Los Angeles Employment Law and Civil Rights Law Blog

Things to avoid after being fired

Even before the phrase “you’re fired” became a household catchphrase through “The Apprentice” millions of workers would face the unfortunate reality that their employment would be terminated. Let’s face it, being fired is no fun; regardless of whether you love or hate your job (or your boss).

Being let go can lead to a range of emotions, and the feelings that come about have been compared to losing a loved one. While there may be some legal issues behind your dismissal, there are a number of things that you should avoid doing after being fired. This post will highlight a few.

Improper interview questions and how to deal with them

As the job market steadily improves, discrimination still exists in the hiring process. It is not uncommon for employers to ask questions that either violates state and federal employment laws or gives rise to an employment discrimination claim. Indeed, some questions could be asked out of ignorance, but they can put job candidates in a difficult situation. After all, job candidates are trying to make a good first impression and genuinely want the job.

That being said, it is important for job candidates to know what questions are improper and how to deal with them. This post will provide a few tips.

Is your service animal allowed in the workplace?

The saying “dog is man’s best friend” is more than just a cliché. It has become very common to have service animals accompany disabled employees in a number of public places, including grocery stores, shopping malls and even airports.

In employment venues, service animals generally may accompany employees, and disabled employees may have a legally protected right to have their animals with them. The case of a Washington state based trucking company and its attempts to exclude an employee’s service animal exemplifies this protection. 

Important numbers for Women's History Month

With Women’s History Month beginning this week, we find it prudent to reflect on the contributions that women have made to the American workplace, as well as the strides women have made despite discrimination in the workplace.

As you may already know, working women are vital to the workplace. According to recent Department of Labor information, there are more than 74 million women in today’s workforce, which amounts to about 47 percent of all workers in the United States. Women head close to 10 million businesses, which accounts for $1.4 trillion in revenue each year. 

Basic rules for office romances

With Valentine’s Day passing last week, it is appropriate to talk about office romances. After all, Valentine’s Day may be the beginning of relationships that may spawn from spending so many hours in the office together.

Who can’t resist the lure of brand new office romances? They are cute and darling; especially when people go to great lengths to keep it a secret. But these relationships may only be cute when they involve people of the same rank. Things may be viewed differently when the romance is between a supervisor and a subordinate. Essentially, there are potential legal problems that can arise.

Can you be a victim of pretext?

For months, the economic outlook with regard to jobs has been positive, and January’s jobs report did not disappoint. According to several media reports, there were 227,000 new jobs added to the nation’s economy. This number greatly surpassed analysts’ expectations of 180,000 new jobs. However, wages only increased 2.5 percent, which was below analysts’ expectations.

While adding jobs is certainly positive news, there are still many employees who are discriminated against in their employment. Indeed, workers are fired all the time due to performance related reasons, (i.e. chronic absenteeism, poor work performance) but there are many instances where the stated reason for a worker being fired (or not promoted) is not the actual reason. Instead, it is simply pretext to mask the employer’s true intention.

What we can learn from Carmelo Anthony's experience

We rarely discuss sports on this blog, but the situation brewing between New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson, the team’s president of basketball operations gives us a high profile workplace scenario that is worth discussing.

Given the latest public statements by the Knicks, it appears that the team would like to move on from Anthony and begin a rebuilding process. There’s only one problem; Anthony’s contract includes a “no-trade” clause, which would require him to approve any trade proposed by the Knicks. So in essence, Carmelo Anthony can veto any trade he believes is unsuitable. 

How your classification could affect your tax return

At this time of year, most employees are concerned with how much of a refund check they will receive from the federal government after filing their income tax returns. After all, tax season is not just big business for tax preparers. Retailers also want to benefit from the extra money that workers will receive.

Nevertheless, with all the money that will be distributed in refunds, many workers may end up disappointed and may even have to pay Uncle Sam. This is because many employees, especially temporary workers, may not have enough taken out of their regular incomes to compensate for taxes. While it may remain how much in actual taxes that will be owed, it largely depends on an employee’s classification; whether they are seen as employees or contractors.

Don't let social media doom your case before it gets started

If you love social media, you’re certainly not alone. Websites that enable us to share our feelings and our lives in real time (in some instances) have become a ubiquitous, ingrained part of our culture. So just as it is easy to share how much we like ice cream and new outfits, we can vent our frustration with what is going on in our lives.

The ability to reach so many with only a few keystrokes has its benefits and its drawbacks; especially when it comes to difficulties we may experience with our employment. Essentially, what you may think as being a cathartic exercise when something goes wrong (i.e. being demoted or fired) may not be so helpful when you are seeking a legal remedy. 

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