The studios, producers and executives from the show Criminal Minds are facing an L.A. sexual harassment lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The complaint alleges that a director of photography for the show (which ended earlier this year after 15 seasons) engaged in repeated instances of sexual harassment which went unchecked by the defendants. The director was personally sued last year by a cameraman for sexual harassment. Now, the state is pursuing claims against CBS, ABC and Disney, claiming that not only was the director’s conduct not addressed, but anyone who “resisted or tacitly evaded” his abuse or advances. L.A. sexual harassment lawyer

Among the claims laid out in the L.A. sexual harassment lawsuit:

  • A technician was fired after he resisted a butt slap and reported it.
  • A video playback department worker corroborated the technician’s claims – and was subsequently fired.
  • More than a dozen men were fired at the photography director’s request.

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The State of California is suing the nation’s two biggest ride-share companies, asserting violations of a new state law against employee misclassification. Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer

As our Los Angeles employee misclassification attorneys can explain, at issue is the fact that the firms are treating their workers as if they are independent contractors as opposed to employees. The state attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit, and is joined by several other city attorneys, including Los Angeles.

The law is California Assembly Bill 5, known as AB5 for short or “the gig worker law.” It was passed last fall and went into effect Jan. 1st. Continue Reading ›

Three years ago, a young woman using a wheelchair asked Pope Francis why some who are disabled aren’t able to receive Communion or go Mass. The Pope responded that discriminating against those with disabilities is “one of the ugliest things” one can do. Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer

This month, the U.S  Supreme Court heard oral arguments via telephone regarding an employment disability claim filed by a former teacher at a Catholic school in California who said her employer declined to renew her contract after she informed them she’d need more time off for cancer treatment.

The employee died after a 5-year breast cancer battle. However, the disability discrimination claim against her former Catholic school employer in Torrance is moving forward. The trial court had sided with the school, which claimed it could not be sued for disability discrimination because of the ministerial exception. Continue Reading ›

Unemployment has been soaring in California and throughout the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as employees return to work, there have been numerous concerns raised about work safety, discrimination during layoffs and wage and hour disputes. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys predict a significant uptick in worker lawsuits against employers who violated their rights or treated them unfairly. Los Angeles employment lawyers

Several class actions are currently pending against government employers, salons and manufacturers, and it’s expected there will be more of these also. So far, most class action litigation to arise from the pandemic has come from the consumers, many of whom have been fighting for refunds or accusing some companies of price gouging. Ultimately though, employment litigation will likely surpass this. Continue Reading ›

California has always had one of the most robust system of protections for employee rights in the country. However, two recent state appellate court rulings may not bode well for punitive damages in future cases. Los Angeles employment lawyers

As our Los Angeles employment lawyers can explain, there are two types of damages in civil cases like these: Compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages are those that compensate a plaintiff for losses. They fall into two basic categories: Economic (medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, loss of benefits, retirement, etc.) and non-economic (pain and suffering, etc.). Punitive damages, on the other hand, punish the defendant for wrongful conduct and hopefully discourage others from engaging in the same kind of behavior in the future. Continue Reading ›

Sweeping closures of California businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic left millions of Californians unemployed. Now, as the curve of coronavirus cases has flattened and state officials have announced measures that will allow more businesses to reopen, Los Angeles employment lawyers have been receiving questions about what rights workers have in returning. L.A. employment lawyers

These include questions about what personal protective equipment employers are required to provide, what to do if they don’t feel safe returning and what to know if their employer retaliates for reporting unsafe conditions.

Safety First – COVID-19 Protection at Work

All California employers are required to provide a reasonably safe workplace. As outlined in Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have a general duty to provide every worker with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm. Continue Reading ›

There are many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact that are unprecedented in modern history. One thing that isn’t so new is the tendency for people to seek a scapegoat. During the Black Plague of the 1300s, many blamed Jews. When cholera broke out in the U.S. during the 1800s, ire turned to immigrants of Irish descent. When an epidemic of polio was spreading across the U.S., many pointed the finger at Italian immigrants. With the novel coronavirus, the scapegoat has become people of Asian descent.Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyer

COVID-19 is believed to have originated in China, and unfortunately this has resulted in discrimination and even aggression against those with physical attributes typically attributed to people from Asia.

Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys know there are already reports of bullying and harassment against Asian and Asian American workers. We’re are anticipating more will be reported in the weeks and months ahead. Apparently so does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which recently indicated it would be specifically tracking COVID-19-related claims. This will help create more than just anecdotal evidence of the trend. Continue Reading ›

Claims for pregnancy discrimination are spiking across the country, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Last year, the agency filed 3,000 claims of pregnancy discrimination nationally. More than $22 million in payouts for those claims were ultimately paid, which is a more than 30 percent increase in the annual average ($17 million) recorded over the last decade.pregnancy discrimination lawyer

Our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorneys would point out too that this doesn’t even include pregnancy discrimination cases that are resolved through litigation in court. Some of those outcomes have been substantial, such as the $185 million California pregnancy discrimination damages awarded to a plaintiff in San Diego who was demoted and then later fired from her retail position after informing her boss she was pregnant. The company insisted she was fired for misplacing money, but a jury found that reasoning to be pretextual (an excuse) and decided the case in her favor.

That was in 2014, and the number of claims and payouts has been steadily rising ever since. A big part of the problem is too many employers still are apparently failing to grasp what their responsibilities are under state and federal gender discrimination laws pertaining to pregnancy. They do what they may feel is expedient for the company financially without fully examining the legality and potential repercussions. Also, employees are becoming increasingly aware of their legal rights – particularly with the cultural influence of the #metoo movement. Continue Reading ›

California staffing agencies can be held liable for workplace discrimination. However, in a recent decision of Duckworth et al. v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services Inc., a state appellate court ruled the staffing agency was not liable for alleged racial discrimination of two black employees who weren’t promoted. The court held that because the two workers were “leased” to the company they worked for – and that company had the authority over employment actions – the staffing agency was effectively off-the-hook.Los Angeles racial discrimination attorney

As our Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys can explain, this, like many similar cases comes down to the degree of control each firm had in employment-related decisions. As an increasing number of companies turn to staffing agencies to fill certain positions, the question of who the actual employer is becomes pertinent when determining who is responsible for employment-related discrimination claims. The question will be which entity retains substantial control and are in fact employers in all but name. Continue Reading ›

As employers throughout California are tackling unprecedented challenges brought about by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s inevitable that mistakes will be made. However, employers would do well not to exacerbate their financial woes by erring when it comes to employee pay, sick leave and wrongful termination. California employment lawyer

Outlined here are the top legal missteps our Orange County employment lawyers see companies making in the coming weeks and months. Continue Reading ›

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