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June 2017 Archives

California AB 569: Bill Would Ensure Reproductive Health Protections for California Workers

california-ab-569-ensure-reproductive-health-protections-california-workers.pngCalifornia Assembly Bill 569 (AB 569) recently cleared the Assembly on a 54-17 vote and will soon move to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. AB 569, the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act, would protect California workers from workplace discrimination based on personal reproductive health choices.

Can You Sue for Verbal Abuse at Work in California?

can-you-sue-for-verbal-abuse-at-work-california.pngDid you know that 42 percent of workers in the United States have reported being victims of verbal abuse at work? If you are one of these employees who has suffered from verbal abuse, you may be able to file a workplace harassment complaint. But how do you know when you can sue your employer for verbal abuse? This article will help you understand how California law protects workers from verbal abuse in the workplace.

Top Myths About Workplace Discrimination Lawsuits in California

myths-workplace-discrimination-lawsuits-california.pngIf you are considering suing your employer for workplace discrimination, you likely know at least some of your legal rights under California and federal employment laws. But even if your employer is subjecting you to discrimination at work, it is important to know that there are many myths surrounding employment lawsuits. This is why it is crucial for employees to refrain from playing lawyer and understand that they may not want to point fingers before consulting an expert California workplace discrimination attorney.

EEOC Sues IXL Learning for Retaliation and Gender Identity Discrimination in California

eeoc-sues-ixl-learning-retaliation-gender-identity-discrimination-california.pngA Bay Area educational technology company has been sued for retaliation and gender identity discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accused San Mateo-based IXL Learning Inc. of violating federal law by firing product analyst, Adrian Scott Duane after he spoke out against the company's discrimination practices online.

Genetic Information Discrimination in the California Workplace: What Employees Need to Know

genetic-information-discrimination-california-workplace.pngGenetic research has made it possible to identify if you may be susceptible to certain diseases or disorders. While genetic testing advancements offer the great ability for doctors to detect, treat, and even prevent some medical conditions early, your genetic information may also make you vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace.

OWN Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in Los Angele

OWN Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in Los AngelesThe Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) was recently sued by an employee who claims that her supervisor subjected her to routine sexual harassment and discrimination after she became pregnant. The employment lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

EEOC Issues New National Origin Discrimination Enforcement Guidance

EEOC Issues New National Origin Discrimination Enforcement GuidanceFor the first time in 14 years, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its guidance on national origin discrimination in the workplace. Issued on November 18, 2016, the guidance addresses new categories of national origin discrimination, clarifies the definition of "national origin," and informs employers on what constitutes "ethnicity" and "place of origin" discrimination.

Facebook Employees Sue Social Networking Giant for Race Discrimination

Facebook Sued for Race Discrimination by Two Black EmployeesFacebook has been sued by two employees after not responding to their repeated complaints of workplace harassment at a company data center in North Carolina. CNET reports that the race discrimination lawsuit filed on November 22, 2016 in US District Court for the Northern District of California alleges that Facebook allowed retaliation against two black employees who reported discrimination "to fester and continue" despite the workers' many complaints.

Los Angeles Enacts Historic Ban the Box Legislation

Los Angeles Ban the Box Fair Chance Ordinance EnactedLos Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, recently signed the "Fair Chance Initiative." Also known as the "Ban the Box" ordinance, the new law prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history or running background checks until they are given a conditional offer of employment. The law is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2017.

How to Negotiate Severance Pay in California

Severance Pay in California Tips for NegotiatingIf you are facing a lay-off, you are likely wondering whether you will be receiving severance pay. While many California employers want their departing employees to sign release forms in exchange for a severance package, they are not required by law to provide severance pay to anyone who is laid off or terminated (some exceptions apply). However, if your employer has provided you with a severance package, you should consider negotiating your severance and release terms.

USPS Worker Sues for Disability Discrimination in California

USPS Sued for Disability Discrimination in CaliforniaThe United States Postal Service (USPS) has been sued by a former letter carrier of its Sausalito, California branch. Plaintiff Kian McCarthy had worked for USPS for more than 20 years before filing an employment lawsuit alleging disability discrimination and retaliation.

How to Complain to HR About Your Boss - Infographic

Do you have a horrible boss? If you notice these warning signs of a hostile work environment, you should complain to HR. All employees have certain rights under California and federal employment laws, and company HR representatives are required to ensure that your boss adheres to strict policies that combat illegal behaviors in the workplace.

Hospital Settles Religious Discrimination Suit Regarding Mandatory Flu Shots

Hospital Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Regarding Mandatory Seasonal Flu Shot RequirementWith the flu season in full swing, many employers are promoting optional seasonal flu vaccines to ward off the spread of illness in the workplace. But one hospital in Pennsylvania recently learned that its mandatory seasonal flu vaccine requirement for employees violated federal religious discrimination laws. And now, the hospital has been ordered to pay up.

5 Common Forms of Workplace Retaliation

Workplace Retaliation Signs and ExamplesFact: you won't always get along with your coworkers or boss. Occasional friction at work is inevitable for many of us, but there are times when these disagreements can turn hostile -- and unlawful. For one, you may find yourself in a position to do what is right by defending a coworker who is facing discrimination. Or, you may need to speak up about illegal activities that are occurring in your workplace. If one day you engage in these, or other protected activities, you could very well become a victim of workplace retaliation by your employer, or even your coworkers.

Sexual Harassment Claims by Former Uber Engineer to Be Investigated

Former Uber Engineer's Sexual Harassment Claims to Be InvestigatedOn February 19, 2017, a former Uber engineer by the name of Susan Fowler Rigetti published a blog post about her strange year working for the ride-hailing service. The article details a string of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, including one that Rigetti experienced almost immediately after beginning work in her new role. According to Rigetti, she brought this and other incidences of harassment to Uber's HR department, yet Rigetti claims that nothing was done to stop the ongoing harassment that she - and other women - experienced.

Can You Sue Your Boss for Being a Bully?

Can You Sue Your Boss for Working Bullying?If your boss is making your work environment hostile by directing belittling comments at you, shouting, teasing or causing physical harm to you or other employees, you may wonder what you can do about it. While some people think that they can sue their boss for being a bully, the fact of the matter is that bullying itself is not prohibited by federal or California law. However, there are certain instances where workplace bullying can result in legal protection for employees.

Proposed Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Carl's Jr. Chain in Los Angeles

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Carl's Jr. in Los Angeles CaliforniaA class action lawsuit was recently filed in California against Carl Karcher Enterprises LLC (CKE) by one current and one former employee of the company's famous fast food burger chain, Carl's Jr. The suit alleges that Carl's Jr. unlawfully suppresses employee wages by preventing franchisees from hiring workers from other franchisees. The employees claim that CKE and its CEO, Andrew Puzder illegally

Can You Be Fired for Dating a Co-Worker in California?

Can You Be Fired for Dating a Coworker in California?The average California employee spends more than forty hours a week working, which leaves little time to meet new people and develop a love interest. As a result, many employees find themselves interested in a fellow co-worker and wonder if they are allowed to date their co-workers without getting into trouble, or worse - fired. But can you be fired for dating a co-worker in California? Every case is unique, but generally speaking, you cannot be fired solely for dating a co-worker in California.

Top California LGBTQ Twitter Accounts You Need to Follow Now - Infographic

Our passionate employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz support and volunteer their time to several LGBTQ organizations in Los Angeles. We also often use our Twitter account to equip the California LGBTQ community with helpful information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination laws. However, our account also focuses on other areas of employment law. Therefore, we have created a new infographic that lists some of our favorite LGBTQ Twitter accounts in California.

Forever 21 Sued by DFEH for National Origin Discrimination in California

Forever 21 Sued for National Origin Discrimination in CaliforniaClothing retailer Forever 21 could be in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). San Francisco Business Times reports that the company has been sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for allegedly putting in place an English-only policy for its workers in its San Francisco store.

California AB 1732: What the Equal Restroom Access Act Means for Employees

California AB 1732 The Equal Restroom Access ActCalifornia Assembly Bill 1732, also known as California's "bathroom bill," was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2016 and enacted on March 1, 2017. Here's how the new law will impact workplace rules, and protect and benefit employees working in California.

Gender Identity Discrimination in the California Workplace: Common Questions, Answered

Gender Identity Discrimination in the California Workplace California is one of 17 states that prohibit gender identity discrimination at work. This means that California employers are barred from mistreating employees who are either gender nonconforming or transgender. But while California has some of the strongest LGBT protections in the United States, transgender workers still face significant disparities in the workplace by employers and coworkers who defy state laws. Therefore, it is crucial for employees to understand California's gender identity discrimination laws and how they protect workers from unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

5 Simple Rules for Hugging at Work

Hugging in the Workplace: Is it Okay to Hug a Coworker?The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that hugging at work can create a hostile work environment if the hugging is unwelcome and pervasive. Yolo County Sheriff Edward G. Prieto was charged with inappropriately hugging a female correctional officer over 100 times within a 12-year period. At one point Prieto hugged the correctional officer to congratulate her on her marriage. To some people, this behavior may seem harmless and friendly, but the correctional officer thought Prieto's hugs were inappropriate and, ultimately, the court agreed.

Tesla Sued for Racial Harassment and Discrimination in California

Tesla Sued for Racial Harassment and Racial Discrimination in CaliforniaA Tesla assembly line worker, DeWitt Lambert, has sued the car maker for racial harassment and discrimination. Lambert, who worked at Tesla's California-based manufacturing plant alleges that he was the victim of "racial slurs and lewd behavior" for more than a year.

Can I Break My Employment Contract in California?

Can I Break My Employment Contract in California?If you have signed an employment contract with your current employer but have found that the job is not a good fit, it can be scary to think about what may happen if you choose to walk away. Breaking an employment contract in California can result in a variety of outcomes as every agreement is unique.

Gender Transition at Work: What Are Your Rights in California?

Gender Transition at Work - What Are Your Rights in California?If you are planning to transition while working in California, state employment law protects workers from discrimination and harassment due to gender identity and gender expression, regardless of their assigned sex at birth. Because California has some of the strongest transgender rights laws in the entire nation, employees are beginning to feel more comfortable about transitioning in the workplace. But what are California's transgender rights laws as they relate to gender transition at work?

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