Los Angeles Employment Law and Civil Rights Law Blog

Deadlines on discrimination claims employees should know about

In our last post, we asked the question of whether employees dealing with sexual harassment on a regular basis is the new normal. The question arose in the midst of the latest payout by Fox News to remove someone reportedly accused of harassing female employees. Indeed, the Bill O’Reilly situation is outside of the norm (with regards to payouts for problem employees). But we are concerned because there are potentially thousands of young women who are afraid to speak out against discrimination because they fear losing their jobs.   

For those who muster the courage to expose illegal actions, they do so by seeking legal redress. It starts with filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is an important initial step, because it is required before filing a lawsuit. But with any type of lawsuit, there are time limits associated with pursuing a discrimination claim.

Is sexual harassment the new normal?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is sadly becoming the new normal. While this may be shocking to some and offending to others, it is unfortunately a statement that has strong statistical roots. On the heels of the recent story regarding Fox News’ payments to settle alleged sexual harassment claims against Bill O’Reilly, we have noticed a disturbing trend of high profile sexual harassment incidents.

Less than six months ago, in the throes of the presidential election, then candidate Donald Trump was caught on camera making lewd comments about women in the workplace. The clip was instant comedy fodder for late-night comics, and was poised to derail his campaign. Yet he was eventually elected. 

What to expect in your employee handbook

Your new job may be a lifelong achievement, or may just be the next job in a line of many that simply makes ends meet.  Regardless, you should be ready for the learning curve expected of newcomers to the organization. If you take part in new employee orientation, part of the presentation will focus on salient parts of the employee handbook. Before you subject this to the back part of your memory, there are some important points to consider.  As such, this post will highlight a few elements that your handbook should have. 

Back Wages, Interest, and Penalties Recovered on Behalf of Workers at the Daily Grill Restaurant

On January 17, 2017, HSR prevailed at trial on claims against the Daily Grill Restaurant, located at the Westin LAX, for failing to pay workers the required living wage for more than three years. As a result, class members have been paid $165,994 in back wages, and were awarded over $300,000 in prejudgment interest and waiting time penalties.

Hadsell Stormer's Dan Stormer and Cindy Panuco are recognized by the Daily Journal at the 2017 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year ("CLAY Awards")

Dan Stormer, Cindy Pánuco, and the litigation team in the matter of Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles, were recognized for their work in this groundbreaking case, at the Daily Journal's 21st Annual California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards in San Francisco, CA on March 15, 2017. Rodriguez, a civil rights class action challenged the constitutionality of a curfew provision in 26 gang injunctions in the City of Los Angeles. The litigation resulted in a finding by a federal court, that the City had violated the civil rights of over 5,600 class members who were served with a gang injunction containing the curfew. To settle the matter, the City also agreed to establish an unprecedented $30 million Jobs and Education Program and to offer tattoo removal services. In addition the City agree to allow a federal magistrate judge to hear the requests of thousands of class members, who want to be removed from the gang injunctions. This provides thousands in the City of Los Angeles a chance at getting off of the injunctions, which had not existed before the settlement was reached. http://www.callawyer.com/2017/03/2017-clay-awards/

Appeals court rules that LGBT employees are a protected class

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ruling is the first recognition of such rights extending to LGBT employees.

The full panel of judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard the matter; ruling 8-3 that an employee who was denied employment at an Indiana community college because she was lesbian violated the landmark civil rights act that has stood as the social barometer for workplace inclusivity for more than 50 years. 

How do I know if I'm being discriminated against?

Are good working relationships better for employers or employees?  After all, good relationships between employees and supervisors can be helpful for productivity. When employees are satisfied with their jobs they tend to work better. What employer wouldn’t want that?

Unfortunately, some workers have to deal with constant adversarial relationships with their supervisors. This may lead to continual disagreements, a substantial level of dissatisfaction in the workplace, and ultimately the loss of a job. 

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.

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