Los Angeles Employment Law and Civil Rights Law Blog

HSR reaches $690,000 settlement on behalf of over 450 workers at the Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles

In May 2016, HSR and McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP filed a complaint on behalf of Salvador Rojas Diaz, Mirna Saavedra, Maria Galvez, Francisco Romero, Epigmenio Roman Cabrera, Jose Luis Corral, and Franklin R. Montoya against Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The complaint alleged numerous wage and hour violations, including failure to pay workers the minimum wage mandated by Los Angeles' Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance and failure to provide meal and rest periods. Sofitel Los Angeles is a luxurious four-star hotel in Beverly Hills and prides itself on being one of the largest hotel operators in the world.

Social media ignites national conversation on sexual harassment

In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the reactions and revelations from numerous Hollywood actresses has sparked a national conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace. Buoyed by the “#MeToo” social media campaign, women from many backgrounds and industries shared their experiences about unwelcome advances. In all, more than 15 million social media posts were made over the past few days furthering the campaign.

Indeed, people may know what sexual harassment is in the abstract or when it is plainly obvious. Also, most can agree that given the pressures that people deal with at work, sexual harassment should not be one of them. But recognizing harassment and speaking out against it may be easier said than done.

HSR Attorneys Recognized in Top 50 for Class Action Settlements in California for 2016

TopVerdict.com has declared attorneys Randy Renick, Cornelia Dai and Dan Stormer winners in the Top 50 for the $7,800,000 settlement negotiated on behalf of employees in Lynne Wang, et al. vs. Chinese Daily News Inc.

Harvey Weinstein and the ongoing problem of sexual harassment

In a prior post, we wrote about whether sexual harassment in the workplace was becoming the “new normal.” Essentially, we questioned whether the harassment of women will continue as long as men do not believe they will get caught, and victims believe that their careers will be compromised if they speak out against such abuse.

The situation involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is yet the latest example of men in powerful positions harassing female employees for what appears to be decades without consequence. A recent nytimes.com report revealed that Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with women over sexual harassment allegations. 

How dads can deal with sex discrimination in the workplace

Sex discrimination is still a pervasive problem in American workplaces. It comes in many forms, such as unequal wages, stereotyping of roles and promotion biases. While a number of our posts focus on these problems, we have not written on the issue of paternity leave bias.

While men tend to make more money than women, men may have to deal with stereotypes stemming from traditional norms of parenting. Essentially, men are (wrongfully) expected to put work first and leave child rearing responsibilities to their spouses.

Judge Rules that Case of Mentally Disabled Victim of Shooting by Long Beach Police Can Go Forward

On Monday, September 25, 2017, a federal judge in Los Angeles California ruled that the civil rights suit for excessive force, brought by the family of a mentally disabled Filipino man who was shot and killed by Long Beach Police officers, would go to a jury.

HSR Appointed Interim Lead Counsel in Class Action Suit Against Tesoro Refinery

In January 2017, HSR filed a wage and hour class action lawsuit against Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company, LLC, et al. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Subsequently, a second-class action lawsuit was filed, alleging similar causes of action. On September 14, 2017, District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar appointed HSR as interim lead counsel over both cases. Judge Tigar concluded that HSR would "fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class" after finding that HSR had done extensive work identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the potential claims and had experience handling complex litigation and knowledge of the applicable law.

How whistleblowers can be protected under state and federal law

We have not addressed the topic of whistleblowers on our blog in quite some time. We acknowledge that being a whistleblower is a tremendously courageous act, because it involves risking one’s livelihood and reputation to expose actions by their employers to defraud the federal government.

As such, zealous employees may not be willing to confront or expose unscrupulous employers. But, under the federal False Claims Act, a number of protections may apply. 

HSR Welcomes New Associate Shaleen Shanbhag

Ms. Shanbhag's areas of practice are civil rights, employment, and international human rights law. She joined the firm after clerking for the Honorable John E. Dowdell of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Before her clerkship, Ms. Shanbhag completed a fellowship with the ACLU of Southern California, where she focused on education equity, juvenile justice, and police practices issues.

What should be in a performance evaluation?

As an employee, we understand that you want to be liked first, and ultimately respected. After all, who wants to work in an environment where their opinion is not appreciated and they are tormented by naysayers.

Unfortunately, negative personal views of an employee can manifest themselves in performance reviews. Whether they are quarterly, semi-annually or annually, a performance review can mean the difference between a promotion or the first step in being terminated.

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