Articles Posted in employment attorney

We’ve heard all too many stories since the emergence of the #MeToo movement about women who wanted to come forward with theirwhistleblower attorneys 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.

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They might share a name, hours, and overarching rules, but according to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,employment attorneys  7-Eleven franchisees are not direct employees of 7-Eleven. In the original employment lawsuit complaint, filed by a group of four franchisees, plaintiffs pointed to 7-Eleven’s restrictive rules, alleging they were unable to run a truly independent franchise and therefore qualified them as employees of the parent company. But the court ruled plaintiffs did not sufficiently demonstrate an employee-employer relationship. Our employment attorneys experienced in wage and hour lawsuits know this could set a significant precedent for current and future cases involving franchises.

According to National Law Review, plaintiffs attempted to make a case based on a few factors:

  • The requirement that franchisees remain open 364 days a year for 24 hours a day.
  • 7-Eleven distributes payments to all employees.
  • 7-Eleven sets rules for pay practices, discipline, terminations, and performance appraisals.

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Fair pay has been a long and hard fought battle, and it’s not over yet. For instance, the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau reported in 2015, the gender earnings ratio (women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s) for full-time, year-round workers was 79.6 percent (up from 60.2 percent in 1980). White, non-Hispanic women as well as Asian women out-earn Black and Hispanic women.

A bill recently introduced in the California State Senate, ifrace discrimination passed, will continue to push even further to equality. SB-1284 was recently introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) with the intent of more closely monitoring pay data at companies with 100 or more employees, and theoretically keeping companies more accountable for disparate wages

The bill would establish an annual check-in in which California incorporated employers that fit the total employee requirements would submit a pay data report to the Department of Industrial Relations. The department operates within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and is designed to “foster, promote, and develop the wage earners of California, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” The report submission period would happen every September beginning in 2019. Continue reading

A class-action lawsuit 10 years in the making has finally come to a close with the recent decision by the Equal Employmentdisability discrimination Opportunity Commission ordering the U.S. Postal Service to pay up to 130,000 former and current employees. At the heart of the lawsuit are allegations that USPS was using an internal program to systematically dismiss injured employees, and did so while claiming to be helping the workers.

According to an article from Government Executive, USPS’s National Reassessment Program treated certain workers unequally, disclosed medical information improperly, and did not provide reasonable accommodations (while also not proving undue burden as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Section 101.8). The purported intent of the National Reassessment Program, which lasted from 2006 to 2011, was to create a path for employees to get back to work and eliminate busy work that did not support the major functions of the postal service. Continue reading

With the ever-expanding reach of technology, it feels to many like privacy is dwindling. This can be especially distressing when an employer tries to useemployee rights private information about you to take employment action.

There are more ways than ever for an employer to access information about you, but as our trusted employment attorneys know, companies are still limited in how they can use that information under the law. A recent article from The Business Journals delved into this very issue, unveiling different platforms on which employers can easily access your information.

Social media is, of course, the most obvious change in the way we share information over the past 15 years. It’s good common sense to be thoughtful about what you share about yourself, especially with so many new online outlets to post personal information with friends and family. You never know who might see one of your posts and share it with the wrong person. Plus, it’s not uncommon for an employer to scope out your online presence when you apply for a job.

They still cannot discriminate against you for any reason that is already protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, such as race, religion, or nation of origin. However, if you have a series of public statuses about how much you don’t like going to work or making fun of your previous bosses, don’t be surprised if you aren’t getting many bites from prospective employers. Continue reading

Any good employment lawyer will tell you that employee rights laws and wage disputes aren’t just about holding corporations accountable. At the core, these actions are about protectingwage dispute people, defending their humanity, and ensuring vulnerable workers aren’t taken advantage of. We have come a long way over the decades to expand those protections and increase quality of life for more hard-working citizens in California and beyond.

Unfortunately, there are still a number of industries wherein worker protections are scant. Such is the case in Seattle, where the recently formed Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance is pushing for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, according to a report from Curbed Seattle. This would include mandated contracts between domestic workers and those who employ them, as well as a commission to oversee domestic labor standards. As our employment lawyers can explain, a domestic worker is someone who works within the household of their employer. This could be a nanny, housekeeper, in-home caregiver, cook, gardener, etc. And right now, in Seattle, this group is feeling more pressure than other workers to try to make ends meet.

A recent survey from SDWA illustrated the issue. Researchers surveyed 174 of the 30,000 domestic workers, focusing on nannies, gardeners, and house cleaners. Results showed 81 percent of respondents would be classified as “very low-income” using standards set by Department of Housing and Urban Development. They said they do not receive the same protections as other employees: 53 percent responded they did not receive overtime pay; 39 percent said they receive no sick time; and 85 percent said they are not protected by workers’ compensation in the event of an injury on the job. Benefits are even more measly, with 54 percent of respondents having insurance – only 6 percent of that provided by an employer. More than one-third of these workers get no vacation days and a whopping 94 percent do not get paid family medical leave. Continue reading

It’s hard to imagine in 2018 that women would still be facing discrimination at work for something as basic as pregnancy. The last thing a woman who is about to bring apregnancy discrimination child into the world should have to worry about is whether or not she will be able to support that child when they are born. It is the belief of our legal team that even one woman who fears losing employment due to pregnancy is one woman too many.

That’s why it is shocking to hear the details of a lawsuit filed by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a nursing center in North Carolina. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, claims that twice in just over a year’s time (between November 2014 and December 2015) the nursing center refused to accommodate pregnancy-related work restrictions for two certified nursing assistants.

Each woman cited a simple lifting restriction as cause for their request for job accommodations or modifications. And each request was allegedly rejected on the grounds that the center could not accommodate them. Further, the center fired both employees, one after being put on unpaid leave, allegedly as a result of their accommodation requests. Continue reading

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.

racial discriminationAccording 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

While many people have the same schedule for work in any given week, this is a luxury most in the Los Angeles retail industry do not enjoy.  According to a recent news article from CBS Los Angeles, a new study from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), finds most retail workers face the difficulties of a constantly shifting schedule and it creates a serious hardship in many aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to arranging for child care.

sexual harassmentWorking in a retail environment often means workers must wait for the next week’s schedule to come out to know what days and hours they will be required to work.  There is often a mechanism for requesting certain times off, but employer’s do not always approve such requests, and even if they do, it is not uncommon for these approved-requests to be completely ignored when putting out a schedule.  This is not only true for those in the retail industry, but also for those in the service industry, such as working at a restaurant. Continue reading

While the Army is preparing dedicated men and women to be brave and strong and defend our country, it does not prepare them for one terrible challenge no one wantsmilitary status discrimination to face: losing their job. Even worse is when military status discrimination is suspected to be the cause of the dismissal.

This brings us to Austin, Texas, home of a nonprofit technology company currently being sued on allegations it wrongfully fired an Army Reservist in 2016 shortly after he returned from fulfilling military obligations as a result of him completing those duties. The U.S. Justice Department, who filed the lawsuit jointly with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, says this is in direct violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. This act, U.S. Code, Chapter 43, Part III, Title 38, states that “a person who … has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.”

The employee was a lieutenant colonel who had served in the Armed Forces for 22 years. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division, is seeking an amount equal to lost wages and benefits for plaintiff.

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