Los Angeles Office Location
Hennig Ruiz Law Firm
Not sure if you have a legal case? Call us to talk to a lawyer:
Free Consultations
424-394-0464
One Of The Most Successful Workers' Rights Trial Law Firms In California

Employment Law News Roundup: November 2015

employment-law-news-roundup-november-2015.jpg

November was an important month for employment law issues in both California and nationwide due to some shocking reports on gender pay equality, plus notable workplace discrimination and employer retaliation cases that hit the headlines.

Because a number of stories regarding employment law are published daily, we've decided to keep our readers informed by offering an employment law news roundup each month with summaries and links to top employment law-related content from around the web.

The following stories are an overview of just some of the latest developments in employment law, cases and legislation for November 2015.

employment-law-news-roundup-november-2015.jpg

November was an important month for employment law issues in both California and nationwide due to some shocking reports on gender pay equality, plus notable workplace discrimination and employer retaliation cases that hit the headlines.

Because a number of stories regarding employment law are published daily, we've decided to keep our readers informed by offering an employment law news roundup each month with summaries and links to top employment law-related content from around the web.

The following stories are an overview of just some of the latest developments in employment law, cases and legislation for November 2015.

Top Employment Law News Stories for November 2015

1.) ACLU's Melissa Goodman on Gender Discrimination: It's a Legal and Civil Rights Problem

As you may have seen, women in Hollywood have been raising awareness in regards to the ongoing gender bias problem in the film industry. In fact, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has been investigating the issue of whether female directors are facing gender discrimination in the workplace. The ACLU of Southern California has also been involved in this matter where the organization began its own investigation nearly two and a half years ago.

Melissa Goodman, director of the LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU of Southern Californiarecently spoke with Variety to discuss this important issue facing female employees in Hollywood and across California.

Read the full story on Variety

2.) America Might Have Accidentally Banned Transgender Discrimination in 1964

In early November, the Obama administration endorsed an amendment that could expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect Americans who identify as gay or transgendered. In America, there isn't an explicit federal law that prevents employees from being fired, or people from being evicted or refused service due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Since 1994, a proposal to simply ban workplace discrimination for the American LGBT community has been continuously stymied.

The White House announced its support for The Equality Act which seeks to provide more protections for LGBT Americans, and in a more direct manner. The Equality Act would include language about transgender or gay individuals into the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, interestingly, transgender people could already be protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 without the added language, as it bans discrimination by "sex." Legal scholars say that the precedent against "sex-stereotyping" may extend to transgender Americans if these persons are discriminated against since they do not behave according to the sex assigned at birth.

Read the full story on The Washington Post

3.) California Employee Fired for Reporting Theft of Wedding Ring

A California dental hygienist was recently retaliated against by her employer, prompting her to sue her employer for retaliation and wrongful termination.

Rosa Lee Cardenas, a dental hygienist, alleged wrongful termination by M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. in 2010 after reporting to police that her 25th anniversary wedding ring was stolen while at work.Cardenas says her employer fired her due to the tension the police investigation caused with other staff members. Although the jury found in Cardenas' favor in both her retaliation and wrongful termination claims, and her employer appealed, Cardenas ultimately won her case.

Read the full story on HR.BLR.com

4.) California Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Fall to Lowest Level in 13 Years

The National Law Review reports that according to occupational injury and illness data released by the California Department of Industrial Relations, in the state of California, the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses remain at their lowest level in 13 years. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) data reflect 460,000 reportable injury and illness cases in 2014, a decrease from 468,400 cases in 2013.

See the full report from The State of California Department of Industrial Relations

5.) House OKs Bill to Exempt Tribal Businesses from Labor Law

On November 17 the U.S. House of Representatives, by a 249-177 vote, passed the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (H.R. 511), which would exclude "any enterprise or institution owned and operated by an Indian tribe and located on its Indian lands" from the labor law provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRA excludes state and local governments from coverage, and H.R. 511 supporters claim that respecting tribal sovereignty would require tribal businesses be exempt from the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. Opponents say the legislation could possibly leave hundreds of thousands of workers - including those who are employed by Indian casinos - without adequate labor law protections.

Read the full story on Bloomberg BNA

6.) Labor Law: Decorating the Workplace for the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and both public and private sector employers ought to consider whether holiday decorations could result in claims of workplace harassment or discrimination based on religion, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are generally free to decorate their businesses with holiday displays without violating Title VII.

Read the full story on Richmond-Times Dispatch

7.) New Year, New Laws: Expanding California's Fair Employment and Housing Act

On January 1, 2016, an employee's request for accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons will be considered to be "protected activity" for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in July, Assembly Bill 987 amends the language of the FEHA to prohibit employers from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting accommodation due to a disability or religion regardless of whether the accommodation request was granted.

Read the full story on Lexology

8.) OSHA Releases FY 2015 Stats Showing an Increase in Whistleblower Claims

OSHA recently released figures showing a general increase in the total number of whistleblower cases filed in fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015) compared to FY 2014. Some key takeaways from the report show that 3,288 complaints were filed in FY 2015 - a 6% increase from 2014, and 3,273 of FY 2015 cases were completed - a 4% increase from completed cases in FY 2014.

Read the full story on The National Law Review

9.) USCIS Unveils Proposed Changes to Form I-9

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register on November 24, 2015 that informs the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Many of the changes that have been proposed are intended to help reduce technical errors and help customers complete the forms on the computer, while other changes include requirements for employees to only provide their last names in Section 1, and ways to streamline certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals.

Read the full story on JDSupra

10.) U.S. Gender Pay Gap is Getting Worse

According to the World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap report, it will take 118 years for the economic gap between men and women to close. The WEF says that the slow pace of narrowing the gender pay gap shows that women now earn what men made a decade ago.
The gap stands at 64% in the U.S. which means women earn approximately two-thirds of what men make for similar work. This year, the U.S. ranks 74th in wage equality among 145 countries. Last year, it was 65th.

Read the full story on CNN Money

Do you know of other employment law stories from November that we should add to our list? Let us know in the comments.

If you are employed in California and facing workplace discrimination, harassment or employer retaliation, contact the expert employment law attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for your free consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super lawyers
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

What Our Clients Say About Us

  1. I needed great attorneys in a short period of time, it was an emergency situation. Some research led me to the Hennig-Ruiz law firm. We spoke on the phone and they had me come into the office and started on my case immediately. They got me exactly what I wanted and did it in the shortest amount of time possible. They were caring, fair and extremely good at what they do. I definitely would recommend them to anyone. -Scott Rooney

  2. If you are looking for legal representation I would suggest for you to consider Hennig Ruiz Law Firm. Put succinctly, their legal team was intelligent, hard working, responsive, and very knowledgeable throughout our time working together. While I of course cannot divulge details about the assistance that the firm provided for me, I can and will say that their representation was pivotal and changed my life for the better beyond words... -Shane Guglielmo

  3. I went to this firm to have a separation letter reviewed and met a young lawyer named Janet Hong. She was extremely friendly, professional, thorough and quick. She reviewed the documentation promptly and gave me actionable advice. I was able to resolve everything quickly. I would not hesitate to recommend Janet to anyone seeking legal services. -Brendan Hagerty

Schedule a Free Consultation

Ready To Start Protecting Your Rights? Call 424-394-0464

Not Sure Whether You Need Lawyer?

Answer a few questions to see whether you have a case.
Get Started Here

Office Location

Hennig Ruiz Law Firm
1925 Century Park East
Suite 1960
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Toll Free: 800-260-6542
Phone: 424-394-0464
Fax: 310-843-9150
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Contact Us