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California Employment Discrimination Blog

Harassment is a factor in workplace burnout

If your case of the Mondays extends through the work week, you’re not alone. Mayo Clinic estimates that approximately two-thirds of workers have felt some degree of burnout. Burnout can lead to work-related cynicism, irritability with coworkers and customers, and even using drugs and alcohol to manage with your negative feelings towards your job.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the 11th edition of the International Classification Diseases, which is a handbook used by professionals in many industries across the world. In the new handbook, the WHO lists workplace burnout as an official condition. Past editions of the handbook previously mentioned workplace burnout but is now an official condition as a problem associated with employment or unemployment.

Misconduct becomes top reason for CEO departures

The past year has seen the departure of many CEOs of large, prosperous companies across both California and the rest of the country. Prior to 2018, NPR reports that the main reason CEOs departed ways with their companies was due to financial reasons.

However, over the past year, many CEOs have become mired in conflict over allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct. PwC recently released a study detailing that of the 89 CEOs who parted ways with large companies in 2018, 38% left or were forced to leave due to unethical behavior, including sexual misconduct. Some of the biggest names with high profile CEO departures included CBS, Barnes & Noble, Lululemon, Intel and more.

General and subcontractor both liable for California wage theft

After 62 construction workers went unpaid for weeks of work, the state of California has issued citations to the subcontractor for violations at two construction projects. Universal Structural Building Corp.’s bill comes to $597,933 in unpaid wages and penalties.

Making use of newly enacted labor code, the state is also holding J.H McCormick Inc., a general contractor on one of the projects, independently responsible for $68,657 of the citations. The new code holds general contractors liable when their subcontractors commit wage theft.

California care homes accused of gross wage and hour violations

America’s growing need for elder care has fueled a booming market for independent care homes. These homes serve as cheaper alternatives to more costly nursing homes, but they often come with a rotten secret. Many pay and treat their workers badly, even while the owners get rich and drive fancy cars.

PRI recently reported on these care homes and their workers, shedding light on a culture full of labor violations. Workers suffered long work hours, criminally low pay and physical abuse. Some were kicked, sexually abused or had miscarriages because their employers didn’t let them take time off. But many of these workers were immigrants, so they often felt they had no other choice.

How state discrimination protections differ from federal laws

This blog often notes that workers have protections under state and federal laws. The distinction between state and federal is important because the protections they offer are somewhat different. In general, California law provides more protection than the federal government, and more than many other states. This can be seen easily in the number of protected classes covered by state and federal civil rights laws.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the main federal law protecting workers from certain forms of discrimination. Specifically, it prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of five categories: sex, race, skin color, national origin and religion. Lawyers refer to these categories as "protected classes." Other federal laws provide protections for some other classes, such as military veterans and older workers.

How state discrimination protections differ from federal laws

This blog often notes that workers have protections under state and federal laws. The distinction between state and federal is important because the protections they offer are somewhat different. In general, California law provides more protection than the federal government, and more than many other states. This can be seen easily in the number of protected classes covered by state and federal civil rights laws.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the main federal law protecting workers from certain forms of discrimination. Specifically, it prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of five categories: sex, race, skin color, national origin and religion. Lawyers refer to these categories as "protected classes." Other federal laws provide protections for some other classes, such as military veterans and older workers.

Uber faces arbitration demands from 60,000 drivers

In a trend becoming increasingly more common among gig economy companies, Uber opted to use legal arbitration to confront complaints by drivers over compensation. This strategy hoped to both avoid potentially costly litigation for both sides and deter more drivers from coming forward with complaints.

However, as Uber prepares to go public, 60,000 Uber drivers across the country have now filed arbitration demands against the company. These demands essentially complain about or dispute the amount of compensation earned by drivers.

California on-call workers deserve to be paid

Employees that are required to be on-call for work have unique burdens to overcome that those with standard hours and shifts do not have to deal with. For example, an on-call nurse is not able to make social plans, schedule volunteer opportunities, take on additional work or enroll in an educational course during the time that the individual is on-call. Rather, the nurse simply has to be available for the duration of that day, and periodically check in with the employer. If the nurse is not needed that day, there will be no compensation given for the reporting time that day.

Luckily, for employees in California, this will soon be changing. According to HR Dive, a recent court ruling in the state will make employees eligible for reporting time compensation when they are on-call for their employer.

Can my employer fire me for reporting a safety hazard?

Employers have a duty to make their workplaces reasonably safe for their workers. Accidents can happen anywhere, and some types of work are more dangerous than others, but no one should have to work in a place filled with unreasonable risks of injury. Workers have the right to report safety hazards at work either to their employer or to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that enforces federal safety standards in the workplace.

Unfortunately, many workers are afraid to exercise this right because they fear retaliation from their employers.

Women claim Amazon fired them for being pregnant

A pregnancy should not mean the end of a woman's job. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is still quite common.

Reporters for CNet recently found at least seven women who are filing wrongful termination lawsuits against tech giant Amazon, saying they were fired from the company's warehouses after their managers learned that they were pregnant. One of the named warehouses is in California.

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