Articles Tagged with California employment lawyer

Big changes have arrived in the state of California in the new year, many of which will have a direct impact on employers and their employees. employment laws

The San Francisco Chronicle recently documented a run-down of the biggest additions to state law and how they will change life in California in 2018 and beyond.

The list included everything from the new recreational cannabis laws, protections for women in the workplace, as well as employee rights for criminals.

While some of these changes have obvious and direct effects on the workplace, others are less clear, particularly the legalization of recreational marijuana, which quickly has turned into one of the biggest stories of the year. Continue reading

A sharply divided California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight, issued a decision allowing a plaintiff to proceed with his associational disability discrimination claim against his employer. This was a reversal of the trial court’s opinion in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highways Express Inc., wherein a father alleged he was fired for his need to assist his disabled son. gaveljan

This kind of “association” discrimination is outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which bars discrimination against an employee based on their association or relationship with an individual who has a known disability. The provision in 42 U.S.C. 12112(b)(4) means a company is forbidden from taking adverse action against a worker simply for associating with or having a relationship with someone who is disabled.

Under the ADA, companies are required to give qualified workers with disabilities reasonable accommodations. However, federal courts have held in prior cases (see Tyndall, 4th Cir. 1994, Overly, 6th Cir. 2006) that this association discrimination provision doesn’t mean workers are entitled to employment modifications in order to care for a disabled spouse or child. Continue reading

Much has been written about the lack of gender diversity in Silicon Valley. The problem has even birthed a few California employment lawsuits, with varied results. Most notable among those was the case of Ellen Pao, a junior partner, against her former employer and powerhouse venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Pao lost her her bid for compensation spring, after jurors found there was not enough evidence of gender discrimination. iphone5

Now in the latest legal action against a technology giant, Twitter is accused of gender discrimination by a former engineer. Tina Huang claims she was forced out of the firm because she is a woman. She has the testimony of a former colleague to help back her claims.

However, Twitter has come out swinging, alleging that former colleague of Huang’s likely violated an employment contract by helping his friend land a job at the venture capital firm where he’d begun working. The company plans to file a motion to dismiss, claiming the allegations have no basis in truth.  Continue reading

A California employment lawsuit against ride-sharing service Lyft was settled with an interesting compromise. driver

Workers involved in the class-action lawsuit asserted they were in fact employees, entitled to all the legal protections that entails. However, the mobile app argued the drivers were independent contractors, meaning they wouldn’t be entitled to minimum wage, workers’ compensation, overtime and other benefits.

Now, Reuters reports the company has agreed to expand certain worker protections and it’s paying $12.25 million to the drivers who are party to the lawsuit. However, it has not agreed to label the drivers employees. For the business, this eliminates a significant threat to its business model, but it could still leave drivers in a vulnerable place.  Continue reading

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about how the economy is growing across the country and in the Los Angeles area. However, unlike in previous periods of economic growth, much of this job growth has been attributed to what is being referred to as “on demand” jobs “or “gigs.” While the term gig has being around a long time, it formerly was used when a band got hired to perform for a night. These days a gig could mean when someone online requests a single service, such as helping to fix a computer problem, or even coming to help put together furniture a customer bought from IKEA.

technologyThere are also ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft. These companies get customers to download their apps for their smartphones. When a user needs a ride, he or she can call an Uber, for example. A driver who is working with the ridesharing company will have an iPhone that tells them someone has requested a ride. The ridesharing driver can either accept the request or do nothing. If he or she accepts the ride, then the driver is expected to pick up the rider and take the rider to his or her designation, and the app handles all of the payment, including a tip for the driver. Continue reading

Plaintiff in Ledbetter v. Good Samaritan Ministries may have an uphill battle in proving his employment retaliation case, but there were too many “loose ends” for the trial court to have declared a summary judgment in favor of the defense, a federal appellate court recently ruled.collapsed

According to the decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the case stemmed from an original charge of racial discrimination and retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants in that case. But subsequently, plaintiff filed a separate action for retaliation, arguing he was being punished by his employer for filing the original claim.

While the district court again granted summary judgment to the employer, the federal appeals court reversed.

Although the general tide toward employment litigation has been leaning more toward corporate interests lately, most notably with more stringent standards for class action filings, that doesn’t mean such cases are no longer happening at all.businessmanwithnotebook

Our Costa Mesa employment lawyers know that this was recently evidenced in a decision handed down by a federal judge in a Northern California courtroom. The judge In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court Northern District of California, San Jose Division, has awarded class action status to the workers seeking recompense for what they say were unfair hiring practices engaged in conspiratorially by numerous technical firms in Silicon Valley.

Specifically, the workers allege the companies violated the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act, both antitrust laws. The workers say the ultimate goal of the companies was to drive down labor competition, and thereby deprive workers of job mobility – and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and other compensation.

A new survey released recently by Inc.com indicates that roughly 20 percent of small business owners are voicing preference for independent contractors over full-time employees. worker

Part of the reason reportedly has to do with employer requirements under the soon-to-be-enforced Affordable Healthcare Act, but our Costa Mesa wage and hour lawyers recognize that employers likely see other benefits too.

Among the pluses noted by employers:

A number of recent employment lawsuits filed throughout the country have stemmed from alleged religious discrimination, ranging from failure to grant certain accommodations to outright harassment and hate crimes. muslimwoman

Our Costa Mesa religious discrimination attorneys know that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is very clear in stipulating that such actions are not to be tolerated under the law. The law refers to a prohibition on any discrimination with regard to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, lay-offs, promotions, benefits, training or any other condition of employment.

Harassment of a person based on his or her religion is also illegal, the same way sexual harassment is barred.