Articles Posted in employment attorney

Most employment lawsuits based on federal discrimination laws must first go through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, better known as EEOC. With few exceptions, these cases involve the protected statuses as set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC launches an investigation and then gives Notice of Right to Sue when the investigation is closed, which allows permission to file your federal or state employment discrimination lawsuit withing 90 days. You can request the right to sue sooner or, if you’re filing an age discrimination claim, you don’t have to wait.workplace discrimination

The idea was to resolve some of these matters without litigation, but also in a way that ensured maximum public good when an employer was caught unfairly treating workers. The EEOC doesn’t pursue government sanctions in every case (increasingly less so), but oftentimes information gleaned from that investigation can be helpful to your personal claim.

But apparently, the EEOC isn’t even doing much of that. In fact, an investigative co-report by the Center for Public Integrity and Vox. The report indicated an increasing number of workplace discrimination cases are being closed before they are ever even investigated. Continue reading

Although many people have heard the phrase, “workplace discrimination,” not everyone recognizes exactly what it is – and what it is not. It goes beyond simply having a boss or colleagues who are unpleasant or mean.employment attorney

Employment discrimination occurs when either a job applicants or employee is not treated fairly because of his or her disability, gender, age, religion, national origin, skin color/race. It can also involve retaliation against an employee who attempts to assert his or her rights under these laws.

Employer discrimination is illegal under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and it applies to any aspect of employment. That means it’s not just hiring and firing, but can apply to situations involving transfer/shift reassignment, disparate wages, demotion, promotion, benefits, reducing one’s hours or clipping one’s pay.

So for example, a company that systematically only offers white workers certain opportunities that lead to promotion, employees of color may have grounds to take action. Employers who consistently give younger workers the choice assignments, clients or travel opportunities may find themselves justly facing an age discrimination claim by an older employee. Continue reading

Payroll processing companies can’t be held liable for the errors that employees of other firms claim resulted in their being shortchanged, the California Supreme Court ruled recently, reversing an appellate court’s decision. L.A. wage theft attorney

In a case that originated in Los Angeles Superior Court, employees filed a third-party claim for damages against the payroll company contracted by the worker’s employer. Defendant payroll company attorneys argued California’s Labor Code doesn’t allow employers to assign duty for accuracy in wage statements to third parties. Bloomberg reported in December an estimated there are 1,100 payroll process service companies statewide.

Los Angeles employment lawyers had been watching the case closely, knowing that if the high court ruled in plaintiffs’ favor, it would have meant those firms could be subject to liability in California wage-and-hour employment litigation. Continue reading

You may be unsure about whether a Los Angeles employment lawyer will be willing to take your discrimination case. It’s important to understand what constitutes discrimination (not all unfair treatment will qualify) and whether you have or could acquire the evidence necessary to establish a case. If you do have evidence you were treated unfairly in employment or hiring on the basis of being part of a class that is protected by anti-discrimination laws, then a Los Angeles employment attorney will probably want to speak to you. discrimination attorney

Employment lawyers do offer free initial consultations, so it is usually worth your time to reach out, explain your situation and arrange a meeting. A few things to keep in mind before you arrive.

Understanding Employment Discrimination

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It is illegal – in California and across the U.S., per the EEOC –  to discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy) national origin, age (over 40), disability or genetic information. Yet one of the most frequently-used forums to lure new hires has essentially been facilitating just that, according to critics and a few employment lawsuits filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America. Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney

Social media giant Facebook has faced years of criticism that it allowed companies advertising job listings to use key categories allowing employers to cherry-pick who their ads would be shown to based on age group, gender and race. The New York Times now reports Facebook has agreed it will stop doing this.

It’s not just prospective employees that have been complaining either. Those advertising credit and housing have also been allowed to screen their ads so that they would only show to a certain subset of social media users. (Housing and credit are also regulated by federal anti-discrimination laws that bar selection of applicants on such bases.) Continue reading

A number of California employment lawsuits have been won in recent years by cashiers at retail locations seeking a place to sit at work. The door was first opened in 2010 when a pair of California Court of Appeal rulings allowed cashier plaintiffs to seek remedy when employers failed to provide reasonable seating.Los Angeles labor and employment attorney

In 2016, the California Supreme Court held in Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. that when tasks performed at a given location reasonably permit seating AND providing a seat wouldn’t interfere with the performance of any other tasks that might require standing, “a seat is called for.” Furthermore, if an employer argues no suitable seat is available, the burden is on the employer to prove unavailability.

As our Los Angeles labor and employment attorneys can explain, this provision is most often applied to cashiers, tellers and others who frequently work in stationary locations, but it’s not necessarily limited to the retail or banking sector or solely to cashiers.  Continue reading

Non-solicitation clauses in California employment agreements have been deemed illegal in California per two recent court decisions. This includes out-of-state employers with California employees. Orange County employment attorneys are encouraging companies to review their employment agreements and consider removing non-solicitation clauses that may be in conflict with state law. California nonsolicitation agreements

Non-solicitation agreements are provisions in employment contracts (sometimes standalone contracts) wherein an employee agrees he or she will not try to solicit customers or clients of the employer for his or her personal benefit or for that of a competitor if/when he/she leaves the firm. Non-solicitation agreements can also encompass an employee’s agreement not to solicit other employees to leave once he/she quits.

Restrictive Covenants in California Labor Code

California has some of the strongest worker rights provisions in the country. For instance, California Business and Professions Code section 16600 states that all employment contracts that would keep anybody from engaging in a lawful profession, business or trade is void.

Courts in California have long held that it is against public policy to restrict former employees’ right to work for competitors. Further, state courts have soundly rejected the argument put forth by the inevitable disclosure doctrine, which asserts employees who immediately go work for a competitor is going to inevitably disclose or use trade secrets of the former employer. In the 2008 case of Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, the California Supreme Court ruled previous workers are entitled to solicit the clients of former employers – assuming they don’t do so using their former employer’s trade secrets or confidential information while doing so.

This ruling marked a shift from the 1985 ruling by a California Court of Appeal in Loral Corp. v. Moyes, in which justices declined to void as unenforceable an employee agreement restriction indicating the employee was not allowed now or in the future to damage, interfere, impair or disrupt the business of the former employer by interfering with or “raiding” its employees, business relationships, agents, representatives, customers, vendors, etc. The clause created an express exception for being employed by or engaging with a competing business. The court didn’t expressly allow employment contracts with non-solicitation agreements, but rather ruled the one in question wasn’t an obvious, unenforceable restriction on fair trade.  Continue reading

It is no secret that businesses do not want to pay out more in liability damages than they have to. Larger firms have entire departments dedicated to reducing liability, which usually include human resources professionals and legal advisers/consultants. Orange County employment lawyers know this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – if the goal is reducing the discriminatory and unlawful actions that spark workplace litigation in the first place, such as discrimination or wrongful termination.Orange County Employment Lawyer

Unfortunately, far too many companies retaliate against employees for engaging in activities protected under federal and state law – such as filing a claim for Orange County workplace discrimination or sexual harassment or cooperating with outside investigators examining such claims.

Retaliation involves some type of  unlawful adverse employment action carried out by an employer with the intent of punishing a lawful action by an employee (often one that hurts the company’s bottom line or reputation). The California Department of Industrial Relations has a specific unit dedicated to Retaliation Complaint Investigation. Continue reading

Working with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer, it is absolutely possible to prevail in a California employment lawsuit. The amount of damages (monetary compensation) you receive as a result of winning your case will depend on a myriad of factors. Because your attorney is probably working your case on a contingency fee basis (paid a portion of awarded damages if outcome if successful, paid nothing if not), he or she is likely to consider and discuss all of this with you before you even begin the process, as potential valuation of a case can determine whether it’s worth pursuing in the first place.employment attorney L.A.

Your Los Angeles employment lawyer can explain, there are two basic types of damages that can be awarded in California employment lawsuits involving discrimination or unfair wages. These are compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages will cover workplace discrimination victims for out-of-pocket expenses and actual losses. These involve both tangible losses like the amount of wages lost, medical expenses required or job search costs incurred. It may also involve intangible losses like mental anguish or loss of life enjoyment. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to penalize the employer whose actions are deemed reckless and malicious.

Some examples of compensatory damages awarded in California employment lawsuits (including discrimination and wage-and-hour) include:

  • Lost wages/benefits
  • Costs for retraining/job search
  • Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, loss of professional reputation, etc.
  • Attorney’s fees

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In order to be successful in claiming employment discrimination in California, employees must first assert they are part of a protected class that received unfair treatment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that to discriminate means to treat someone less favorably and disparately, with federal protections extending to individuals on the basis of gender, religion, color, race, national origin, disability or age (over 40). In California, unlawful practices spelled out by the Fair Employment and Housing Act 12940 outlines protections for these classes, but also for:

  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity/gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military or veteran statusemployment discrimination attorney Los Angeles

Part of the reason California’s additional protected classes matter is they go farther than federal law, giving unfairly-treated employees more options to pursue action.

As Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, “protected classes” aren’t merely limited to minorities. But employment discrimination is often subtle – and doesn’t necessarily need to actually be a part of a protected class in order to be protected. Discrimination based on the perception of belonging or association with others in these classes can be actionable in California employment discrimination cases too.

Perceived Protected Class Employment Discrimination Continue reading