Articles Tagged with Orange County Employment attorney

Their employer wouldn’t let them sit down. So the employees stood up to them – in court. L.A. employment attorney

Walmart Inc. has agreed to pay $65 million to approximately 100,000 California cashiers – current and former – who allege the company broke the law in denying them a place to sit during work hours. Specifically at issue was Wage Order 7-2001 § 14(A), which specifically states all workers must be provided with suitable seats when the nature of their work reasonably allows it. The provision further states that if workers aren’t engaged in active duties of their employment and the nature of the work generally requires standing, the company is required to provide seats in reasonable proximity to the work space that workers can access whenever it doesn’t interfere with their work duties.

In Brown v. Walmart Inc., before the U.S. District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division, it took nine years for a resolution that in the end, will not require the company to admit it did anything wrong. Still, it will have to pay the cashiers to whom it denied seating their share of the employment lawsuit settlement. Continue reading

A construction worker in Oregon has filed an employment lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and retaliation after he was fired for refusing to attend a mandatory weekly Christian Bible study.religious discrimination

The 34-year-old Native American said he expressed to his boss/ the business owner discomfort about going to the Bible study and even indicated it was probably illegal, but was told it was a condition of employment for which he would be paid. Although he still wasn’t comfortable with it, as a convicted felony, he badly needed the job and didn’t want to lose it. So he attended the once-weekly hour-long session, conducted by a Christian pastor. He did this for several months, but then finally said he could no longer stomach it and stopped going. He was fired soon thereafter.

In filing his religious discrimination employment lawsuit, plaintiff’s attorney said the case is clear-cut: A non-religious employer can’t require employees to go to a Bible study – paid or otherwise. It can be offered as a voluntary option, but it can’t be mandated as a condition of employment and employers can’t retaliate against workers who choose not to go. The attorney representing defendant business owner, meanwhile, asserts the requirement was not unlawful for at-will employees who were paid to go and it was considered part of their job. Further, defense attorney insists plaintiff wasn’t fired, but rather was an on-call employee who simply found other work while he was still on-call for the defendant.  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

Many workers in this digital age are familiar with the pings and rings of their smartphones, alerting them to work-related issues after work hours. Most assume it’s simply a part of the job, and few file for overtime compensation related to these expected duties. officerholdingcellphone

But that may change, depending on the potential precedent set by a case slated for bench trial this month. Allen v. Chicago, before the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, is one of the first of its kind to proceed to the trial phase. That’s because most similar cases are settled out-of-court before going to trial.

This class action employment lawsuit was filed by a police sergeant on behalf of himself and other similarly situated individuals who worked at the Chicago Police Department. Continue reading

In California, employers must provide up to four months of disability leave for workers who are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth or some related medical condition. This time doesn’t have to be taken all at once, nor does it apply solely to full-time workers.pregnancy2

A woman need not be totally incapacitated or bedridden to be deemed disabled by pregnancy, but she must be unable to perform one or more essential job functions without undue risk to her or the child. Any periodic absences prior to childbirth can be subtracted from that four-month time frame.

The law also bars harassment on the basis of pregnancy and requires companies to provide reasonable accommodates for pregnant workers as necessary. Some of these protections went into effect in California as late as 2012. Many other states lack this kind of broad worker protection, but many employees continue to fight for their rights for working women in the course of their pregnancy.

In the recent case of Wages v. Stuart Mgt., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit weighed one such pregnancy discrimination case. Plaintiff alleged employer violated her rights under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Continue reading

A California labor lawsuit has been filed by a former Wal-Mart pharmacist on behalf of all pharmacists working for the retailer, alleging missed breaks and unpaid overtime.pharmacy

Plaintiff in Nikmanesh v. Wal-Mart worked for the company for more than a decade, from 2003 through 2014. He alleges that in addition to a failure to ensure pharmacists received legally-mandated rest breaks, the company refused to compensate him and others for class time spent studying and completing immunization training programs. The training programs, he asserted, was related directly to his responsibilities as a pharmacist.

The complaint asserts the company implemented and utilized a company-wide policy of denying overtime compensation or any compensation whatsoever for certain work-related tasks. The lawsuit seeks class action status for all pharmacists who worked for the company within the last four years.

Sexual harassment scandals in politics are some of the most notoriously covered by the media. In a recent case, California House candidate Carl DeMaio has been accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer. Making matters worse, the former policy director claims the politician attempted bribery and made repeated advances for sexual contact. The Republican candidate is openly gay and is in a tight race against Scott Peters, but has gained national support and attention for his decision to drop social issues from the party platform. Despite his growing notoriety and place as a “rising star” in the Republican party, the candidate could suffer a huge blow to his campaign as a result of the sexual harassment allegations.

oldmanAccording to reports, DeMaio repeatedly sexually harassed his staffer by grabbing his crotch and “masturbating in front of him” while in his office. DeMaio vehemently denies the allegations. He describes the staffer as a disgruntled ex-employee who was fired for plagiarizing documents for the website. DeMaio has also accused the staffer of breaking into the campaign office and committing property damage – a case that also drew national headlines.

In this highly-publicized dispute, sexual harassment allegations could result in a significant settlement or jury verdict if the plaintiff is successful in litigation.

Recently, a veteran newspaper reporter, heralded for her deft and ample coverage of the crime and courts  beat in seedy Southern Florida, was recognized for her skilled fast embrace of new technology, with an editor publicly calling her a “social media star.”newspaper

Little more than a year later, she was offered a “voluntary buyout,” which a thinly veiled attempt by a company to shed older (i.e., more expensive) workers. Our age discrimination lawyers in Costa Mesa believe that this approach is not only discriminatory, it’s short-sighted, as it ends up reducing the overall quality of the finished product.

Still, such buy-outs are not technically illegal, even if they do blatantly target the over-55 crowd (every single one of the 40 employees at the paper offered the buyout was over the age of 55). Administrators can get around it by making it “voluntary.” The publisher reportedly told the employees in explaining the deal that, “surely, many of you have contemplated retirement and, if not, could probably use the skills honed during decades in the news business to land other jobs.”