Articles Tagged with Riverside employment lawyer

California workplace discrimination can be broadly explained as a job candidate or employee is treated unfavorably due to their age (if over 40), disability, genetic information, national origin, ethnicity, pregnancy, religion, race or skin color, or sex. Federal law make it illegal for employers to retaliate against applicants or employees who assert their right to be free of employment discrimination.Riverside employment attorney

Here, our Riverside workplace discrimination lawyers explain the basics of employment discrimination laws.

Title VII

One of the primary sources of our federal workplace anti-discrimination laws is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This statutes makes it unlawful to discriminate during hiring, discharge, referral, promotion, termination, or any other aspect of employment on the basis of color, race, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII is enforceable by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Title VII banned workplace discrimination against LGBT employees on the basis of their sexual orientation. (Prior to that, protections for LGBT workers was only specified in certain states, California being one of them.) Furthermore, federal subcontractors are required to implement affirmative actions to ensure equal employment opportunities regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, race, color, or religion. Continue Reading ›

Equal pay rights in California are guaranteed under both state and federal laws that promise to protect employees from disparate wages paid on the basis of gender or race.

Recently, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team reached a $22 million proposed settlement in a class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The settlement stemmed from a longtime legal dispute filed eight years ago alleging federal equal pay violations by five higher-profile members of the women’s national team. Each said that as a member of the women’s team, they were paid thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts – at virtually every level of the competition. This was followed by a 2019 lawsuit filed by 28 players alleging female players were consistently paid less than their male counterparts – despite consistently showing up the men’s team on field performance. That claim was filed months after the U.S. men’s soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup, while the women’s team won its second tournament in a row. Amid the chants in the crowd were demands for, “Equal pay!” California equal pay act

In 2020, a federal court dismissed the claim by the women’s team that they were paid less for the same work (among other parts of their claim), finding there were key differences in the contract structurers of the men’s team versus the women’s team. Other aspects of the women’s team claims pertaining to working conditions were settled out-of-court a few months ago. Several of the players then filed an appeal on the equal pay claims, arguing the judge failed to analyze the rates of pay or the fact that women needed to win more often than men to receive the same bonuses. The $22 million settlement is the result of that appeal.

Our Los Angeles equal pay attorneys recognize that the settlement amount was only one-third the amount players initially sought, but it still amounts to a significant victory. It also opens the door to discuss what types of California equal pay claims are valid, and what they can entail.

The California Fair Pay Act

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A hospital is asking the California Supreme Court to dismiss an employment lawsuit filed by a travel nurse who has already settled with the agency that directly hired her. The court’s decision in Grande v. Eisenhower will have potential implications for the hundreds of thousands of California workers employed by staffing agencies. travel nurse lawsuit California

There are an estimated 1.7 million traveling nurses employed in the U.S., a figure that’s grown substantially in recent years given how much more registered nurses and other health care professionals can make when they work with these agencies.

Our Orange County employment lawyers know the question here will be whether travel nurses – and others who work contract positions through agencies – will have grounds to take legal action against both the agency and the company where they worked.

According to court records, plaintiff worked for the agency at a hospital she said denied her required meal and rest breaks earned, wages for certain time frames when she worked, and overtime wages. She was a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the travel agency that assigned employees to hospitals throughout the state of California. The traveling nurse agency ultimately settled with the class – including this nurse. She received $162, as well as a class representative incentive bonus of $20,000. When the settlement was signed, she executed a release of all claims against the agency.

About a year later, plaintiff filed a second class action lawsuit – based on the same labor law violations – except this time, the defendant was the hospital where she worked. The hospital had not been a party to the previous lawsuit. The staffing agency intervened in the case, and insisted plaintiff could not bring a separate lawsuit against the hospital because all claims relating to this conduct had been settled with them in the previous class action.

The trial court ruled in turn limited questions as to the propriety of the lawsuit, and found that the hospital wasn’t released as a party under the previous settlement agreement nor was it in privity with the agency, and thus could not avail itself of the doctrine of res judicata (the principle that a case of action can’t be litigated more than once if it’s already been judged on its merits).

Attorneys for the hospital filed a writ of mandate and the staffing agency appealed. The California Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision affirmed the trial court and denied the petitions of the two companies.

Now the question is before the California Supreme Court. Continue Reading ›

California racial discrimination at utility workplaces is the basis for a new employment lawsuit filed by two former employees.California racial discrimination lawsuit

According to ABC-7 News, the two plaintiffs – both attorneys – alleged that despite being in one of the most diverse regions of the state, the company’s legal department hasn’t hired a minority candidate in more than 16 years. It hasn’t hired an African American candidate in more than 22 years, they say.

Plaintiff one said she’d worked at the company nearly two decades when the second plaintiff, a Black woman, interviewed for a position in the company’s legal department. Despite being unanimously ranked as the No. 1 candidate for the position, she was passed over for the job. That prompted the longtime employee to file an internal complaint alleging racial discrimination.

About a year later, the prospective employee was invited to apply again. This time, she was hired. However, during her time at the company, she alleges she was subject to a significant degree of racial discrimination. Among her examples:

  • She was given a heavier work load than other, similarly-situated employees who were white.
  • She was denied equal opportunity to attend training and other employment benefits.
  • She was not given an office, as similarly-situated white colleagues were.
  • Her office supplies came from the junk drawer or even garbage bin, while white employees were given permission to order new supplies.

The impact, she said, was being denied the basic ability to do her job. Continue Reading ›

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a dispute over the California labor law that gives private attorneys the right to pursue litigation on behalf of workers (even if they agreed on their own to arbitrate) and to collect penalties on the state’s behalf for wage and hour violations. As our Riverside employment lawyers can explain, the case is being closely watched, as it is an important test of whether employers can shield themselves from employment lawsuits with arbitration clauses that prohibit group or class action lawsuits. Riverside employment lawyer

The case is Viking River Cruises v. Moriana. The primary question is whether the Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcement of bilateral arbitration agreements, provided an employee can’t raise representative claims, including those under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

During oral arguments, the court’s conservative justices spoke very little, while the liberal justices were more vocal in their defense of the state labor law.

The Private Attorneys General Act was passed in 2004 and allows private attorneys in California to sue employers and collect penalties for violations of the state’s labor code. The underlying reason for the act? Rampant labor law violations, particularly in the following industries:

  • Restaurants.
  • Car Washes.
  • Construction.
  • Garment companies.
  • Agriculture.

The state simply doesn’t have enough staff to adequately police these industries. PAGA lawsuits are often complaints of unpaid overtime work or wage theft. The law allows 75 percent of penalties collected to go to the state. The remainder goes to the affected employees and attorneys. Continue Reading ›

Workplace bullying is understood to be repeated, harmful mistreatment of one or more employees (targets) which can include conduct that is:

  • Threatening
  • Humiliating
  • Intimidating
  • Interfering with work. California workplace bully

The Workplace Bullying Institute explains that examples can include work sabotage, isolation, harm to reputation, demeaning behavior, and abusive supervision. The think tank estimates 60 million Americans are impacted by workplace bullying, with anywhere from 19-44 percent having been directly bullied. Nearly 1 in 5 have witnessed bullying behavior on the job. Of those who are targets, nearly 30 percent say nothing. Only 17 percent report seeking formal resolution – with the failure to report likely stemming from employers’ lack of responsiveness, real or perceived.

But what are your legal options? As our Riverside employment attorneys can explain, California does not have an anti-workplace bullying law in place, unfortunately. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck.

Targets of workplace bullying may have grounds for legal action in California if the conduct violates the state’s workplace harassment or discrimination laws, such as those set forth in the California Fair Employment Act (FEHA). Workplace bullying violates the law when it is based on a protected category to which a victim belongs. Continue Reading ›

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, commonly called FEHA, forbids employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of their position in a protected class. Protected classes include race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age (for those 40 and older), or veteran/military status.Riverside employment lawyer

As our Riverside employment attorneys can explain, those who have experienced the adverse impact of workplace discrimination in California can pursue accountability through the civil justice system by filing a lawsuit. Working with an experienced employment law team is essential.

Here, we discuss the basic steps for filing a California employment discrimination lawsuit.

Knowing Whether You Were Discriminated Against

The first step is assessing whether discrimination took place. Employers generally recognize that discrimination can lead to an employment lawsuit, so those who engage in it are often careful to avoid putting anything in writing or saying anything obvious to the job candidate or employee. Most workplace discrimination is subtle. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t signs.

An experienced employment law firm can help you make a case for employment discrimination by showing that certain groups were treated differently than others. It might also be established by showing there was an abrupt alteration in attitude toward an employee once the employer learned of the worker’s status in the protected group. Some indicators of workplace discrimination include: Continue Reading ›

Nondisclosure agreements, sometimes also referred to as confidentiality clauses, are written legal contracts between employers and employees, drafted with the purpose of laying out binding terms and conditions. These can include provisions like prohibitions on disclosing confidential and proprietary information. However, as our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, they are too often used in ways that many believe exploit the power imbalance between workers and employers. In some cases, employees have been compelled to sign away their right to pursue claims for wrongdoings like sexual harassment in the workplace. They may also include non-disparagement clauses that prohibit workers from speaking negatively about the company. Where NDAs are found to be overly-broad in scope, they may be deemed unenforceable. employee nondisclosure agreements California

Recently, a California judge ruled that the confidentiality agreements required of Google’s employees were too broad – in violation of the state’s labor laws. The ultimate impact of that decision is more workers and ex-workers may find it easier to speak openly about these firms.

The Washington Post reports the case in question involved a Google employee who took the company to court, arguing the nondisclosure agreement the company asked him to sign blocked him from talking about his job to other potential employers. Effectively, he argued, this amounted to a non-compete clause. Such provisions are unlawful in California. A Superior Court judge sided with the employee on this point, though declined to make a decision on allegations these NDAs also prohibited whistleblowing and worker exchange of wage information – also illegal in California. Continue Reading ›

A Riverside wage and hour lawsuit alleges an employer failed to properly calculate overtime or compensate him for time spent each shift undergoing mandatory temperature screenings. Riverside wage theft attorney

In the case of Solis v. The Merchant of Tennis, plaintiff further alleges non-exempt employees weren’t given the opportunity to take duty-free rest breaks, which is required pursuant to Wage Order No. 7 of the California Labor Code. Lastly, plaintiff asserts the company failed to fully and promptly compensate him all due wages when his employment was terminated.

These violations, plaintiff alleges, also amounted to violations under the California Unfair Competition statute. Plaintiff is seeking class action or collective status.

As our Riverside employment attorneys can verify, wage and hour disputes aren’t uncommon. Labor law violations in California in fact occur with some regularity. The question is what we can prove and how many violators are held accountable. 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 ›

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