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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

Wage and hour violations against local heros

When there is an emergency, Bay Area residents know that they can call police, fire or EMS dispatchers at any time, day or night. Dispatchers are the hard-working men and women that make sure help gets to a victim or a person in need as quickly as possible. These dedicated men and women often offer life-saving or safety advice over the phone while the person on the other end waits for help to arrive. Recently, it was made known that some of these invaluable employees have become victims themselves because of wage and hour violations.  

A court recently ordered one county to pay over $60,000 in back wages and overtime pay. It seems that the department incorrectly used a policy that calculated overtime pay differently for law enforcement officers. The policy was also applied when it came time to calculate the pay of the dispatchers. 

Pregnancy discrimination still rampant in the workplace

For many women, the news that they are expecting a baby can cause them to be overjoyed. These days, it is certainly within the norm for Bay Area mothers to have a career. Even though there are laws in place to prevent pregnancy discrimination, a recent glance into the matter shows that it is still a major concern among working expectant mothers. 

One chief concern seems to be among women who work in a field that requires physical labor, such as lifting heavy objects. For many of these women, a task they were perfectly capable of doing upon hire becomes nearly impossible as pregnancy progresses, especially if such activity is discouraged by one's doctor. Some women ask their employers for light duty work until such time their regular tasks can be safely completed, but not all employers are happy to oblige. 

Three examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Despite both California and federal laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, such discrimination still exists. Whether your pregnancy announcement causes your boss to treat you differently or your employer suddenly and mysteriously terminates your position, you may have options to hold your employer accountable for their actions.

Bloomberg recently reported on three separate pregnancy discrimination cases involving different companies and women at different stages of their careers. Involving a manager, six former employees and a co-founder/co-CEO, these examples show unfortunately that pregnancy discrimination occurs across roles and industries.

Reports of wage and hour violations spread at Trump resort

Donald Trump has made the headlines again, but this time, his politics are not the focus. California has its share of golf courses, country clubs and the like, and Bay Area residents can rest assured employees at such establishments are known to work very hard to provide patrons with an enjoyable experience. Recently, one such place, owned by the Trump Organization, has come under fire in an investigation focusing on wage and hour violations

The trouble began when a former employee, an undocumented worker, reported that he had worked long hours, including hours that should have been paid as overtime, and was not properly compensated. He stated that he was not the only undocumented worker at the establishment, and that many employees like himself were denied proper wages and many of the benefits that were offered to documented workers. According to reports, the undocumented workers were responsible for the same sort of tasks as the other employees but were not paid the same. 

Sexual harassment storm at AccuWeather

Bay Area residents probably check the weather each day so that they can be prepared for the day ahead. One of the most popular weather outlets is AccuWeather, which offers up-to-the-minute predictions on what to expect from Mother Nature. People probably don't often consider the hard-working employees who do their best to provide such a handy service to the public, but recently, it was revealed that many of these employees admitted that they had been the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Rail worker chugs along to victory in wrongful termination suit.

Being hurt at work can be a stressful situation. When a Bay Area employee can't work due to an injury suffered on the job, bills and other regular expenses can stack up quickly. There are safety nets in place for injured employees, in the form if laws and labor standards, but sometimes an employer does the wrong thing, shown in a recent story of wrongful termination.

A man was performing his daily duties at the rail yard where he was employed. He suffered serious injury to his wrist and arm, and was unable to work as a result. The railway company, tried to hush it up and went so far as to terminate the man's employment. 

Compassionate workers face wage and hour violations

Bay Area residents might have personal experience with a home health care worker. These hard-working men and women help to ensure that a person who is elderly, ill or seriously injured can maintain a comfortable existence in his or her own home. These workers can look after health needs, and ensure that a patient has access to proper hygiene, healthy food and anything else that can provide some semblance of a normal existence to those who cannot care for themselves. It has recently been discovered that the home health care industry is wrought with wage and hour violations, making it difficult for these workers to complete the task at hand. 

The Department of Labor began to investigate complaints that some of these essential workers were not being paid properly. After some diligent digging, it was discovered that many of these compassionate employees were not being paid fairly for overtime work. Others were completely misclassified, treated as independent contractors, even though they were employed by a parent company in the health care industry. 

Netflix employee alleges pregnancy discrimination

Pregnant women have the right to work in an environment that does not discriminate or harass them on the basis of their pregnancy. Federal and state laws protect Bay Area employees from pregnancy discrimination, yet some women still experience this type of unacceptable treatment. One California-based Netflix employee is accusing the large streaming service provider of treating her unfairly because of her pregnancy.

This employee worked with the company in a development capacity. When she informed her boss that she was pregnant, he began to treat her differently, ultimately terminating her at the end of last year. She believes that this was because of her pregnancy, yet the company claims that it reviewed the situation and determined the firing was based on legal grounds, not due to discrimination.

University faces wrongful termination suit

Spring has sprung in the Bay Area, and hard-working residents are looking forward to spring break. Especially for employees of colleges and universities, where students are given time off from studies, a few days off is a welcome prospect. Unfortunately, one man was given a permanent break, and now he is bringing a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer. 

The man was employed at UC Berkeley. He was an administrator in a department dealing with earth sciences. He received notice that he was being terminated, on the nondescript grounds that he was not a good fit. 

Sexual harassment takes flight

Bay Area residents may be among the millions of Americans who have boarded an airplane, bound for a far-off destination. While many find air travel to be an enjoyable experience -- and it certainly can be, a new report reveals what seems to be a hidden world of sexual harassment. The New York Times, considered by many to be a beloved and reputable news source, broke the story. 

After months of interviews and investigation, the report revealed that, while it may sound improbable, sexual harassment is not altogether uncommon on a plane. Both airline employees and passengers have reported suffering such abuses in the air. Further shocking, it seems many such incidents go unreported. 

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