Articles Posted in employment attorney

Discrimination on the basis of race and national origin are prohibited by both state and federal law, and Orange County employment discrimination lawyers provide legal assistance to victims of unlawful discriminatory actions who wish to pursue claims for compensation. Discrimination can take many forms beyond a company simply not hiring or not promoting someone due to their race. Just recently, for example, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in California filed a lawsuit against Forever 21, which is a local clothing store. Forever 21 is being sued for discrimination against Spanish speaking employees. employment lawyer

According to CBS Local San Francisco, Forever 21 allegedly violated civil rights laws by unlawfully discriminating against employees who speak Spanish. The clothing retailer adopted an English-only policy to apply at its flagship store in San Francisco. The store prohibited staff members from speaking any language other than English, according to the lawsuit which has been filed. This prohibition against languages other than English extended not just to talking with customer, including Spanish-speaking customers, but also to situations where staff members were not interacting with the public. Continue reading

According to a recent news report from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, more than 200 workers at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts were present for a major demonstration.  They were carrying picket signs and chanting about management and the rights they are fighting for, but this was not a strike.  While we typically associate picket signs and workers’ rights chants with a strike or even a work slowdown, we are seeing more and more of these demonstrations where workers will express their concerns and then go back to work.

employment attorneyThe concern for these sanitation workers is coming to a boil as talks are ongoing that may affect their paychecks.  The picketing workers included wastewater plant employees, supervisors, IT specialists, and engineers. The rally was the first for this agency, as they have not had many issues involves disgruntled employees in the past. However, these workers do have considerable power should there ever be a strike, as they are responsible for the sanitation needs of nearly 6 million people in nearly 80 cities and unincorporated parts of the county. Continue reading

Since Facebook introduced its live stream feature on its incredibly popular social media application, people have been recording many different aspects of their daily lives and posting them to their Facebook walls.  In some of these cases, we see people ranting about politics, or perhaps someone will post a video of himself or herself driving in traffic with a smartphone camera sitting on the dashboard.

employment lawyerIn addition to these common variety live feed posts (which can be watched at any time later as well), there has been an alarming trend of people being beaten, kidnapped and even killed that have been posted on Facebook and watched by millions.  There have also been several suicide attempts or actual suicides posted on the social media site. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from OC Weekly, workers at a major regional hospital were wearing red shirts with their union logo and holding picket signs.  Their goal was to bring public attention to what they consider poor working conditions.  The main complaint brought by the picketers was that their employer is using part-time labor and on-call staff to get around paying fair wages to the permanent health care staff.

operationsAt this worker demonstration, there were hundreds of employees gathered with picket signs. They also say that part-time employees are being hired and are being required to work full-time hours, but are not getting full-time employee benefits.  Essentially, the claim is that the employer is acting improperly and unfairly toward the full-time staff and the new part-time hires. They also argue the part-time employment plan is not good for workers or the patients. They argue that having a dedicated full-time staff that is treated well is the proper thing to do. Continue reading

When a man who refused to give up his seat on a full plane was allegedly rough handled by security and dragged off the plane, the public became enthralled with the story. There were campaigns to boycott the legacy carrier and a seemingly endless supply of memes.  This all came about as a result of the alleged incident being captured by a passenger on his or her smartphone video camera.

AirplaneThese days, it seems there are cameras everywhere.  While there may have been witnesses describing such an event to a news reporter in the past, nothing sparks the public interest and, in this case, outrage more than a video clip of the incident on one’s Facebook feed or on a news organization’s web feed.

This can be used as critical evidence when an employee’s job is on the line. However, it’s important to remember that sometimes clips can be taken out-of-context. That alone doesn’t necessarily mean wrongful termination occurred. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects workers from wrongful termination, but California is still an at-will employment state.

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Since President Donald Trump has assumed office, he has followed through on his controversial plan to deport as many undocumented immigrants from the country as possible.  While he stressed that it would only be criminals who would be deported, the relatively loose definition of what a criminal is in terms of undocumented immigration is causing more deportations and more worry in the immigrant community that many thought would be the case.

farmsHowever, it is not only the workers and their families who fear an immigration crackdown, according to a recent news report from the Los Angeles Daily News.  Farmers are very worried by the immigration raids, because they rely on immigrant workers to harvest their crops.  It is not just an issue of pay.  As it turns out, Americans have very little interest in picking fruit and vegetables, even when they are being paid more than minimum wage.   Continue reading

Whenever we go on a vacation and stay in a hotel, one of the benefits is that we don’t have to do any housekeeping while we are away.  You can leave your room a mess and come back that evening, and everything will be neat and clean, just as when you first arrived.  While we know this isn’t magic, not everyone pays all that much attention to the many hardworking housekeepers that help make the trip more pleasant.

woman2Unfortunately, as discussed in a recent news article from the New York Times, a new report details a great deal of exploitation by unscrupulous employers against these dedicated individuals in the hotel and hospitality industry. Continue reading

While we may never see a flying car, as many science fiction movies of the 80’s and 90’s liked to feature, it seems that self-driving cars are going to be on the roads in large numbers in the relatively near future.  There are already some models on the road, like the ones made by Tesla, but these electric cars are technically not self-driving cars, but rely on an advanced guided cruise control system.  In other words, they make driving easier, but a human driver still needs to be behind the wheel paying attention.

woman workingHowever, there are true self-driving cars in the works.  Google seems the closest, with a system that will allow an occupant to simply program the car’s destination, and the vehicle takes over and does all of the work.  They have even tested one with a blind operator sitting in the driver’s seat.  This would obviously be a great help to those who are blind or unable to drive based upon a disability. Continue reading

For anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony, even if they have done their time or finished probation so they are not long “on papers,” they know just how difficult it can be to a get a job.  This is a problem for convicted workers in need of a job, but it is also a problem for society.

sadThe reason it has become increasingly clear that banning convicted felons from working is problematic is that a lack of employment opportunities is one of the biggest contributors to recidivism.  How can we expect most of the people who are released from prison to stay on the straight and narrow and not commit any future crimes if they have no means of supporting themselves or their families?   Even public assistance may not be an option, because many state and federal programs across the nation ban convicted felons.   Continue reading

Employment lawsuits have been on the rise for the last several years, with complaints ranging from sexual harassment to wage-and-hour disputes. Some of these cases have involved massive settlement agreements. It’s likely this trend will continue, though the success could be curbed if the new U.S. Supreme Court justice swings the court toward decisions that tend to favor arbitration agreements and the prohibition of class action employment lawsuits.workers2

As The Associated Press recently reported, the SCOTUS recently accepted review of three cases that center on the viability of arbitration agreements in workplace disputes. Such agreements require workers to use a private arbitrator to resolve grievances, rather than avail themselves of the courts.

The question is whether this deprives workers of due process. Private arbitrators tend to come down on the side of the business, and even those cases decided in favor of the worker tend to result in modest awards in comparison to what they might receive if they had prevailed in court. Plus, arbitrators don’t have to follow the law and proceedings aren’t public, which can strip the employer of any real incentive to change the underlying offensive action in the future. Continue reading