Articles Tagged with California employment attorney

According to a recent news article from CNN Money, workers at a major department store chain have managed to avoid a strike when it seemed like the situation had turned hopeless in terms of reaching a deal with management.

airportBefore we get to the actual dispute in this situation, much of the trouble stems from a shift from people shopping in so-called brick and mortar stores to online shopping with giants such as Amazon.  There is no question that the retail market is changing, and that will mean big changes for the employers and employees at department stores. However, the changes go much further than that, as even the shopping malls that typically house these large anchor stores, as they are often called, are also closing as less people go out to the mall these days. Continue reading

While we may never see a flying car, as many science fiction movies of the 80’s and 90’s liked to feature, it seems that self-driving cars are going to be on the roads in large numbers in the relatively near future.  There are already some models on the road, like the ones made by Tesla, but these electric cars are technically not self-driving cars, but rely on an advanced guided cruise control system.  In other words, they make driving easier, but a human driver still needs to be behind the wheel paying attention.

woman workingHowever, there are true self-driving cars in the works.  Google seems the closest, with a system that will allow an occupant to simply program the car’s destination, and the vehicle takes over and does all of the work.  They have even tested one with a blind operator sitting in the driver’s seat.  This would obviously be a great help to those who are blind or unable to drive based upon a disability. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just ordered a large nationally chartered bank to rehire a whistleblower and also to pay this aggrieved employee around $5.4 million in back pay, attorneys fees, and damages.

executiveBank manager was working at an office in Los Angeles when he discovered what he believed to be potential fraud and disclosed that potential fraud to his employer.  He told his direct supervisors and also called an ethics hotline run by the company.  The company claims the employer did not call the hotline and leave a message, but it should be noted that the company admitted during the litigation various known problems with the ethics hotline system. Continue reading

Businesses in California don’t have keep a running tally of paid time off or vacation hours accrued on worker paychecks or wage statements, according to a new state appeals court ruling. hotel

In Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P., plaintiff alleged employer violated California Labor Code section 226, subdivision (a), by not including the monetary amount of vacation pay/ PTO on employees’ wage statements. A three-judge panel for California’s Fourth Appellate District disagreed, affirming the lower court’s ruling in favor of the company after it was sued by a former worker in 2015.

Plaintiff worked for the hotel chain for almost three years, from 2012 to 2015. A few months after she left the company, she brought a representative Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) action for a violation of the aforementioned statute. The law says, in part, that every employer shall on a semimonthly basis at the time of payment of wages give each employee an accurate, itemized statement that shows in writing:

  • Gross wages earned;
  • Total hours worked (except those based on salary who are exempt from overtime);
  • Number of piece-rate units earned;
  • All deductions;
  • Net wages earned;
  • Inclusive dates of the period for which employee is paid;
  • The name of employee and last four digits of his/her social security number with wage statements that set forth “all vacation and PTO wages accrued during the applicable pay period.”

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In Great Falls Clinic LLP v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, plaintiff was offered a position by the defendant and she accepted her offer of employment.  After accepting the employment offer but before starting work, the employer rescinded their offer of employment and said they were no longer interested in employing plaintiff.  This was not an oral offer and acceptance as employee had signed a written contract agreeing to work for employer.

law-library-1241321Following their refusal to employ plaintiff, she filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination and a violation of the Wrongful Discharge of Employment Act, which is a local law applicable in this particular jurisdiction in which plaintiff and defendant were situated.  This was a case based upon the theory of promissory estoppel, breach of contract, and breach of the relevant labor law. Continue reading

Lord v. High Voltage Software, Inc., a case from the Untied States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit involved an employee who claimed he was terminated after he filed a complaint for sexual harassment by a co-worker, which if true would be illegal retaliation.  He also claimed his employer created a hostile work environment which is also violation of local and federal labor regulations.

typingIn this case, employee worked for a software firm that designed video games. He began working there in 2006 and was assigned to what was known as the “Omni team” since all employees were assigned to a team when hired and them moved around from time to time based upon the employee’s relative skill and the needs of the company.  In his complaint, claimant asserted that the year after he was employed, other male employees began to tease him by discussing the fact that they believed he was attracted to a particular female employee.  Continue reading

In State v. Maine State Employees Association, an employee with the state health and human services department was fired after a complaint that she had alcohol on her breath when meeting with a client. She was employed in this capacity from the mid 1980s to 2013 when she was terminated following this complaint.

kitchen-1484790Prior to her termination, she had been disciplined for drinking while on the job and entered into what the agency calls a “Last Chance Agreement.”  This occurred in 2002.  The agreement states that as condition of her continued employment, she would refrain from using or possession of any drugs or alcohol while she was being paid by her employer. In other words, she could not drink or use illegal drugs while she was on the clock. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, the owners of a French Bakery operating in Beverly Hills and out of a location in Torrance that is now closed, was just ordered to pay more than $15 million to employees that it allegedly exploited.  These employees (11 in total) are all from the Philippines and were in the United States on work visas.

gaveljanThese workers filed a civil lawsuit in federal district court in California in which they alleged that they were trafficked to the United States and forced to work as both domestic servants for the bakery owners and also at the two bakery locations where they were paid off the books.  Continue reading

When we think of an electric car, several economy models like the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf, or Toyota Prius might come to mind.  However, for those looking for a higher end luxury or sport model electric car, a Tesla might be a better option. Two of these new model Teslas are the Model S and Model X, and they are being made in a factory in California according to a recent news article from ET Auto.

carsassortedUnlike workers at the Detroit big three automakers and the foreign car companies with manufacturing plants in the United States, Tesla employees are not working in a union shop as of this time.  The United Auto Workers (UAW) union hopes to change that by enrolling enough employees at the electric car factory to have the plant declared a union shop.  Continue reading

There are many full service car washes in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.  For many years, these workers would put in a full day of hard work at leave with less than $50 paid in cash.  There was no fixed schedule, according to a recent news article from Truthout. Workers would often wait around for hours until cars arrived and then were told to begin work.  They were not being paid anything for those hours they were forced to stand around. If they failed to wait there, they would not get any work that day.

carwash-1514403Car wash employees said there was no accountability and nothing that could be done to make their respective employers follow the labor code in California.  If they complained, they would simply be fired – an illegal and retaliatory action – and would be replaced with someone else.  One of the reasons they were able to do this was because they largely hired Hispanic workers who may not speak English and are often reluctant to go to the authorities for fear of retaliation from the employer and loss of wages in general.  Continue reading