Los Angeles Employment Law Blog
California workers may be interested to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a revised whistleblower complaint form online. According to the announcement made by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, the online form allows whistleblowers to file their complaints quickly and safely.
Women of color in California have spoken about their experiences at tech industry giants in confronting the hydra of race and sex discrimination on the job. Far from being separate concerns, these forms of workplace discrimination have been pernicious for women of color, even those who have achieved success at some of the world’s largest companies.
Employers in California seeking to classify employees as independent contractors should take note of a recent lawsuit filed by the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Companies that intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors may subject themselves to substantial back payments and heavy fines.
Being a mom is hard work. When you are a new mom, you have a lot going on. You are caring for a brand new baby that needs your constant care and support. It is your duty to bathe, nurture and nourish your child. For some mothers, this includes breast feeding your baby. Emotions can be high as maternity leave comes to an end. Going back to work may mean leaving your baby in someone else’s care for an entire day for the first time. You have to navigate those feelings, as well as plan for all of your baby’s needs.
A hearing in a California federal district court on July 26 regarding a class action age discrimination lawsuit against Google revealed that 269 plaintiffs have joined the lawsuit. Software engineers aged 40 and over are alleging that they were not hired by the company because of their age. One reported that a recruiter told her to include graduation dates on her resume so Google would know her age and that she was subsequently not hired as a result.
Residents of California who have shopped at Big 5 might be interested to know that the sporting goods company has had a lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit claims that an African-American employee suffered discrimination at the hands of the manager and other coworkers while he was training to become a manager himself at the establishment.
Sarah was tired of seeing it happening. Her office was mostly men, and for the few women who worked there, it felt like something between an old boy’s club and a fraternity. When Sarah’s co-worker, Shelby, was pregnant, the men constantly commented on her burgeoning belly. They touched her stomach without permission and made crude jokes about how she had ended up “in the family way.”
Women of color in California and around the country often find themselves struggling to achieve professional parity with their white and male colleagues. Unfortunately, the reality of sexual harassment and racial bias can hamper these women’s efforts. Harassment and bias are realities in all occupations, including scientific fields. In a study, planetary scientists and astronomers who are also women of color reported high rates of harassment in their workplaces.
Because California is an “at will” employment state, your employer can fire you for any reason except those that are against the law, such as mental or physical disability, pregnancy, race or religion. Clearly, you do have some protections. You cannot be terminated, for example, because of your gender or age. Also, it is unlawful for your employer to fire you because of your political affiliation.
Employers in California and throughout the country are barred from discriminating against employees on religious grounds. This protection is afforded to workers by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are generally required to accommodate an employee’s religious practices or beliefs unless doing so would create an undue hardship. Examples of accommodations include a flexible work schedule or allowing a worker to transfer elsewhere within the company.
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