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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Lawsuit against a university alleges discrimination

Judging a person based on gender or the color of the individual's skin is wrong and incredibly distressing for victims. There are many types of discrimination, but racial discrimination in particular is still prevalent in the United States. One would think that modern-day society would progress past this, but sadly, racial discrimination still happens frequently in workplaces across California.

A former employee of a university in another state has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit over allegations that she was fired due to her skin color. The woman worked as a program director for the school and says she was discriminated against by her supervisor. The plaintiff is Caucasian and said her former supervisor is African-American. According to the lawsuit, the supervisor commonly made racist statements.

Lawsuits allege harassment and discrimination

Many work environments in the United States today are fast-paced and cutthroat. Some employees will do anything to gain an advantage, even at the expense of their co-workers. Harassment and discrimination are still issues in workplaces all around the country. Employees in California who are subjected to discrimination at work may fear that if they speak up they will lose their job. They may feel that there is nothing they can do, but this is not the case.

Recently, two wrongful termination lawsuits were filed against a community college in another state over allegations of harassment and discrimination. The first lawsuit alleges that an employee was discriminated against due to her age and forced into an early retirement. The plaintiff claims that she was subjected to abuse and hostilities at work in an effort to get her to leave.

Wage and hour laws ensure that employees are paid appropriately

No employee wants to work for free. If employees worked for free they'd be called volunteers and not employees. Wage and hour laws in California not only require employers to pay their workers but they also require employers to pay employees overtime pay of at least time and half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. Unfortunately, not all employers adhere to these laws.

A recent class-action lawsuit alleged that a resort in Rancho Palos Verdes failed to appropriately pay employees. According to the lawsuit, the resort failed to pay employees for certain types of work and also falsified records in an attempt to avoid paying meal break penalties. The lawsuit said that workers were required to be at work before their shifts started to change into uniforms and were not paid for this time. Allegedly, workers were also not paid for the time spent being shuttled to the resort from parking areas, which the workers said added an hour or more to their work day.

What should independent contractors do with unpaid wage claims?

Independent contractors make up a significant portion of the U.S. workforce. In May of 2017, the share of workers who fell into this category was between 1.3% and 3.8%. Many of these employees do business in California, and while working as an independent contractor does have its perks, there is also the downside that a client may not always pay on time or at all. 

First and foremost, it is vital for independent contractors to set up contracts with everyone they do business with. This contract should lay out precisely when the employer will pay and how much it will be. Independent contractors should never just take someone's word that they will receive payment for services rendered. In the event an employer fails to pay, a freelancer can take steps, such as filing a wage and hour claim

Many employees suffer through retaliation and harrassment

Employees in California and across the United States have rights. This means that no employee should have to put up with retaliation or harassment of any kind in the workplace. Unfortunately, workers throughout the country routinely endure harassment because they feel tied to their job or they may think that's just how life is. A food company in California is at the center of a lawsuit filed by an employee who alleges she was a victim of harassment and retaliation.

The plaintiff worked in a plant owned by the food company. According to the lawsuit, the woman developed respiratory problems a few years after being hired. Allegedly, her doctor determined the problems resulted from noncompliant masks that the company required workers to wear. After alerting her manager, the plaintiff claims she was reluctantly transferred to a refrigerated area of the plant and was told that she was lucky to have work.

Women still endure harassment and discrimination in the workplace

Throughout American history, woman have had to silently endure sexual harassment and discrimination. These days, more and more women are choosing to speak out and stand up for what's right. Because of this bravery, significant progress has been made for women's rights in California and across the country. Unfortunately, harassment and discrimination against women still occurs far too often in the workplace. Recently, a woman in another state filed a lawsuit against her former employer over allegations of sexual harassment.

The woman worked for a automobile dealership and, according to the lawsuit, was constantly harassed by her male supervisor. The woman claims her former supervisor sent inappropriate text messages to her and tried to get her to go out of town with him. She also claims he made lewd comments about her body and clothing.

Woman allegedly fired in retaliation for taking military leave

For most people in California, their job is their livelihood. Without a way to earn a living, basic needs cannot be met. Undoubtedly, losing employment is stressful and can have far-reaching effects. However, being fired in retaliation is something that can affect an individual for the rest of his or her life.

A woman in another state was allegedly fired for taking leave for military service, causing her to file a lawsuit. According to the claim, the woman worked as an analyst for the Public Works Department for a city in another state, and was also a member of the Air National Guard. The plaintiff claimed that she was required to undergo a training program for the Guard which would require her to take a leave of two months from her job.

Family and Medical Leave: What employees need to know

Without question, major life events can interfere with an employee's ability to be present at work. Events such as a major illness, surgical procedure or the need to take care of a close family member who has fallen ill can cause complications for employees in California. Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993 to help workers balance family demands and work responsibilities. FMLA leave is a wonderful benefit for employees, but there are some stipulations.

To be eligible for FMLA, employees are required to be employed for at least one year and to have worked at least 1,250 hours. Some workers may be under the impression that FMLA leave is paid. FMLA is actually unpaid, but eligible employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period. Although FMLA is unpaid, employees may still be able to use vacation days and sick days as well as other employer paid-leave types. FMLA leave is job-protected leave, meaning an employer is required to reinstate employees when the return from FMLA leave.

Discrimination: Man awarded $2.5 million in lawsuit

Unfortunately, those who have differing characteristics are often discriminated against in today's society. Discrimination can never be justified; it is completely immoral and wrong. Unfortunately, despite significant improvements, employees in California and across the country still endure discrimination in the workplace.

A man in another state recently received a substantial monetary award from a lawsuit he filed after he was allegedly subjected to racial discrimination by his former employer. The man worked as a field technician for a telecommunications company. According to the lawsuit, the man took off his company shirt while he was in the field and worked in an undershirt. The man said he did this so he could wash off the poison ivy that he commonly came in contact with. The lawsuit alleged that this was often done by other employees. 

Sales reps, contracts and issues with earned commissions

Road warriors, as sales representatives are often called, spend much of their time traveling and meeting with current or prospective customers.

Sales reps expect to receive commissions according to company policy, but trouble may arise when they try to collect those commissions.

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