Articles Tagged with Los Angeles employment attorneys

As the #MeToo movement has proven, it’s tough being a woman in the workplace, particularly working in a male-dominated field. Evenage discrimination tougher, it seems, is the discrimination women face as they get older and try to maintain their standing in their professional careers. Many face a different set of standards as they age than their male counterparts, according to an examination by Forbes. Men’s age is often seen as a symbol of experience, status, wisdom, and leadership capabilities. Even if they lack the modern skills some younger people bring to the workforce, they are typically valued for the knowledge they can share with those inexperienced in the field. For women, though, their age can be construed as a sign that they are outdated, out-of-touch, and lacking technical abilities. Sadly, physical appearance is frequently a factor is these discriminatory practices, with men’s appearances being viewed more favorably as they age.

Ageism and sexism run deep in our society, so some might not even be aware they are mentally perceiving their employees differently. But hidden biases are not an excuse to give employees unequal treatment. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sec. 623 clearly states it is unlawful to fail or refuse to hire someone because of their age, or to discriminate in any way including compensation or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The law also prohibits classifying or segregating an employee in such a way that deprives them of opportunities other employees enjoy as a result of his or her age. Reduction of wages due to a person’s age is also illegal. Of course consideration of a person’s sex was already prohibited in workplace hiring, firing, and promotion matters based on Title VII of the civil rights Act of 1964.

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We’ve heard all too many stories since the emergence of the #MeToo movement about women who wanted to come forward with theirwhistleblower attorneys accounts of workplace sexual misconduct, but their companies had created loopholes that made it nearly impossible or too risky to go public. One former Uber employee is kicking down some of those barriers and working alongside the California Assembly to make it happen.

The former Uber engineer drew national attention when she previously wrote a blog post about alleged sexual harassment and questionable practices within the company, according to Tech Crunch. Her courage to speak up led to the resignation of Uber’s then CEO last summer. Now the ex-employee is supporting a bill that will help women in situations like hers to be able to seek public legal action. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced AB-3080, a bill that addresses one of the major ways companies try to silence internal complaints: forced arbitration.

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They might share a name, hours, and overarching rules, but according to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,employment attorneys  7-Eleven franchisees are not direct employees of 7-Eleven. In the original employment lawsuit complaint, filed by a group of four franchisees, plaintiffs pointed to 7-Eleven’s restrictive rules, alleging they were unable to run a truly independent franchise and therefore qualified them as employees of the parent company. But the court ruled plaintiffs did not sufficiently demonstrate an employee-employer relationship. Our employment attorneys experienced in wage and hour lawsuits know this could set a significant precedent for current and future cases involving franchises.

According to National Law Review, plaintiffs attempted to make a case based on a few factors:

  • The requirement that franchisees remain open 364 days a year for 24 hours a day.
  • 7-Eleven distributes payments to all employees.
  • 7-Eleven sets rules for pay practices, discipline, terminations, and performance appraisals.

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One of the best ways workers can shield themselves from discriminatory practices at work is through the use of organized resistance to unscrupulous practices by employers.  When a worker’s rights have been violated, there may be the possibility of taking legal action but many labor unions strive to prevent such violations before they occur.

racial discriminationAccording to a recent news article from People’s World, the Los Angeles chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), has pledged to renew their efforts to form an “inseparable resistance to illegal and otherwise unfair employment practices” committed by various employers in Los Angeles and across California. Continue reading

In a surprise move, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its own recent stance on the “joint employer rule” that determines the standard for unions and workers to hold companies accountable for the actions of contractors and franchisees. The Obama-era joint employer rule made it easier for workers and unions. A December 2017 decision by the labor board under Trump reversed that. But late last month, the board has ruled that a conflict of interest nullifies the December ruling – meaning workers will once again have an easier time holding employers accountable (for now). labor law attorney

The board determined one of the members had a conflict of interest. The December ruling had indicated franchisors could only be considered a “joint employer” to a franchisee when there is evidence the franchisor exercised direct control over workers. It was an about-face from the 2015 ruling that empowered workers to pursue claim against or seek collective bargaining with major corporations that may not actually sign their paychecks. It’s not necessary to show direct control under this standard.

Major franchise owners, like McDonald’s, have a lot at stake in this decision. These companies prefer to insulate themselves from responsibility once a franchisee takes over by limiting their own liability for a franchisee’s alleged labor law violations. 

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Many companies have employment policies in place to help separate people’s personal lives from the workplace. Limiting personal calls, restricting social media use onemployment attorneys company computers, forbidding offensive materials from being displayed in work spaces and not allowing company resources to be used for personal gain or to spread personal messages — all of these are common practices. It is permissible and necessary for offices to limit such activities to keep workers focused, reduce wasteful spending, and prevent a hostile work environment.

However, problems can arise when managers selectively choose who can and cannot engage in such activities, with only certain people being punished. At best, a company can cause resentment among employees by singling out individuals for actions that are also being committed by others. At worst, they could find themselves in court for violating the First Amendment.

This is in line with the perspective of the Washington Supreme Court, where justices recently filed an opinion in the case against the fire department in eastern Washington. The court determined that a former fire captain, who was terminated after sending religious messages using a company forum, was denied his First Amendment rights to free speech and can sue for damages. Continue reading

According to a report last year by CareerBuilder, research conducted on behalf of the site shows 78 percent of American workers live paycheck-to-paycheck. The numberwage dispute attorneys breaks down further: 38 percent responded they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 17 percent said usually and 23 percent answered always. The overall percentage goes up for women (81 percent).

CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer described these employee financial struggles as a problem for employers, citing that stressed out workers are less focused and less productive. Still, while a happy workforce can help financial standing long term, many employers can’t help but focus on immediate gains made by keeping wages as low as possible. Others may go as far as to dig into those already low wages even further to pad out their bottom line by making employees cover expenses related to the job.

This is what about 250,000 former and current employees of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and other affiliated stores are claiming happened to them, as far back as 2009, according to a report from The Columbus Dispatch. Workers alleged they were forced to buy and wear clothing from their stores on the job, though the company denies these claims. Continue reading

Labor contracts can involve very complicated issues.  When dealing with unions, there is the use of collective bargaining to create contracts that bind the employer and the employees. As the nation increasingly moves toward a so-called “right-to-work” system in many jurisdictions, employers are doing whatever they can to take that collective power away from employees.  According to a recent news article from The Los Angeles Times, the California State Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that allows the state to essentially force farm workers and unions to enter in binding agreements.employment attorney

To understand this issue, it is necessary to look at the recent history, and how this all came about. For the past several decades, the largest produce company in the state and the United Farm Workers union had been fighting about whether the union could be de-certified. There have been many cases and arbitration agreements over the past 20 or so years on this issue.  Continue reading

In mid-September, the 2017 California Legislature adjourned, having sent more than seven hundred bills to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. Governor Brown has already signed many of these bills into law. Among the new laws are several employment provisions which are generally deemed to be in favor of employees’ rights. Learn more about the new laws – which take effect on January 1, 2018 – and how they will affect your rights as an employee or obligations as an employer. 

Understanding these provisions is important to recognizing what type of legal remedy you may have in the event you suffer wrongful termination or employment discrimination.

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Stronger Anti-Retaliation Laws