Articles Tagged with Los Angeles employment attorneys

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