A longtime agent in Tennessee has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles-headquartered Agency for the Performing Arts alleging a hostile work environment and seeking to be released from his contract. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee. Plaintiff claims executives at the agency have tried to edge him out and take his clients, sent hostile and abusive emails to him, and threw him into a wall during an argument, according to a report from Tennessean. The agent alleged an internal inquiry into the events led to a vague response from the company, essentially calling on all parties involved to follow the rules and get along. Plaintiff found this conclusion unacceptable, and believes APA’s tolerance of a hostile work environment frees him of his contract, which is set to expire in 2019. Continue reading
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court made it significantly harder for workers to join together to stand up against their employer. The highest court in the land determined it is permissible for employers to include language in hiring contracts banning employees from joining class-action lawsuits, according to an ABC News report. This disheartening revelation flies in the face of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which was drafted to protect employees’ rights to organize and take collective action to fight for their own interests.
The supporting justices seemed to favor instead the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925, which validates arbitration clauses, making it legal for employers to bind an employee’s right to sue their employer as a term of employment. This forces employees who have signed an arbitration agreement to address their grievances without filing a lawsuit. Instead, they would have to handle disputes individually through a third party arbitrator, often hired by the company whose actions are in question. Continue reading
We’ve heard all too many stories since the emergence of the #MeToo movement about women who wanted to come forward with their accounts of workplace sexual misconduct, but their companies had created loopholes that made it nearly impossible or too risky to go public. One former Uber employee is kicking down some of those barriers and working alongside the California Assembly to make it happen.
The former Uber engineer drew national attention when she previously wrote a blog post about alleged sexual harassment and questionable practices within the company, according to Tech Crunch. Her courage to speak up led to the resignation of Uber’s then CEO last summer. Now the ex-employee is supporting a bill that will help women in situations like hers to be able to seek public legal action. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced AB-3080, a bill that addresses one of the major ways companies try to silence internal complaints: forced arbitration.
One of the best ways workers can shield themselves from discriminatory practices at work is through the use of organized resistance to unscrupulous practices by employers. When a worker’s rights have been violated, there may be the possibility of taking legal action but many labor unions strive to prevent such violations before they occur.
According to a recent news article from People’s World, the Los Angeles chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), has pledged to renew their efforts to form an “inseparable resistance to illegal and otherwise unfair employment practices” committed by various employers in Los Angeles and across California. Continue reading
According to a recent news article from Society for Human Resource Management, an employee in California has filed a lawsuit against his former employer claiming he was fired for being “too gay.” He was working in executive management for the company prior to being terminated, according to his complaint.
In his complaint, employee claimed his was openly gay when he was hired in 1997. He worked for the company for 10 years in various management jobs. In 2007, he was given a new job as the manager for diversity and inclusion. This was not only a new job for him, but a newly created position within the company. Continue reading
According to a recent news article from The Los Angeles Times, the prevailing wage for construction workers in California is at the forefront of a growing debate over housing. This is a fairly complex issue when we look at the definition of the prevailing wage and how it works in practice.
The prevailing wage is the leading wage paid to construction workers in our region. There is a prevailing wage for each of the 25 different types of construction workers. For example, the common wage of masonry workers is the prevailing wage for that class of worker. There is a prevailing wage for all other construction trades, such as plumbers or electricians. Continue reading
According to a recent news article from CNN Money, workers at a major department store chain have managed to avoid a strike when it seemed like the situation had turned hopeless in terms of reaching a deal with management.
Before we get to the actual dispute in this situation, much of the trouble stems from a shift from people shopping in so-called brick and mortar stores to online shopping with giants such as Amazon. There is no question that the retail market is changing, and that will mean big changes for the employers and employees at department stores. However, the changes go much further than that, as even the shopping malls that typically house these large anchor stores, as they are often called, are also closing as less people go out to the mall these days. Continue reading
The Washington, D.C. metro transit system operated by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has been in the news a lot in the past decade, and none of it has been for positive reasons. We have seen reports of trains crashing and people injured and killed and a train trapped in a smoke-filled tunnel that caused the death of one victim. We have seen reports of workers injured or killed, and numerous safety violations, as well as a seemingly never-ending barrage of accusations of financial mismanagement.
In yet another recent news article for the Washington Post, we learn that five fired metro track workers are now suing WMATA on various claims, including discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment. These workers had all been employed in the transit systems track inspection department. Two of these plaintiffs were track walkers and two of them were department supervisors. The last employee was a maintenance engineer. Continue reading
According to a recent news article from the Silicon Valley Business Journal, a former media executive for tech giant Yahoo has filed an employment lawsuit in federal court claiming that he was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against by the company’s policies put in place by their CEO.
Specifically, this employee claims that after he was employed for three years as an editorial director at the company’s California location, he was wrongfully terminated in 2015. He said his termination was the result of a company-wide employee review policy that was consisted of intentional gender discrimination as well as a desire to save money by reducing the amount of money it spent on employee wages and salaries. After the current CEO was hired, she created a new quarterly review process to evaluate the performance of all key employees and make necessary changes in personnel based upon the result of these reviews. It was after one of the reviews that the employee who filed this was lawsuit was terminated. Continue reading
While there is a lot of excitement about the St. Louis Rams’ upcoming move to Los Angeles, the team has been worried that the contracts already executed will become subject to California labor law instead of Missouri law, which is where they were located when the contracts were executed, according to a recent news feature from NBC Sports.
The obvious reason the team ownership was concerned about which law would apply to the contracts is because California is a lot more progressive than other states, especially those in the Midwest. In other words, when a labor dispute arises, the law in California is likely to be a lot more favorable to to the interests of the employees than to the employer. Continue reading