athletes should be classified similarly to student employees, even more so than the work-study students who are hired to actually work at college games. In his statement, he insisted he wasn’t seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for any one player, but that it seemed unfair that the NCAA – which brings in close to $1 billion annually – continues to insist the athletes be paid nothing at all. Continue reading

Female nurses at a home health care company in Wyoming will receive $50,000 as part of a settlement reached in an equal pay discrimination lawsuit. The nurses alleged a male nurse at the facility with less experience was paid more than female nurses with more experience.gender discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, responsible for enforcing workplace anti-discrimination laws, cited violations of both Title VII’s prohibition against discriminatory pay and the Equal Pay Act as basis for the lawsuit. As our Orange County gender discrimination lawyers can explain, both of these federal laws outlaw pay discrimination on the basis of sex. What’s more in this case, the company reportedly failed to take any corrective action even after receiving complaints from BOTH the female nurses AND the male counterpart who was paid more.

The home health care company, franchise of a national firm, is now closed, according to The Casper Star Tribune. Although this happened out-of-state, the federal laws at issue apply just as much here in California, and this problem is by no means limited to healthcare workers in Wyoming – even though it’s been 55 years since the Equal Pay Gap was passed. Continue reading

Companies in California can no longer force workers as a condition of employment to sign away their right to have claims of discrimination, unfair pay or harassment resolved in a court of law as opposed to an arbitrator. There are a few exceptions, but the sweeping effect of  AB-51, signed into law by Gov Gavin Newsom, will have a significant impact on the landscape of future employment litigation in California.workplace arbitration agreements

As our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, mandatory employee arbitration agreements have had chilling effect when it came to worker rights and employer accountability. Not only are arbitration agreements costly for workers, they tend to end more favorably for employers, class action isn’t an option and it’s all confidential. A company could turn a blind eye to something like sexual harassment for years – and victims would never have the benefit of all the claims that came before them. And what if a worker refused to sign the arbitration agreement? They risked being fired – or never hired in the first place.

This is not to say arbitration has no place at all in resolving employer-employee disputes, but not when workers are forced to sign away their rights or risk giving up their job to someone who will. Continue reading

With a developmental disability, visual impairment and deafness, he employed for 16 years as a cart pusher at a retail giant. Now, he’s been awarded $5.2 million in an employment disability discrimination lawsuit.employment disability discrimination

As our Orange County disability discrimination attorneys understand it, the man had been receiving a number of workplace accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which allowed him to be successful in his role. One of those accommodations was a job coach, paid for by federal disability funding.

His condition had not changed. What did change, The Associated Press, was that new manager came on-board. According to the complaint in EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, within just a month of the new manager taking charge, the worker was suspended and forced to resubmit the medical paperwork that allowed him access to reasonable accommodations. Continue reading