Articles Tagged with racial discrimination lawyer

In recent years, many firms have turned to contract labor as a means to reduce certain overhead costs associated with hiring full-time employees. But as our Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, companies that rely heavily on contract labor will want to take particular note of the recent $137 million racial discrimination verdict against Tesla. The verdict (which could be increased or decreased, depending on what happens during the appeal) was noteworthy not only for the sheer size of it, but the fact that Tesla – not the contracting firm that was the direct employer of the plaintiff – is the one cutting the check. racial discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

One of the main benefits companies gleaned from having contract laborers (as opposed to direct employees) was that employment law requirements could be shifted onto the contractor. But this verdict underscores the fact that the contracting firm can also be held accountable, so it’s best if all companies adhere to lawful employment practices.

In the Tesla case, a Black elevator operator employed by a staffing agency (third party) reportedly faced substantial and persistent racist treatment while working at Tesla. The workers who allegedly subjected him to ongoing disparagement were also hired and paid by another firm. In fact, most of the workers on site were directly employed by this third-party firm.

In determining liability, the court looked at who controlled the workers and which firm directed the work occurring on site. What the courts held was that Tesla was a joint employer, and that it was jointly and severally liable for the verdict. As our employment attorneys in Los Angeles can explain, joint and several liability occurs when there is a legal responsibility that is shared by two or more parties in a lawsuit. Someone who is wronged may sue any or all of those parties, and one may be ordered to pay the total amount of damages. Continue Reading ›

When it comes to California employment discrimination lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, a common defense is the “mixed motive.” That is, even where discrimination is a deemed a substantial motivating factor in firing someone, employers cans still effectively defend themselves if they can successfully argue the outcome would have been the same absent any such discrimination. In that situation, as it was in the 2013 case of Wynona Harris v. City of Santa Monica, employees may not be entitled to damages, back pay, or an order of restatement (often the primary relief many seek), though they may still be entitled to injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as compensation for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. racial discrimination

The high proof burdens in these employment law cases are one of the primary reasons we urge anyone considering a  claim for discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and/or retaliation, will work only with a highly experienced and skilled Los Angeles employment attorney with a track record of success in similar cases.

Recently, a similar case arose from an allegation of racial discrimination by a former scientist with the UCLA Medical Center. She alleged on-the-job, race-based harassment – which she did prove. In fact, jurors had previously awarded her $1.5 million in damages. However, in a review by a California Court of Appeals, the panel held that because the plaintiff was fired for legitimate reasons (notwithstanding race discrimination as a substantial motivating factor), the claimant’s damage award was reduced by more than $275,000.

As our L.A. racial discrimination lawyers can explain, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) holds that discrimination, retaliation, and harassment are separate wrongs, even if for the employee, it all appears connected. Each element of unlawful conduct has its own remedy. In the UCLA case, Birden v. The Regents of the University of California, the court held, a damage award for racial discrimination is only justified if that harassment ended with the employee losing his or her job. Continue Reading ›

Unlawful gender and racial bias against women and Asians in the hiring process at Google will cost the company $2.6 million. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor is requiring the tech giant to review its practices for hiring and pay, fund an independent study on is own gender pay equity and provide the government routine updates on its efforts to reduce gender pay equity.employment attorney

The lawsuit came about as part of a federal government contractor audit of numerous Google sites in California, Washington state and New York. That analysis revealed numerous indicators that the company was not in compliance with an executive order that prohibits discrimination in federal contractor hiring and wages.

The analysis indicated that over a three-year span starting in 2014, the company paid female engineers in numerous offices (including in California) substantially less than male engineers for the same jobs. Further, evidence indicated the company discriminated against women and Asian applicants applying to be engineers at several California sites. Continue Reading ›

One of the most significant changes in federal racial discrimination cases came with the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owed Media, et al. News of this precedent was largely eclipsed by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., but the impact will be significant in future racial discrimination employment lawsuits. racial discrimination lawyer

For those who may not be familiar,  42 U.S.C. § 1981 of the Civil Rights Act bars race discrimination that is intentional in all forms of contracting. That includes employment. The conflict among lower courts in deciding these cases was whether a plaintiff needed to prove that race discrimination was just one motivating factor among several for the adverse employment action, or whether plaintiff needed to show that race was the “but for” cause. With a “but for” standard, plaintiffs need to prove the adverse outcome wouldn’t have happened “but for” the defendant’s wrongful conduct.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in November 2019 and issued their decision in March 2020. They held that plaintiffs in Section 1981 cases must meet the “but for” causation standard. Continue Reading ›

A worker alleging his employer violated federal civil rights law by retaliating against him for filing a racial discrimination complaint will get another shot at taking his claim to court.factory manager

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of his original complaint.

According to court records, plaintiff is an African American man who first started working for the company, a machinery manufacturing firm based in Texas, in 1991. He started his job as a “helper,” but was eventually promoted to machinist. During his tenure at the company, he was laid off three times due to staff reductions, but each time was hired back. Eventually, he racked up a full decade of seniority. By all accounts, he performed his job in a manner his employer deemed satisfactory, he regularly received raises on merit and he’d never been disciplined – until May 2009, when he was 55-years-old.  Continue Reading ›

Minority workers face the highest rates of on-the-job injury, and researchers with the University of Southern California opine that’s in large part due to workplace discrimination. constructionworker

The study looked at injury rates among workers of different races. What they discovered was that Latino immigrant and African American men had far and away the greatest risk of injury. The risk was even higher when researchers accounted for education and other demographic characteristics. 

Although the study authors didn’t delve too deeply into the reasons why, the lead researcher opined it had largely to do with “disparities in economic opportunities for minorities.” In other words: Racial discrimination. Workers who are black or Latino immigrant are often turned down or not considered for higher-paying roles, and therefore are pigeon-holed into jobs that are more dangerous, substantially increasing their risk of workplace injury and disability.  Continue Reading ›

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has a reputation for leaning pro-employer in work-related disputes. So the recent decision in Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises came as a bit of a surprise – and its effects could be far-reaching. gavel7

The case upends the standard that the circuit has followed the last 20 years for determining discrimination in the workplace. Prior to this case, the court had held an employee plaintiff could prove discrimination in just one of two ways:

  • Direct. That means providing the court with some type of direct evidence of discrimination.
  • Indirect. This is providing the court with circumstantial evidence of discrimination, such as a pattern of actions (or as it sometimes called, a “convincing mosaic”).

Each method requires a series of tests, and the Seventh Circuit noted frustration with the legal wrangling that had to be done just to properly navigate these tests. This “convincing mosaic” as a legal standard was so confusing, the court wrote, that justices vowed any ruling based on that phrase is going to be subject to summary reversal.  Continue Reading ›

The U.S. Supreme Court recently handed down an important decision that will almost certainly aid victims of workplace discrimination in their efforts to attain restitution. postalservice

In Green v. Brennan, what was alleged was a case of severe and long-running racial discrimination against a black mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.

Plaintiff was a 35-year- veteran of the Postal Service when the trouble first started. A job for postmaster opened in Colorado. Plaintiff applied, but his bosses passed him over – for someone far less qualified. It was later revealed the person who landed the job hadn’t even turned in an application.

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