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December 2018 Archives

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

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.

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.

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?

Court awards police officer $2.5 million in retaliation case

Retaliation against employees happens in every field—including the California law enforcement. Recently, an officer with the Long Beach Police Department reported that he experienced retaliation after raising issue with management practices. He claimed that his supervisors reassigned him to undesirable job duties and withdrew several of his workplace perks. Last week, a jury awarded the officer $2.5 million in damages for his suffering.

How does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect pregnant women?

Pregnant women who continue working during their pregnancy face the dual challenge of carrying a child while fulfilling their job duties. While some employers treat pregnant women equitably, many do not.

SEC whistleblower center received record number of tips in 2018

In every industry, whistleblowers are crucial to identifying and reporting wrongdoing or safety violations. The financial sector is no different. To ferret out securities fraud, the Security and Exchange Commission has a Whistleblower Program to assist informants who notice securities fraud. And 2018 has been the program’s most successful year yet. In the fiscal year 2018, the SEC received a record number of tips that allowed it to recover around $1.7 billion in monetary sanctions.

Wage gap worse than estimated: Women earn half as much as men

Many women in the workplace have known for a long time that they earn less than their male colleagues when doing comparable work. However, the statistic that is usually reported regarding the wage gap—that women make 80 cents to a male colleague’s dollar—is actually incorrect, according to a new study. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports that, over a long-term period of 15 years, women make half the pay that their male coworkers receive.

The new year welcomes new labor laws

As you welcome in the new year, you look forward to a fresh start. You will likely set new goals for yourself, resolving to better your body or financial situation in the months ahead. And, as an employee, you may aim to increase your production or develop a new skill. At the same time, you probably hope your employer examines their policies and strives to improve your working environment.

Are you a victim of pregnancy discrimination?

Pregnancy should be one of the most exciting and happy times in your life. However, working mothers do not always get to experience this joy. Many times, mothers in the workforce are filled with anxiety and fear that they will lose their jobs for having a baby.

Police chief charged with sexual misconduct, discrimination

The city of Beverly Hills recently paid over 2.3 million to settle complaints against the city’s female police chief, Sandra Spagnoli. During her two years as chief, employees alleged Spagnoli engaged in multiple acts of discrimination and sexual misconduct.

CBS News settles with Charlie Rose’s three accusers

In 2017, 35 female employees of CBS News publicly accused anchor Charlie Rose of sexual harassment. Among their allegations? Unwanted sexual innuendos, gendered slurs and physical contact, including caressing and kissing. Three of these women filed a lawsuit against CBS News.

Workplaces changing holiday parties to prevent sexual harassment

The holiday work party is quickly approaching. Unfortunately, many people across the United States have experienced sexual harassment at their holiday parties. As a result of the recent Me Too movement, many workplace holiday parties will not look the same this year.

Can you sue your boss for bullying in California?

If you suffer with a boss you don't like, you are far from alone. Perhaps your boss is abusive and bullying. Do you have to take it or can you sue? That depends on the circumstances. California has no law against employers being bullies, but there are laws against targeted bullying based on certain protected classes. Here are a few examples of illegal bullying:

Independent contractor or employee. Which are you?

You were hired as an independent contractor, but you feel like an employee. So which are you? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. The California Supreme Court tried to clarify this issue in a case this past year, Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court. The court laid out a test to help employers and employees, alike, properly classify their employment relationships. The case narrowed the definition of a contractor, forcing many employers to re-evaluate their business models. The "ABC" test consists of the following three parts:

New California labor laws for 2019

The new year is almost upon us, and with it we will see some changes to California labor laws. 2018 has been a good year for low unemployment rates in California and across the country. Given the labor shortage, employers are under pressure to create better working conditions across many industries. Employers will have every incentive to follow the new laws in this atmosphere. The following are four changes that employees and employers alike should take note of:

3 changes in labor laws under Trump

President Trump promised to scale back regulations in almost every industry, and labor laws are no exception. His administration has instituted three changes that employees should be aware of. The changes are not necessarily to the laws themselves, but targeted more toward how the Department of Labor will enforce current regulations under the Trump Administration.

New study uncovers wage and hour violations

Bay Area residents could likely point an inquiring visitor to a local nail salon with no trouble at all. Nail salons are a community staple and, for some customers, a weekly stop. Many of these establishments offer a variety of services, like manicures, pedicures, eyebrow shaping and more, all meant to make a customer feel their best. A shocking study has sadly revealed that for employees of such salons, wage and hour violations are rampant. 

Colleges and universities underpaying female professors

The University of Arizona pays male employees thousands of dollars more per year than female employees, according to a recent class action lawsuit. An associate professor at the university recently filed a $20 million lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents. However, Arizona is not the only school facing pay discrimination issues based on gender.

Women at KPMG allege gender discrimination, sexual harassment

Tragically, sexual harassment and gender discrimination have existed in workplaces for many years. In 2011, five female employees at KPMG sued the company for $350 million, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Home depot employee awarded $175 thousand in wrongful termination case

Working with physical disabilities can be extremely difficult, especially later in life. After a two-week trial, jurors awarded a California woman $175,500 in her claim against Home Depot. The plaintiff claimed that Home Depot fired her due to her medical conditions, age and speaking out against company sales practices.

Employee problems at Facebook?

Institutional racism is an ongoing talking point in the news cycle these days. Discussions are typically about subtle or conscious bias, influenced by stereotypes. These are often social queues or behavior patterns that a non-minority may not even be aware of, yet they are detrimental to the individual on the receiving end. No company is immune..

Female run company faces pregnancy discrimination claims

Even companies run by women can face pregnancy discrimination claims. The Wonderful Company is owned and led by female billionaire, Lynda Resnick. Resnick began the business as a working single mother. Years later, the company is now facing claims of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.

Doctor claims Georgia prison violated his whistleblower rights

Speaking out against your employer can be terrifying. Last year, a doctor working for the Augusta State Medical Prison in Georgia spoke out against the horrific conditions inside the prison. He recently filed a lawsuit under the Georgia Whistleblower Act against the prison and the Georgia Department of Corrections for their acts of retaliation.

California port truckers allege minimum wage violations

Six port truckers working for the trucking company, California Cartage Express, are alleging that their employer is violating minimum wage laws. According to the lawsuit, the workers claim that the company is not paying employees for at least one hour of work per day.

Google creates new sexual harassment policies following protests

Last month, the New York Times released an article that revealed Google hid claims of sexual harassment and paid top executives large exit packages to remain silent about their misconduct. According to the article, one of the exit packages totaled over $90 million dollars.

Teacher awarded over $3.5 million in wrongful termination case

A California court recently awarded over $3.5 million to a school teacher in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The court ordered a pastor in the Archdiocese to pay an additional $87 thousand in punitive damages to the plaintiff.

Former VP of Goldman Sachs fired on maternity leave files lawsuit

Maternity leave is a point of tension in many companies. Oftentimes, working mothers feel such intense pressure to keep their jobs that they return to work early after giving birth or avoid taking maternity leave at all.

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