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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Woman files sexual harassment lawsuit against Carson mayor

A 56-year-old woman who worked as a water board member for the Water Replenishment District of Southern California has filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against the Mayor of Carson for sexual harassment. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is also named as a defendant in the pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred back in November of 2013 while the woman and the mayor were staying at a hotel in Washington, D.C. According to court documents, the mayor invited the woman to attend an American Leaders Water Conference with him, so the two flew into Washington D.C. together and shared a taxi to the hotel where they were staying. The woman states that while they were at the hotel, the mayor allegedly forced his way into her room and pushed her onto a bed in a hotel room, then proceeded to sexually assault her. She states that he then reportedly proceeded to harass and bully her during their return trip back home.

California minimum wage frequently asked questions

As a worker in the state of California, you need to know which laws pertain to your employment. For example, there are thousands upon thousands of minimum wage workers throughout the state.

Here are some of the most common questions pertaining to California minimum wage laws:

Information on the waiting time penalty

As a worker in the state of California, it is imperative to become familiar with the many employment laws and public policies that are in place.

Full payment of wages to employees, in a prompt manner, is expected in California. To ensure that companies follow all laws in association with the payment of wages upon the termination of employment, the state enacted Labor Code Section 203. In short, this allows for a penalty to be assessed against a company if it fails to pay wages to a worker at the conclusion of an employer-employee relationship.

Can an employer still terminate an employee out on FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that makes it illegal for an employer to terminate an employee who has taken qualified leave for a medical issue, such as a serious health condition or the birth of a child. In some cases, an employee may also use this leave to take care of an elderly parent, a spouse or child who has become ill.

While the Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to keep employers from penalizing those who take this type of leave, it is important to realize that FMLA does not, however, grant greater rights to an employee for reinstatement of his or her job or guarantee his or her continued employment. Instead, an employer may still choose to let an employee go regardless of whether he or she has FMLA leave status if there is actually a valid and legitimate reason for letting the employee go.

Is new employment term actually act of age discrimination?

Although the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1966 is a federal law designed to prevent employment discrimination for individuals who are 40 years old or older, it reportedly hasn't stopped some employers from finding a new way to state that they are looking for younger workers. According to Fortune, a curious new term has been appearing in job ads with employers looking for job candidates that are considered "digital natives."

Digital native is a term first used in 2001 in an essay by author Marc Prensky. He defined the term as meaning someone who was born after or during the beginning of the digital world, or rather, that they began learning about technology at a young age and are what he considered a "native speaker" when it comes to the digital language of the Internet. For those who are older, Prensky refers to them as "digital immigrants," meaning that they have basically adapted to their environment, but still have one foot planted in the past.

California harassment and workplace discrimination laws

As a worker in the state of California, you never expect to be harassed or discriminated against. While there are laws in place to help prevent this behavior, it is not always good enough. Instead, there are people out there who break the law for one reason or another.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is responsible for enforcing laws that protect workers against harassment and workplace discrimination based on: color, disability, age, ancestry, gender, disability, marital status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and medical condition among others.

What direct care workers should know about wages and overtime

If you are a direct care worker who works for a home care agency or other type of third party employer, there were some changes that occurred on January 1, 2015, that could affect your pay and overtime. On that date, federal regulations changed and home care agencies are now required to pay employees at least the amount of federal minimum wage for the hours their employees have worked.

Throughout the year 2015, the California federal minimum wage is set at $9.00, with this amount going up to $10.00 on Jan. 1, 2016. The new regulations states that regardless of a direct care worker's duties, they are entitled to receive this federal minimum wage. Some examples of a direct care worker may include caregivers, companions, personal care aides, certified nursing assistants and home health aides.

How are workers protected under the FMLA?

American workers are protected by many laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act. While many people understand the FMLA, including how this protects them as an employee, some are unsure of what benefits it brings to them.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees working for a covered employer to take job protected, unpaid leave for a personal or family medical reason. Furthermore, continuation of a group sponsored health insurance policy is guaranteed.

Sexual Harassment In The Health Care Setting

Professional nursing groups pay attention to issues related to sexual assault and harassment in the medical workplace. Organizations such as the American Nursing Association offer training to members to help nurses and other health care professionals prevent sexual assault. The need for this should not be surprising, as health care professionals are victims of more than half of all workplace violence incidents, including incidents of sexual assault and rape, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Richmond police chief facing sexual harassment lawsuit

In an unusual case of "he said, he said," a former Richmond, California, police officer has filed a lawsuit against the openly gay chief of police claiming sexual harassment. The former officer claims that he was fired back in 2013 after he accused the police chief of making sexual advances against him that were unwanted.

Although the man had been working for the Richmond Police Department since 2005, the lawsuit itself stems from an alleged incident that occurred after the former officer was assigned to be the police chief's bodyguard. According to court documents, the former officer was walking his dog one evening when he was approached by the police chief who allegedly touched him in an inappropriate and sexual manner.