With the stroke of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pen, the sweeping California employment law limiting businesses’ use of independent contractors has become law and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. employee misclassification

Assembly Bill 5 had the overwhelming support of the state legislature, and the governor’s signature was widely anticipated, as his office had already voiced support for the measure.

Orange County employment lawyers know the goal is to reduce instances of worker misclassification, which is when employees are improperly designated as “independent contractors” rather than “employees,” which deprives them of a host of basic protections afforded to employees, such as:

  • Minimum wage;
  • Sick days;
  • Health insurance benefits;
  • Meal breaks;
  • Rest breaks;
  • Workers’ compensation insurance.

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A groundbreaking California employment bill will overhaul the way workers are designated for the purposes of workers’ compensation, liability, benefits, responsibilities and more. AB5, born of the rise of the so-called “gig economy,” has passed both the state Assembly and the Senate, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it. This will change the way California designates who is an employee, who is an independent contractor and the rights and responsibilities associated with each. employee misclassification

The law goes into effect on December 31st – but it’s as if all independent contractors/gig workers magically transform into employees all of the sudden. As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, what this law does is codify last year’s California Supreme Court ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

Essentially, that ruling made it harder for employers to label workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Misclassification of an employee is one of the primary reasons for employment litigation in California.

How AB5 and Dynamex Makes the Contractor v. Employee Call

Both the court case and the new law differentiate employees from independent contractors using a three-part “ABC” test. Continue reading

A superior court judge in Napa County has ordered a retrial in the employee pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against one of the most sought-after chefs who owns two of the most popular fine dining restaurants in the country. The defendant had been cleared last month of wrongdoing, but the victory may be short-lived. The plaintiff, who alleges pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination and sexual harassment are rampant in the restaurant industry, will now have another chance to plead her case – in the same court with a new jury.pregnancy discrimination

As The San Francisco Chronicle reported, the trial judge agreed to plaintiff’s request for retrial, finding credence in her arguments that:

  • There wasn’t enough evidence to justify the verdict;
  • There was juror misconduct by the jury and defense counsel;
  • Some of the defense witness testimony and evidence lacked credibility.

To prevail in the case, the plaintiff needed to show it was more likely than not she was discriminated against by her employer because of her pregnancy. The judge ruled plaintiff had met that proof burden. Continue reading

The American labor union representing some 160,000 television and film actors, radio personalities, journalists, singers and others is arguing a 2017 California age discrimination law that censors celebrity ages online should be reinstated. The law was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on First Amendment grounds.age discrimination

The goal of AB 1687  was to crack down on rampant age discrimination in youth-oriented Hollywood, but the effect has been the ages and birthdays of famous actresses and actors can be removed from online entertainment employment services sites like IMDb.com, at the entertainers’ request.

Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers understand that SAG-AFTRA’s argument to have it reinstated was met with a great deal of skepticism from the appellate court justices.

Both Overinclusive and Underinclusive? 

IMDb, wildly popular with 250 million unique visitors monthly, was created in the early 1990s, with its website launched in 1996. The law had forced the company to remove actors’ ages if they were subscribers to the site’s premium service and asked them to do so. Continue reading

Dozens of civil rights groups have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to review a racial discrimination case against a large telecommunications conglomerate by a black Hollywood mogul. The concern is that depending on how the SCOTUS decides, workplace racial discrimination protections could be weakened.racial discrimination

The head of the NAACP characterized the harm that could be caused to civil rights could be “irreparable.”

The federal lawsuit filed in California by the entertainment executive alleges the television corporation refused to carry his cable TV channels, and asserts the company did so because of his race. He’s seeking $20 billion.

As Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys can explain, the legal question at issue is whether a plaintiff in such a case needs to show whether race is the only reason for an adverse employment decision, or if it need only be proven that discrimination was a motivating factor. Continue reading

As longtime employment attorneys in California, we know that corporations can seem blind with greed, cutting corners on pay, discriminating and exploiting where it suits them. These things can be true, but it’s also true that most companies are comprised of individuals – including managers, supervisors and owners – who want to do the right thing, but find avoiding California employment lawsuits can be a significant challenge.employment attorney Los Angeles

Large companies are savvy enough to have lawyers on retainer to advise them of ever-changing employment expectations. However, small- and mid-sized companies may not have those kind of resources.

To avoid the landmine of potential employment litigation and retain your competitive advantage, our Orange County employment attorneys have some general tips for consideration. Legal advice specific to your circumstances should be sought from an experienced labor law attorney who can weigh the unique fact pattern of your company/case. Continue reading

A long-running legal battle between the Los Angeles times and one of its sports writers concluded recently when a jury in Los Angeles was awarded more than $15 million in damages for age discrimination and disability discrimination. The claim was first filed six years ago, according to The Washington Post.age discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Plaintiff, a sports reporter for the Times, suffered a small stroke while covering a spring training in Arizona. He was also later diagnosed with chronic migraines. After this, the newspaper slashed his three-times-a-week column down to two. The reasoning given by the newspaper was that the columns were not well-written and resulted in a poor reflection on the newspaper. The columns he did produce were subsequently more heavily scrutinized than ever.

A few months later, he was suspended, demoted to reporter and resigned – all over a video surfaced that the Times asserted showed a conflict of interest. Plaintiff argued he never had a business relationship with the producer. Plaintiff then went to work for a competitor newspaper before filing his lawsuit, alleging he’d been the victim of workplace age discrimination and disability discrimination. Continue reading

The Department of Justice under President Donald Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to establish formal precedent that would allow employers to terminate workers because of their transgender status. Orange County employment LGBT employer discrimination attorneys know this is a sharp deviation from the Obama administration’s stance, as well as that of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and California law. transgender worker discrimination

In a brief submitted to the SCOTUS, attorneys for the administration requested a ruling holding that Title VII protections, which bar workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion and sex, doesn’t extend to a person’s transgender status.

The case that gave rise to this issue involves a funeral home that fired a worker who was transgender on that basis. A lower court ruled that the funeral home committed wrongful termination on the basis of unlawful discrimination. That ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last year. The Trump administration is asking for that ruling to be overturned. Continue reading

A group of Californians are suing the state to prevent enforcement of a state senate bill signed by the governor last year that requires publicly-held corporations with principle executive offices here to have a minimum of one female on their boards of directors. That requirements is slated to go into effect by the end of this year. Then by the end of 2021, boards with five members are required to have at least two female members and boards of six or more must have at least three.gender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The whole idea behind Senate Bill 826 was to even the imbalance of power that exists from longtime discrimination against women in the workplace. However, the group of taxpayers now say the law amounts to a kind of reverse gender discrimination and is an overreach of government power.

In Crest et al v. Padilla, three plaintiffs assert that the law amounts to a quota system and is unconstitutional in light of Article I, Section 31 of the state constitution. As our L.A. gender discrimination lawyers can explain, this provision prevent discrimination of workers on the basis of sex. Plaintiffs are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to block taxpayer-funded resources that would be necessary for enforcement of the measure and initiate a permanent injunction to block enforcement. Continue reading

Roughly 85 percent of working women will become mothers at some point during their careers. There are numerous legal protections in place to ensure they aren’t discriminated for this, including California’s rule against pregnancy-based harassment as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, a federal law. And yet, pregnancy is often treated some sort of deviation from the ideal norm.pregnancy discrimination

Almost all pregnant workers will need some time away from work to attend prenatal appointments. Others will need more time off due to the need for emergency medical care. Unfortunately, too many employers all too often respond to these needs with a penalty – which is illegal. Women go to the hospital for a few days, only to learn when they return home that they’ve lost their jobs, their health insurance and sometimes, ultimately, their homes – told their pregnancy-related hospital stays amounted to “unauthorized absences” or “no-call-no-shows.”

Some of these absences are covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (which allows unpaid time off for medical emergencies) but this is only applicable to companies with 50 or more workers – and employees need to have held that job for at least one year. That means 44 percent of all U.S. workers won’t have that protection. Continue reading