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March 2015 Archives

Jury votes against California gender discrimination lawsuit

Although a 45-year-old woman's gender discrimination case against a capital venture company brought focus to how women who work in venture capital are treated versus the treatment of their male counterparts, the jury still chose this week to vote against the woman, in effect, ending her lawsuit. The women had alleged that while working for the company, she was not only denied raises and promotions because of the fact that she is a female, but was also the continued subject of sexual harassment by her male co-workers.

How must California employers prevent sexual harassment?

Los Angeles employers who turn a blind eye to reports about on-the-job misconduct are breaking California employment laws. You may know employers are not allowed to discriminate against or sexually harass workers. Some employees don't realize employers are also obligated to take preventive measures to discourage these illegal activities.

Can you be terminated for a failed drug test?

Although there have been challenges in court as to whether workplace drug testing policies violate an employee's right to privacy, these challenges have not exactly been successful. In most cases, the employer has the law on their side and an employee can be terminated for drug use. In some instances, however, the way the test results are utilized or the way the test was conducted may give an employee a valid reason to challenge his or her termination.

Facebook named in California gender discrimination suit

The biggest, most powerful companies in California must follow the same federal and state employment laws as smaller businesses. Discrimination against protected classes of workers is prohibited. Employees who've been discriminated against or harassed may pursue civil claims for damages.

What you should know about pregnancy discrimination in California

medmalpregnantwoman.jpgPregnancy discrimination is typically considered the act of treating a female employee or applicant differently or unfavorably due to the fact that she is pregnant. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was added as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act which was established in 1964 and was created to provide protection to women in the workplace who are pregnant, have given birth, or have a medical condition related to their pregnancy.

Do California whistleblowers risk losing their jobs?

Los Angeles workers who know or suspect an employer is violating a law have the right to step forward and speak up without fear of jeopardizing their jobs. Retaliation against employees who file these complaints is forbidden by the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Revisions to the Act, which became effective in 2014, added strength to the legislation.

Woman seeks $13 million in California wrongful termination suit

A 31-year-old woman has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit for the amount of $13 million against her former boss, a Hollywood investor, after he allegedly fired her for incompetence. The woman, who was pregnant, was reportedly just six weeks away from her due date when she was let go from her job.

Medical leave rights expanded for California gay spouses

California workers are protected by some of the strongest employment laws in the nation. State laws, like Paid Family Leave and the California Family Rights Act, mirror the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. State laws generously expand the contents and protections of the federal law, but the FMLA is catching up rapidly.

What you should know about sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment is generally defined as a type of conduct in the workplace that is sexual in nature and interferes with the performance of an employee's job. It can include unwelcome sexual advances, lewd comments or even obscene jokes.

Former Safeway Assistant Manager Wins Overtime Case

Linda Heyen successfully convinced a trial court that her employer, Safeway, had misclassified her during at least part of her working hours as "exempt" meaning she should not be paid overtime wages. Heyen was employed as an Assistant Manager, an exempt position, but spent many of her working hours completing tasks that should have been classified as non-exempt, such as bagging or cashiering.

California builds on FMLA with paid family leave provisions

In California, paid family leave is more than just a fringe benefit -- it is the law. Employees who have been denied their legal rights through the Family Medical Leave Act may have recourse against their non-compliant employers. Although that is important to note, it is also critical to remember that California has state-specific laws that provide different protections than those offered at the federal level. California has taken extra steps to protect workers whose employers may not be required to observe the provisions found in the FMLA.

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