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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

Death of a child leads to wrongful termination

Bay Area employees may have found themselves in a situation in which the actions of a co-worker raised concerns. This can be a tricky situation. An employee may want to inform a supervisor that a co-worker has done something questionable, but fear unfair repercussions. This is exactly what happened when two doctors spoke out about the death of a child, and they are now fighting wrongful termination

The trouble began when a small boy died during surgery. Two other doctors at the hospital suspected that the doctor attending the birth had been careless. They spoke to supervisors, saying that the procedure did not go as it should have, and that the child's death could have easily been prevented. 

Hotel faces consequences for wage and hour violations

Bay Area residents may consider themselves fortunate to have found employment. In such uncertain economic times, finding a job can be a task in and of itself. When employees are so thankful to have a job, they may be afraid to speak up if they feel an employer has violated their rights. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect employees, meant to prevent injustices such as wage and hour violations.

Recently, it was discovered that employees at a hotel were being mistreated. Though they worked long hours, they were not paid for overtime, and the paychecks of the employees in question did not even add up to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The hotel employers tried to claim that the workers were paid a fair salary, rather than an hourly wage. 

New year, new sexual harassment laws

Bay Area employees are back on the job after ringing in the new year. While most people find a way to celebrate new beginnings with family or friends, the new year is not just a reason to party. Now that the calendar has moved on to 2019, employees should be made aware that any new laws that passed are now in effect, and several states have passed legislation to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Notably, California has new laws that further protect victims. Previously, a party accused of sexual harassment had the option to settle the case without having the identity of the person or party accused revealed. The new law changes this, and such things will no longer be allowed. A party that wants to settle a sexual harassment case levied against him or her is subject to having the identity of the accused party revealed, so that other employees and the public can be made aware of the danger. Employers are no longer allowed to make employees sign a liability release pertaining to such matters either. 

Garment industry wrought with wage and hour violations

For many Bay Area employees, the prospect of keeping a full-time job can be stressful. People who are fortunate enough to have found steady employment in such uncertain economic times may not be aware that they are entitled to certain rights. An employee that suspects he or she is not being paid properly may worry that, if he or she complains, the employer will make trouble at work or fire him or her. Wage and hour violations continue to plague the American workforce, and the garment industry is no exception. 

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor has required several employers in the garment industry to pay over $1.5 million dollars in back wages to employees. The action was taken when the Department discovered that some employees were being paid an hourly wage below the federal minimum of $7.25. Other employees worked well beyond their set hours and yet received no overtime pay. 

Principal plans to fight wrongful termination

Bay Area families are aware of the important role educators and school district employees can play in the lives of local children. Not everything taught in schools can be found in a book, and one former school principal is fighting to show children the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of pressure from superiors. The woman, who by all accounts truly cared for the children she was responsible for, has gone public with her story of her own wrongful termination

The woman says the trouble began when a new library was under construction, set to be a resource for the children in the school. There was confusion over whether the school or the district was responsible for funding the construction, and for months, the bill went unpaid and became delinquent. She made the decision to use donation monies available for discretionary use to pay the bill and get the library project back on track. 

DOL expected to issue new 'regular rate' calculation for overtime

If you work a lot of overtime, you may be curious about how your overtime rate is calculated. Under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California law, "nonexempt" employees are entitled to an overtime premium of 1-1/2 times their regular rate of pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a given workweek. In California, most workers are also entitled to the overtime premium when they work more than 8 hours in a single day.

Under both California and federal law, the overtime premium rate depends on an accurate calculation of the employee's regular rate of pay. That rate includes all the pay the employee is entitled to for the period being calculated including, for example, non-discretionary bonuses and incentives.

Lawsuit highlights pregnancy discrimination at work

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Not only are women worried about their health and their baby, they may also worry about how their employer is going to treat them regarding their pregnancy.

Unfortunately, many women still face discrimination in the workplace. It can even happen at workplaces you might think would understand a health condition, like a healthcare network. The California-based Family HealthCare Network is settling a disability and pregnancy-discrimination suit with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $1.75 million.

Woman looks to fight for herself and other whistleblowers

Bay Area residents are aware that their local police and rescue dispatchers are an essential part of their community. Often the first people to become aware of a crime or emergency, these hardworking individuals are tasked with getting help to a victim as quickly as possible. It takes a good amount of training to provide this necessary service to any community, and one woman is now fighting what she feels was a wrongful termination on behalf of herself and other whistleblowers.

The woman states that she was fired after a bogus internal affairs investigation. She was working as a dispatcher for a police station -- a job she had held successfully for many years. The trouble began when the woman raised concerns that new hires were being thrown into the action without proper training. 

How do I know if I have a wrongful termination case?

Your employer recently fired you. Right now, you are reeling: You do not know where to turn, and you do not know how you will pay your bills or buy gifts for the upcoming holiday season. You believe that your employer may have wrongfully terminated—but you do not know for sure. So, how can you know whether your employer fired you for unlawful reasons?

Defining wrongful termination

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