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California Employment Discrimination Blog

Employers must allow employees to refuse to do dangerous work

People work many different types of jobs in California. Each job has different physical requirements. Some people sit at a desk all day, some are required to stand, some are required to lift various objects, others work with heavy machinery or need to work at high heights. Clearly some jobs are more dangerous than others, but it is important that all workers are safe while at work so they can continue to work and earn their income.

To help ensure workers' safety, employers are required to have certain safety equipment in place depending on the type of work people are doing. This is because in many situations if they do not have this equipment, the worker can suffer severe injuries. So, in some situations, workers can refuse to do certain dangerous work as well.

CA establishes new employment laws in light of #MeToo

Following the #MeToo movement, California recently enacted five new pieces of legislation that will take effect in 2019. The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, hopes that the new laws will reduce sexual harassment and promote gender equality in workplaces across the state.

The #MeToo movement raised awareness of the issues females face in the workplace and beyond. Data suggests over 80 percent of women have been victims of sexual harassment or assault at some point in their lives. Tragically, many sexual assaults occur at work.

There are many whistleblower retaliation claims each year

California law enforcement relies on people who witness crimes to report them and provide the facts needed to convict the people who committed the crime. Just like there are many laws that individuals need to follow, businesses also need to follow many different laws, and law enforcement relies on witnesses to hold these companies accountable for violations.

These witnesses are usually employees within the company. These could be laws that directly affect the employee who reports them or could be laws that defraud the government or customers. However, no matter what violation of the law the employee reports, the employee is protected against whistleblower retaliation. If the employer does retaliate, then they may be required to compensate the employee for the damages they suffer as a result of the retaliation.

California law requires at least one woman on board of directors

Many people are aware of the "glass ceiling" that women in California have faced throughout the years. This basically means that while women have technically always had the same opportunities in the workplace as men, in reality women received much fewer job opportunities especially at the higher levels of the business.

While this was common process, it is still illegal and a form of gender discrimination. However, it is also difficult to prove these types of cases.

Employers must give proper notice for mass layoffs

There are ups and downs in any business in California. There are many factors that lead to these swings, but during the good times, companies may hire extra employees needed to meet the demands. However, if work slows down, they do not need the extra employees, and in many situations, cannot afford to pay all of their employees. In these situations companies may need to lay employees off.

Companies can do this, but there are laws that require the companies to give their employees and government officials in the area notice that they are going to lay off employees. The law requires companies that employ at least 75 employees in the previous year to give their employees notice at least 60 days before the layoff, subject to some exceptions. This notice only applies to mass lay-offs, which mean that 50 or more employees are laid off in a 30 day period.

What should one do if they are being sexually harassed?

There are many things that happen during a work day that can be frustrating or annoying for people in California. This could be for many different reasons and could involve dealing with a very demanding client or an over-bearing manager or supervisor.

There are other so-called annoyances that are more than just annoying aspects of the job and are in fact illegal. No one should have to put with these sort of things. For instance,

Employees making wage and hour claims protected from retaliation

Employers in California must follow many rules and regulations depending on the type of business they run. There are environmental laws, securities laws, laws against discrimination and harassment, labor laws and many other laws.

However, almost every business must follow wage and hour laws. These rules require employers to pay their employees at least minimum wage and to pay their non-exempt employees overtime if they work over a certain number of hours.

California truckers oppose rest break ruling

The federal government has sided with trucking corporations in a new ruling that says truckers don’t have to be paid for their mandatory rest and meal breaks like employees in other industries.

The ruling, handed down Dec. 21 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, says that a California rule that required truckers to be compensated for the mandatory breaks like every other hourly employee in the state isn’t valid. The ruling states that since the federal law doesn’t require truckers to be compensated, the California law doesn’t have to be followed.

Protecting employees' rights after a wrongful termination

People work in many different types of jobs here in California. Most of these people are considered at-will employees, meaning that the employees can quit at any time and employers can fire employees for many different reasons at any point in time. However, this does not mean employers can fire employees for any reason.

There are certain illegal reasons for employers to fire their employees.

Employee at UC Irvine files lawsuit after repeated harassment

While people in California may have been aware of sexual harassment in the workplace for a long time, many may have just seen it as part of business. It was very prevalent in the workplace for a long time and many times nothing was done about it. Now it has come to the forefront of the public's attention, and many high profile individuals have been accused of sexual harassment and lost their jobs because of it. So, it would seem that employers would be aware of the importance of protecting their employees from sexual harassment, but many employers still allow it to happen.

Recently an employee UC Irvine filed a lawsuit against a volunteer at the university and the University of California for sexual harassment. The employee states that a volunteer made many inappropriate comments to her, called her many times and forcibly hugged and kissed her on multiple occasions. He even took a picture of her and made it the screen saver for his phone. The employee made multiple complaints to her managers and others in authority at the University, but nothing was done because the volunteer raised money for the University.

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