Articles Tagged with employee rights

In-N-Out Burger Inc. employees should be allowed to wear buttons in support of higher minimum wage, employee rightsaccording to a recent ruling from a federal appeals court. A panel with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently unanimously upheld a decision by National Labor Relations Board in a case regarding employees at In-N-Out Burger wearing Fight for $15 buttons. The company tried to ban the buttons arguing they interfered with the company’s image, which includes a very specific uniform and a dress code that prohibits wearing pins or stickers. The company also claimed the buttons could pose food safety concerns, but NLRB and the panel said that was not enough reason to restrict workers’ rights and that doing so was in violation of federal law, according to a report from Reuters.

Fight for $15 is an organization that supports unions and pushes for higher minimum wage, especially among fast-food workers across the country. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, protects the right of workers to join a union and encourages collective bargaining. It also holds firm against practices by employers deemed harmful to the general welfare of workers. What does all of this have to do with employees wearing buttons?

Continue reading

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and employee rightsMunicipal Employees quickly rose to landmark status in employment law. The 5-4 ruling by the high court determined it is unconstitutional to force nonunion workers to pay fees to unions in the public sector. Justices for the majority decisions explained that forcing workers to financially back an organization whose views they did not necessarily agree with was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech, according to a CNBC report. The decision overturned the 1977 Supreme Court ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which stated fees could be collected for collective bargaining, but not for political purposes. Some believe, however, that by nature collective bargaining and union practices are political.

While the ruling does not affect the private sector directly, the spirit of the decision certainly sets a precedent for legal disputes with private employment unions. It also helps bolster laws that already exist in 27 states which forbid agreements between unions and employers to force all employees who are part of a bargaining unit to contribute to union dues. The ruling is viewed by many as a victory for individual liberties. Continue reading

Employers have long tried to figure out ways to control their employees not only while they are on the clock, but alsoemployment attorneys during their personal time. Joining a company can sometimes feel like a way of life rather than a way to earn income to sustain yourself. The latest way employers are overstepping their bounds is through “moonlighting” bans, or rules restricting employees who want to take on a second job. The National Labor Relations Board, however, recently struck down one such ban, sending a message to other employers across the country.

This is a major victory for employees, who already have more than enough burdens to carry. Our employment lawyers know if someone is taking on a second job, it is almost always because they are in need of more cash in order to make ends meet. The last thing workers should have to worry about is whether taking on additional work to provide for their families will jeopardize their first source of income.

An NLRB administrative law judge recently ruled on a company policy that put undue restrictions on the type of second job an employee could take on. Limitations imposed by the company stated that the job could not be inconsistent with the company’s interests and could not reflect poorly on the company’s public image. While the company argued the policy was meant to prevent employees from working for competitors, the judge rightly countered that insisting employees put company interests first even in their free time had the potential to infringe on unions, whose interests would serve other employees rather than the company. Whether intentional or not, the wording would affect workers’ right to organize, and thus those parts of the policy were struck down. Continue reading

With the ever-expanding reach of technology, it feels to many like privacy is dwindling. This can be especially distressing when an employer tries to useemployee rights private information about you to take employment action.

There are more ways than ever for an employer to access information about you, but as our trusted employment attorneys know, companies are still limited in how they can use that information under the law. A recent article from The Business Journals delved into this very issue, unveiling different platforms on which employers can easily access your information.

Social media is, of course, the most obvious change in the way we share information over the past 15 years. It’s good common sense to be thoughtful about what you share about yourself, especially with so many new online outlets to post personal information with friends and family. You never know who might see one of your posts and share it with the wrong person. Plus, it’s not uncommon for an employer to scope out your online presence when you apply for a job.

They still cannot discriminate against you for any reason that is already protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, such as race, religion, or nation of origin. However, if you have a series of public statuses about how much you don’t like going to work or making fun of your previous bosses, don’t be surprised if you aren’t getting many bites from prospective employers. Continue reading

California has long been a pioneer of gender rights in the workplace. Since 2011, gender expression and gender identity have been protected classes under California’s anti-discrimination law.  And on July 1, 2017, new employment protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming employees took effect in California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing now enforces regulations which expand protections for gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. According to The National Law Review, the following provisions are now effective:

Employment discrimination lawyers

  • Gender identity has been expanded to include those employees who are transitioning. Activities during the transition phase are protected, such as: changes in name or pronoun usage; use of bathroom facilities; and medical procedures associated with a transition (such as hormone therapy or surgeries). Employers may not discriminate against transitioning employees for engaging in any of these activities, or other actions related to the transition.
  • Employers may not inquire about, or request documentation about, an employee’s gender, gender expression, or gender identity. Employers can also not request that employees provide such information unless it is on a voluntary basis for record keeping purposes.
  • Single-occupancy bathroom facilities under an employer’s control must be labeled with gender neutral terms (such as “unisex”, “gender neutral”, or “all gender restroom”). Employees must be allowed to use the facilities which correspond to their gender identity, not the gender assigned to them at birth.
  • Employees must be allowed to carry out job duties which correspond with their gender expression or gender identity – not the gender assigned to them at birth.

The Press-Enterprise also notes that employers cannot impose any standards of grooming, dress, or appearance which are inconsistent with an employee’s gender identity.  

Continue reading

Every year new employment laws affect California employers. Businesses which are not compliant with such laws face civil liability, fines, and even regulatory sanctions (such as suspension of a business license). CBS Los Angeles reports on new 2017 employment laws which all California employers should take note of: California employment lawyers

Increased Minimum Wage:  As of January 1, 2017, businesses with twenty-five employees or more must pay workers a minimum of $10.50 per hour. GovDocs reports that this will increase in annual increments to set minimum wage at $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2023. Businesses with fewer than twenty-five employees start at a lower minimum wage of $10.00 per hour, but they, too, will experience annual increases, and  be subject to the $15.00 per hour minimum wage requirement by January 1, 2023.

Overtime Laws: The California Department of Industrial Relations describes the current California overtime requirements as follows:

  • Any employee must be paid one and a half times his or her hourly rate for any hours worked in excess of eight per day, or forty per week. “Time and a half” also applies to the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of a workweek.
  • Any hours in excess of twelve per day must be compensated at twice the employee’s hourly rate. Double time also applies to any hours beyond eight worked on the seventh day of a workweek.

There are various exceptions to the overtime requirements, and employers should carefully consider these when staffing needs arise.

Continue reading

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court on May 8, 2017, makes it easier for employers to comply with the state’s “day of rest” statute. The enhanced flexibility can benefit both employers working to accommodate their business needs, and employees who desire more flexibility to accommodate their personal activities with their work schedule and responsibilities. employment lawyers

The California “day or rest” statute prohibits employers from causing employees to work more than six in seven days. The San Francisco Business Times reports that, in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the Court clarified that the day of rest is guaranteed for each work week, rather than any given period of seven days. Previously, it was unclear which measure had to be used for purposes of calculating the day off. Some employers would go to great lengths to accommodate every seven-day period on a rolling basis. Now, they need only to set a defined work week, and ensure that employees have one day off within that week.

The ruling also gave employers the option of scheduling employees for more than seven days in a row if they are given time off equivalent to one day per work week. This, too, allows greater flexibility in scheduling. It also appears to signal the Court’s awareness of the realities of the contemporary American workforce.  Continue reading