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Employee Rights Archives

Employee blames termination on retaliation for online review

The ability of disgruntled employees in California to vent online about their employers has raised legal questions about lawful and unlawful retaliation. A former employee of IXL Learning Inc. filed two complaints through the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging wrongful termination due to retaliation.

Gender identity disorder conditions may be protected by ADA

California employees who have conditions related to gender identity disorder might be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act according to a federal court ruling. A woman had filed claims of retaliation and disability discrimination against her employer. She said that her gender dysphoria limited some of her life activities, but her employer argued that this was not covered under the ADA. The woman said that her rights to equal protection under the Constitution had been violated.

Appeals court sides with nursing assistants in overtime claim

California employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement could still have protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit highlighted the protections applied by the FLSA in a dispute between certified nursing assistants and a nursing facility regarding overtime pay and unpaid breaks.

Court rules for employee in slur case

California employers should be aware that even a single slur could constitute a hostile work environment. This was the conclusion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit after hearing a case involving a supervisor who allegedly used a slur toward an employee. The plaintiff in the case represented himself and was assisted by an amicus curiae brief by the EEOC.

How employment laws impact small businesses

Small business owners in California and around the country should be aware of both state and federal employment laws. While small businesses may be exempt from some statutes, it is still a good idea to understand the basics of what the law says. For example, it is important to know that the federal minimum wage for non-tipped workers is $7.25 an hour. Minimum wage must be paid if a business makes more than $500,000 in sales.

Supreme Court to rule on hospital pensions

People in California who work for church-affiliated hospitals might be interested to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments about whether those hospitals can be considered religious nonprofits. If so, their pension plans will continue to be exempt from Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 rules.

5 CFRA policies your boss may have skipped over

The California Family Rights Act applies to companies with 50 or more full- or part-time employees. It allows those employees to take extended leave of up to 12 weeks under certain conditions and with certain benefits. Basically, those who have been employed for 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during that time would be eligible for CFRA leave. While away from the workplace, they would still be entitled to coverage under the company's health insurance plan and would be able to return to the jobs they had or, if unavailable, to comparable positions. Updates to the act were made in 2015, but some companies may not have made all the adjustments. Here are five changes employers should implement:

9th Circuit rules on Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection

On March 9, it was reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a decision made by a California court involving a person who was terminated after reporting another employee's misconduct to the company. The company had argued that the person was not protected against retaliation as he had not made a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Is HR really looking out for you?

As an employee, you depend upon your HR department to protect you in the event that you encounter challenges in the workplace. When you reach out to them for assistance, you trust that they will take action to address the problems and ensure that they do not happen again. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Uncertainty around LGBTQ rights in the workplace

California LGBTQ employees who are currently protected from workplace discrimination may wonder if that will change under the Trump administration. In 2014, an executive order signed by Barack Obama prohibited discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation by federal contractors. It extended protections put in place by Lyndon Johnson in 1965 that made discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex and color illegal. However, conflicting information has come from the Trump administration as to whether it will continue to protect these rights.

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