Articles Tagged with costa mesa employment lawyer

A California lawsuit accuses a large cable company of forcing hourly workers in California to toil through designated brake times, among other wage-and-hour violations, according to the latest lawsuit filed against the firm. satellitetv

In Spratt v. DirecTV Enterprises LLC, filed within the Los Angeles Superior Court, a former maintenance worker alleges the company improperly imposed an “alternative” work week schedule that consisted of four, 10-hour days. It also allegedly failed to pay overtime and other required pay to more than 100 workers employed with the firm in California, starting in early 2011.

Plaintiff worked for more than a decade, starting in 2002.

The California Court of Appeal reversed a $90 million class action judgment in a case of alleged rest period violations under state law, finding the requirement of security guards to remain on-call during rest breaks was not improper.

In weighing Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., the appellate court for the second appellate district, division one, held the requirement to remain on-call did not constitute as “performing work” under California Labor Code 226.7. The law states no employer shall require any worker to work during any meal or rest break. Employers who fail to provide a rest period or meal break to workers in accordance with the Industrial Welfare Commission’s order have to pay the worker an additional hour of pay at the worker’s regular rate for each rest period or meal break not provided.surveillancecamera

The ruling is a disappointing one for California workers, but it does help us to better define the kinds of cases worth pursuing.

Wage and hour lawsuits are reportedly outpacing many other types of employment litigation in California and throughout the country, according to a new report by the Institute for Legal Reform. money

According to the report, wage and hour litigation has expanded significantly in recent years – and shows few signs of stopping.

Between 2007 and 2012, there was reportedly a total of $2.7 billion paid out in wage-and-hour lawsuits. Of that, approximately $470 million was paid out in 2012 alone, the report indicated. An average of $4.8 million was paid out per case.

The California Chamber of Commerce recently came out with an informational bulletin describing the top things employers do to get sued. SONY DSC

Employment attorneys in Orange County know that there are of course situations in which employment law violations stem not from maliciousness or greed, but rather from a misunderstanding or misapplication of the law. It doesn’t make it any more acceptable to the employee who has been wronged. However, perhaps incorporating a greater amount of education might serve to reduce the number of employees who are improperly denied overtime, base wages and breaks.

In identifying the most common employer wage and hour law offenses, the chamber starts with the classification of workers. Employers may surmise that workers would prefer a constant salary. By labeling a worker exempt, an employer can avoid having to pay overtime and can avoid having to offer certain meal and res breaks.

It’s been little more than two years since the U.S. Supreme Court shot down a massive class action gender discrimination lawsuit on behalf of thousands of women who worked for retail giant Wal-Mart. orangeinstyle

Since then, the Wal-Mart v. Dukes decision has been cited more than 1,200 times by state and federal courts handling similar types of complaints, some against retailers, such as Family Dollar Stores, others against government contractors, such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and even in the publishing industry, with one large case involving Hearst Corp.

It’s impossible to deny the impact this pro-business decision had on discrimination litigation. However, where it has primarily hit the hardest has been with regard to larger, class-action cases. That’s because the primary issue in the Dukes decision was not whether Wal-Mart had discriminated against women, as alleged. Rather, the court was charged with determining whether members of the class had enough in common to allow the case to move forward.

Telecommunications giant AT&T has settled yet another age discrimination claim, this time for $250,000 following a series of incidents surrounding a Missouri employee. davestressed

Our Costa Mesa age discrimination lawyers applaud any action that holds employers accountable. However, given that this is a relatively paltry sum for such a large firm and that this is far from the first time such claims have been made against this company in particular, we wonder how effective such settlements ultimately are in terms of deterrence.

This is particularly true when you’re talking about a company that rakes in $125 billion annually.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is coming down hard on professional services firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, insisting that the large company do away with its mandatory partner retirement age policies.

pocketwatchOur Costa Mesa age discrimination attorneys know it’s not the first time the government has taken aim at the firm for this practice, which would impact some 60 partners. The EEOC contends that such policy is discriminatory. However, it has not, even up to this point, taken any legal action to strong-arm the firm into compliance, though it has started to fire off similar warning shots to other large accounting firms, such as KPMG and Deloitte.

In response, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has warned the EEOC to back off, contending that the polices are legal because they are applicable only to partners, and not employees. However, the EEOC maintains those workers are in fact employees.

On the surface, it would have seemed a very straightforward case of sexual harassment. sadness1

A senior male employee corners a younger female worker with unwanted comments about her body, tells her she should participate in an orgy with him and suggests that she remove her clothing before coming into meet with him. The allegations were further substantiated by the fact that a number of other women had made similar claims.

However, our Costa Mesa sexual harassment attorneys understand that her lawsuit was swiftly dismissed, a decision upheld by a federal appellate court. The reason? According to the court, the plaintiff had no standing in the case because she was an unpaid intern, and therefore not an employee, entitled to civil rights protections under the law.

The sexual harassment scandal bubbling over in San Diego has become a blight on the city, as the embattled mayor is now attempting to strong-arm the city into paying his legal bills due to a failure to provide anti-sexual harassment training. tear

Our Costa Mesa sexual harassment lawyers recognize that such training is required in California by all schools and government agencies and all companies with 50 or more workers.

The purpose of such training is to help prevent sexual harassment, but of course, it’s not full-proof. Supervisors do become more educated about what sexual harassment is, but a cursory training session at the beginning of one’s employment doesn’t automatically prevent future occurrences. More practically for the employer, such training serves to help protect them in future litigation. It’s a way for companies to say, “Here, see what we did to prevent this from happening from the very start.”

Judging from popular culture, you would think that Americans love workplace bullies. They garner everything from respect (“The Devil Wears Prada”) to guffaws (“The Office”).thisway

However, when it comes to real life, our California employment lawyers know that workplace bullying is no laughing matter. Studies have shown that victims of workplace bullying suffer from psychological and even physical health problems. This negatively affects not only the worker, but workplace morality and productivity.

Bullying at work can be generally identified as involving:

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