Articles Posted in employment attorney

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

Continue reading

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

Employment discrimination can be subtle, but it is described as unequal treatment or attitudes toward one group of employees or against another resulting in unfair, adverse impacts to a protected class of employees or prospective employees. Among the most common questions our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys receive is, “How do I file an employment discrimination lawsuit in California?” One of the first things we need to determine is whether you belong to a protected class, and if so, whether they suffered disparate and negative treatment as at least partially a result of being in that class. Riverside Employment Discrimination Lawyer

The California Fair Employment Practices Act marks its 60th anniversary in 2019. The law prohibits discrimination against employees and/or applicants on the basis of one’s actual or perceived belonging or association with one of the following protected classes:

Gender (this provision also bars sexual harassment);

  • Race and Color
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin or Ancestry
  • Religious Creed
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth or Related Conditions (including lactation)
  • Disability
  • Age (pertains to individuals over the age of 40)

Once our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys examine the facts of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file a claim, we’ll give you a detailed rundown of your legal options. Unlike other types of civil claims, the process of filing an employment discrimination claim doesn’t always go straight to court. Continue reading

The overwhelming majority of American corporations listed in the Fortune 500 have settled at least one employment discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit, according to a corporate industry study by a national accountability and development think-tank. Good Jobs First reports these included both individual employment lawsuits as well as class action claims, with 189 large firms like Bank of America and Coca-Cola and Walmart paying out nearly $2 billion in settlements and penalties since 2000 – roughly 35 percent of those stemming from private lawsuits (as opposed to those filed by the EEOC or Federal Contract Compliance Programs). Private lawsuits accounted for 79 percent of the $2 billion in payouts. Those are only the cases in which settlements were disclosed. employment discrimination attorney Los Angeles

The big business that has paid the most in disclosed employment discrimination claims is Bank of America, which has paid approximately $210 million in settlements. Coca-Cola is a close second at $200 million, Novartis in third at $183 million, Morgan & Stanley fourth at $150 million and Abercrombie & Fitch rounding out the top five at $90 million. Of the parent companies that disclosed employment lawsuit penalties, 40 percent were involved in more than one case.

Walmart had the largest number of cases, but had paid out less than the others in the last 20 years – 52 million. The study authors note this likely would have been much higher if Walmart v. Dukes, a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court case had a different outcome. In that case, a female Walmart worker filed for class certification alleging gender discrimination, alleging some 1.6 million former and current employees of the company qualified for the class. In a split 5-4 decision, the high court reversed the Ninth District’s ruling and determined the workers didn’t have enough in common for class certification.  Continue reading

A former nurse at a hospital in Pasadena has filed a California racial discrimination lawsuit against the hospital where she worked for nearly four decades, up from a housekeeper in 1984 to a registered nurse, charge nurse and later a nursing instructor. For the first 30+ years of her employment, her work experience was positive. Until late 2017, she’d never had any written reprimands. It was around this time two new supervisors were named to oversee her department. From that point on, she alleges, nurses who were black and Latina were routinely targeted for discriminatory action, with allegations coming from a small group of white nurses.Orange County employment lawyer

As the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports, the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges the hospital fired wrongfully terminated her for retaliation and intentionally inflicted emotional distress when she reported racial discrimination, which the hospital failed to prevent. Once the new supervisors started, she alleges Latina and black nurses were regularly singled out, harassed, given poor performance evaluations, stripped of advisory board roles and passed over for promotions. In fact, the very same month the supervisors took over, plaintiff was given a reprimand on the basis of a reportedly anonymous complaint by another worker, indicating misconduct. Problem was, on the date specified, plaintiff wasn’t even at work.

The following month, human resources personnel called her in for a meeting about further employee dissatisfaction. It was at that time she told HR that she was being discriminated against, pointing out a white nurse who had been the subject of another complaint months earlier had been given the chance to defend herself fairly, while she was denied that same opportunity when she asked. The very next month, she was again called to HR for another anonymous worker complaint. In the face of all this, plaintiff said she offered to go back to the registered nurse position she held previously and step down from her supervisory role. However, she was told the hospital didn’t allow employee demotions, her lawsuit states. Later that month, she was fired.  Continue reading

Only certain background information of ex-convicts will be searchable for employment now that Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 1412, which amends Section 432.7 of the California Labor Code. As our Riverside employment attorneys can explain, the measure stipulates that employers conducting criminal background checks on job applicants may only ask about/ weigh convictions that are relevant to the job for which a prospective employee is applying.Riverside employment lawyer

The new California employment law, effective January 1, 2019, applies not just to private individuals and corporations but also public agencies. Companies won’t be barred from conducting criminal background checks on job applicants, but they will be restricted in doing so. It doesn’t stop public or private employers from conducting criminal background checks as required by local, state or federal law. It does however replace the provision that allows employers to inquire about “criminal convictions” to instead say, “particular convictions.”

Doesn’t California Law Already Protect Ex-Convict Job Seekers?

As your Riverside employment attorney can explain, California law does to an extent already protect those seeking a job from being required to reveal certain information. However, SB 1412 takes it a step further in shielding more workers from discrimination based on prior criminal history.  Continue reading