Articles Posted in employment attorney

Wage and hour disputes are one of the most prevalent issues handled by Los Angeles employment attorneys.  Yet another California wage-and-hour dispute was reported by LA Weekly, which revealed workers at high-dollar resort allege being financially swindled by their employer.

employee misclassificationThese workers, all employed in the restaurant and hospitality industry, allege that while working on the more than 100-acre, ritzy Los Angeles area resort they were forced to cut meal periods shorter than the allotted time, clock in for less time than they were actually working and forced to take shuttles from their employee parking area to the resort without compensation, even though this was a very time consuming process and no alternative was offered.  Continue reading

It is hard enough to get a job these days even with a perfect record. Applicants with a criminal conviction on their record may find it nearly impossible.  Fortunately, pursuant to a new state law, most California employers in California will not be able to make any inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.  There is a also a new California employment law that will prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s past salary history.

California employment lawyersAs reported in a recent news article from The National Law Review, there are three new laws in California that once in effect, will require most employers in the state to modify their hiring practices. One of these is Assembly Bill 1008 (AB 1008), which prohibits employers from making inquiries into applicants criminal histories by the human resources department and any employment recruiters prior to an offer of employment. Continue reading

The recent case of James Damore has raised serious issues about politics and free speech in the workplace. Damore was a Google engineer who circulated a highly controversial “anti-diversity manifesto” among his co-workers. Among other things, the manifesto claimed that the gender gap in the technology field was due to biological gender differences which made women less suited for the work. When the manifesto became public and went viral online, Google fired Damore for violating its Code of Conduct. CNBC reports that Damore compared being a conservative at Google to being gay in the 1950s. He claims he was fired for “wrong think,” and that anyone with conservative viewpoints is marginalized at Google. Google CEO Sundar Pinchai, in advising Google employees of Damore’s dismissal, issued a statement saying that,“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct.”Los Angeles employment attorneys

Politics are a particularly heated issue in current American culture. There is perhaps no point in history at which Americans have been more deeply and fundamentally divided over every possible ideological viewpoint. Foreign affairs, public policy, national security, religion, workplace equality, immigration, gender equality, and many other issues have caused physical violence to erupt between previously peaceful factions of society. How can employers maintain the peace of a healthy working environment while still respecting employee’s rights to their personal opinions?

Continue reading

Funding and maintaining pension programs has become a serious problem for public employers across the nation. The bankrupt city of Detroit made headlines in 2014 when it settled with its underfunded public pension fund, and drastically reduced benefits to thousands of former city employees. The New York Times reports that the presiding bankruptcy judge called the deal “miraculous”. Now, the ugly reality of underfunded public pension programs has hit California as well.California public pension lawyer

The Mercury News reports California’s new state budget projects nearly $206 billion in “unfunded liabilities for the state’s two public pension systems.” What this means is that former state employees are entitled to $206 billion of benefits that the state simply cannot pay. CalPERS, the state employee retirement fund, manages close to $330 billion in assets. It is the largest public pension fund in the nation. And yet, it is only funded at approximately 65 percent of the total amount of its obligations to former state employees.   

Nearly half of this $206 billion deficit has been added in just the past eight years. The exponential nature of these retirement benefit payments have turned the underfunding into financial time bomb. Unfortunately, public pension funding is not an easy issue for state politicians to tackle. Budget cuts, increased taxes, and reallocation of limited financial resources are unpopular measures which can wait until someone else takes office. But this waiting is exactly what caused the crisis that California now faces.   Continue reading

In the current American political climate, immigration has become a heated – and often violent – issue. This conflict has implications beyond splashy front-page news stories. Employers may soon face significant legal hurdles to sponsor non-citizen employees. Both bringing foreign workers to the United States, and maintaining their residencies once they are here, is likely to become far more difficult in the coming months.California employment lawyers

Specific Policy Changes

The Trump Administration has targeted several specific immigration programs in furtherance of the President’s “America First” campaign theme. One such program is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). KQED reports that nearly 223, 000 young immigrants have been granted residency and employment privileges under the program since DACA was enacted in 2012. The brainchild of the Obama Administration, DACA has become a target of criticism by both Trump and the Republican party. A group of GOP officials is even threatening to sue the federal government if Trump does not rescind DACA by September 5. 2017. Continue reading

A photo and electronics distributor headquartered in New York has agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a federal employment discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Labor Department, alleging discrimination against warehouse staffers.employment discrimination lawyer

Through the settlement, some 1,300 workers – current, former and would-be – will be entitled to collect back wages and other benefits. The settlement comes after four years in court, after regulators began investigating numerous claims of employee discrimination on the basis of race and gender.

Specifically, as NBC-4 New York reports, the company was accused of discriminating against certain workers during hiring and promotions. Certain workers were also required to use segregated restrooms and were subject to harassment and racially offensive comments, which management reportedly ignored.  Continue reading

New data indicates that the California job market – and thus, the state’s overall economy – is slowing. California employers collectively reduced fourteen hundred jobs across the state in June 2017. According to the Los Angeles Times, this is the second month in 2017 in which the state has posted job losses. April 2017 saw an even greater decrease in California’s employment market. Job growth in 2017 is significantly lower than California’s 2016 job growth.California employment lawyers

There are many causes to these job losses. Economic consultant Chris Thornberg posits that there are jobs available, but many workers simply cannot afford to live in California. A shortage of available housing has increased California’s notoriously high home prices and rental rates even further. This is certainly true of Silicon Valley: The New York Post reports that many technology companies are expanding operations outside of the pricey area. While Silicon Valley has experienced job losses over the past five years, both Seattle and Austin are experiencing job growth in the technology sector. The Press-Enterprise even speculates on whether California is experiencing another “tech bubble”, and the state’s ability to survive a burst of such an economic bubble. The fact that many technology firms are slowly leaving the state is not a positive sign for the technology industry, not the state’s overall economy. Continue reading

Every year new employment laws affect California employers. Businesses which are not compliant with such laws face civil liability, fines, and even regulatory sanctions (such as suspension of a business license). CBS Los Angeles reports on new 2017 employment laws which all California employers should take note of: California employment lawyers

Increased Minimum Wage:  As of January 1, 2017, businesses with twenty-five employees or more must pay workers a minimum of $10.50 per hour. GovDocs reports that this will increase in annual increments to set minimum wage at $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2023. Businesses with fewer than twenty-five employees start at a lower minimum wage of $10.00 per hour, but they, too, will experience annual increases, and  be subject to the $15.00 per hour minimum wage requirement by January 1, 2023.

Overtime Laws: The California Department of Industrial Relations describes the current California overtime requirements as follows:

  • Any employee must be paid one and a half times his or her hourly rate for any hours worked in excess of eight per day, or forty per week. “Time and a half” also applies to the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of a workweek.
  • Any hours in excess of twelve per day must be compensated at twice the employee’s hourly rate. Double time also applies to any hours beyond eight worked on the seventh day of a workweek.

There are various exceptions to the overtime requirements, and employers should carefully consider these when staffing needs arise.

Continue reading

Non-compete agreements (NCAs) are an increasingly popular tool of employers in today’s global and competitive economy. As a general rule, California law does not allow for enforcement of NCAs against an employee after he or she leaves the company. This anti-NCA stance is, in fact, so well known that one technology company (Veeva) has sued its rivals, asking the court to declare that the NCAs they make employees sign violate California law. The Recorder report that the rival companies claim that Veeva is merely after their intellectual property. Regardless of the politics behind the lawsuit, it is almost inevitable that the non-compete agreements will be deemed unenforceable against California employees. Employment contract lawyer

Despite the broad prohibition against NCAs in California, there are other tools available to employers looking to protect intellectual property. There are also several important applications of NCA law which employers are wise to understand. Continue reading

We hear a lot about jobs and job numbers on the news these days, as it has become a major political talking point.  Whether or not jobs will come back to Americans is up for debate, and both sides of the aisle have a lot to say about the topic.

employment attorney LAHowever, what we do know is that there are a lot of factories shuttered and a lot of jobs being lost, and for the laid-off workers, this is often devastating. According to a recent news article from 89.3 KPCC, California is providing $3 million to help the 600 workers who were laid-off by American Apparel. Continue reading