Articles Posted in employment attorney

A prominent, national law firm is facing a growing number of lawsuits pertaining to its secretive compensation system that former attorneys say hides systematic pay discrimination against women. Some of those include claims, filed in 2018, included plaintiffs who worked for the firm in California, as the ABA Journal reported. gender discrimination

In that case, the lawsuit alleges there was an enforced “code of silence” with regard to pay and productivity wherein partners kept compensation information confidential. That left female attorneys out in the cold, unable to discover or attempt to equalize their pay. Guidelines at the firm were reportedly changed to discourage – but not outright forbid – discussions of pay among partners and employees.

Recently, a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the law firm’s motion to dismiss these lawsuit, though the court did dismiss several of the pregnancy discrimination claims. Continue Reading ›

Unemployment has been soaring in California and throughout the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as employees return to work, there have been numerous concerns raised about work safety, discrimination during layoffs and wage and hour disputes. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys predict a significant uptick in worker lawsuits against employers who violated their rights or treated them unfairly. Los Angeles employment lawyers

Several class actions are currently pending against government employers, salons and manufacturers, and it’s expected there will be more of these also. So far, most class action litigation to arise from the pandemic has come from the consumers, many of whom have been fighting for refunds or accusing some companies of price gouging. Ultimately though, employment litigation will likely surpass this. Continue Reading ›

Sweeping closures of California businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic left millions of Californians unemployed. Now, as the curve of coronavirus cases has flattened and state officials have announced measures that will allow more businesses to reopen, Los Angeles employment lawyers have been receiving questions about what rights workers have in returning. L.A. employment lawyers

These include questions about what personal protective equipment employers are required to provide, what to do if they don’t feel safe returning and what to know if their employer retaliates for reporting unsafe conditions.

Safety First – COVID-19 Protection at Work

All California employers are required to provide a reasonably safe workplace. As outlined in Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have a general duty to provide every worker with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm. Continue Reading ›

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a host of questions for employees and employers about what the wage and hour rules are for things like paid sick leave, reporting time pay, predictive scheduling and reimbursement for reasonable business expenditures. Orange County wage and hour lawyer

The pandemic has left the California and U.S. economies in a free fall, with California’s Employment Development Department receiving almost 2 million unemployment insurance claims within just three weeks. As noted by the San Jose Mercury News, the Great Recession in 2008 resulted in a total of 2.2 million unemployment claims. It’s unclear how long these unemployment claims will last, and small businesses have been hit particularly hard.

Our California wage and hour lawyers in Orange County know, these unprecedented times have many asking whether the same wage and hour rules apply. Continue Reading ›

A recently-filed California workplace discrimination lawsuit alleges a former supervisor at Amazon ordered an employee to scour the social media platforms of job applicants, looking for information on their gender, ethnicity and race. When the employee raised concern about this (as well as the fact that she reportedly earned significantly less than male colleagues doing similar work). She was fired two months later. employment discrimination

Amazon has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity. This was partially why the worker ascertained that what she was being asked to do was illegal, in violation of California’s anti-discrimination laws. Her lawsuit states that when she was fired, it was communicated to her that her direct supervisor had admitted to accessing job applicant social media accounts for the purpose of gleaning details about candidates’ ethnicity and race. The director who fired her also reportedly conceded that the claimant made less than male colleagues by that this simply “happens all the time” at the company. She was allegedly fired for failure to meet expectations (even though she’d been promoted within five months of joining the team).

Although the incident made headlines because it involved Amazon, the fact is incidents like this happen a lot more than one might think. Social media can prove incredibly useful for job recruiters in publicizing job openings, etc. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter can be valuable in gathering information on prospective employees, and many companies use these outlets to conduct background checks on workers to ensure they are qualified for a certain position. However, it’s a fine line that has to be walked in terms of how those jobs are publicized and what type of information is being sought when recruiters access applicants’ social media pages. Continue Reading ›

Discrimination in the hiring process has long been problematic in California workplaces. Allowing personal biases of employers and supervisors to play a role in who gets the job and who doesn’t is extremely problematic when the effect is systematic discrimination against applicants on the basis of their race, religion, age, gender, disability or other protected status. Yet it happens far too often. discrimination in hiring

Now, a new California bill seeks to address this with technology.

SB1241, formally the Talent for Competitive Hiring (TECH) Act would establish a new legal bar – a high one – to address discrimination in hiring with transparent written guidelines for companies to follow in their recruiting process. The ultimate goal is to create fairer hiring processes and more diverse work forces with the aid of technological tools. It was co-authored by Democrats from Los Angeles, Long Beach, Gardena and Carson.

Rather than leaning on one of a myriad of unregulated pre-screening software programs or even a hiring manager, the TECH Act would require adoption of a smart computer program equipped with agnostic filtering that would be routinely monitored. As our Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyers understand it, SB1241 is a “rules of the road” so-to-speak for hiring practices. The bill sponsors say the measure is necessary to tackle the widening opportunity gap that leads to ongoing socioeconomic inequality throughout the state. Continue Reading ›

Employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination aren’t solely the problem of large corporations. It’s true that the federal discrimination lawsuits against Fortune 500 companies tend to make splashier headlines, especially when they conclude in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. But small businesses can be just as susceptible to these issues. employment lawsuit

Many small business owners are unprepared when these lawsuits are filed. The fact is that the bulk of litigation filed against businesses of all sizes involves employment disputes. About 40 percent of those are filed against smaller employers, with somewhere between 15 and 100 employees.

Employment lawsuits can more deeply affect a smaller employer, so it’s important for them not only to be insured, but also to be proactive in preventing disputes in the first place. That means knowing the law (including all the new employment laws that were passed in California recently), being sure there are clear policies and procedures in place to address problems and making certain those avenues for resolution are communicated to staff and supervisors. Continue Reading ›

California may see an increase in workplace retaliation claims since Assembly Bill 749 , which bans no-rehire clauses with limited exception in employment dispute settlements, was enacted this month. Los Angeles employment attorney

Prior to the passage of this bill, it was common practice for companies to settle discrimination or harassment claims with employees with a settlement that included a no-rehire clause. These provisions can vary in scope, but usually indicated that any future application for employment by that person wouldn’t be considered, and if the worker was hired by chance, he or she would be terminated automatically.

The California Chamber of Commerce had argued the law wasn’t necessary because there were already existing laws against overly-broad no-rehire clauses (specifically, Business and Professional Code section 16600).

The new law, codified in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 1002.5, indicates that no agreement to settle an employment dispute should contain any provision that prohibits, prevents or otherwise restricts an aggrieved person who is settling from obtaining future employment with that employer or any parent company, division, affiliate, subsidiary or contractor. Companies can include no-rehire provisions in cases where the company made a good faith determination that the person signing committed sexual harassment or sexual assault OR where there was a legitimate (i.e., non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory) reason for firing that person. There is also an exclusion for severance agreements. 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 ›

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 ›

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