The 2017 fiscal year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ended on Sept. 30. According to the EEOC, retaliation charges were the most common filings with 41,097 received during that time period. There were a total of 28,528 charges related to race and another 26,838 were related to disability. Altogether, the EEOC received 84,254 workplace discrimination charges in California and elsewhere for fiscal year 2017, and the agency was able to resolve 99,109 charges in that same time period.
Most California companies must follow the Fair Labor Standards Act when designating employees as exempt or nonexempt. Labeling a worker as a manager is not sufficient to meet the laws that govern whether a person receives overtime pay. Rules guiding these designations vary by industry, but the duties of the employee actually determine job classification instead of an employer's arbitrary decision or belief.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers in California and around the country to pay their workers overtime when they work more than 40 hours during a workweek, but employees who perform bona fide administrative, executive or professional duties are not covered by the landmark 1938 federal law. The statute does not clearly define what makes a position a white-collar job, and the courts have generally ruled that workers are covered by the FLSA unless their duties plainly and unmistakably fall within the exemption.
Employees of Dave & Buster's successfully sued the chain for intentionally cutting hours to avoid the Affordable Care Act health insurance mandate. In the lawsuit, they used an unusual approach to advance their argument. Because it may be the first successful suit of its kind, its effect could be felt in California and elsewhere around the country.
Many Californians have been the victims of sexual harassment, and some may have participated in the online #metoo campaign. As stories abound in the media about powerful figures being accused of sexually harassing and assaulting women, some victims might wonder what they can do if they are being harassed at their jobs.
Workplace sexual harassment is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under both California and federal law. Despite the prohibitions against it, sexual harassment remains as a pervasive problem. People who are the victims may also not know what they can do when they are being harassed.
Job hunting in California and throughout the country is often a nerve-racking experience. In addition to having to sell oneself to an employer, job hunters are frequently asked a number of personal questions, including queries about previous salaries.
In California, companies will soon be required to file information about gender wage differences. Starting on July 1, 2019, this information will be submitted biennially, and it will be published online for public viewing once proper protocols have been established.
Wage discrimination based on the gender of employees is illegal in California. People whose jobs require similar work must be paid equal amounts as those of the opposite gender unless an exception applies.
From wildfire evacuations in California to hurricane devastation in coastal regions, natural disasters and other crises impact employees and employers in many ways. Serious disruptions like these, however, do not exempt employers from following wage and hour laws or honoring employees' rights to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.