The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a government agency that works to promote fair employment standards and enforce federal laws regarding employment issues. This week the EEOC settled a lawsuit with a restaurant chain for what it called "egregious acts of sexual harassment."
Imagine working hard to make ends meet, and not getting paid even the minimum amount of money required by law. California wage and hour laws are in place to prevent employers from abusing their workers and to provide an opportunity to employees to earn a fair wage. Last week, eight car wash companies in California agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the companies failed to pay employees minimum wage, overtime wages, and wages owed after employees quit or were fired.
Employees got a boost this week in their right to file claims against their employers. The National Labor Relations Board said that under the historic National Labor Relations Act of 1935, employees are able to use litigation collectively to resolve grievances. Brought to the Board by through a wage and hour laws dispute, this decision will likely upset companies across the country because it provides more legal options for employees to resolve employment disputes.
HSRR filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lt. Jeff Bardzik of the Orange County Sheriff's Department alleging that Bardzik's First Amendment freedom of political speech rights were violated when he was retaliated against by former Sheriff Michael Carona for supporting Carona's opponent in the election for Sheriff. After securing a published decision from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit finding that Carona is not entitled to qualified immunity for retaliating against Bardzik, HSRR successfully opposed defendants' second motion for summary judgment. Additionally, Senior Associate Joshua Piovia-Scott recently deposed Carona in federal prison in preparation for the April 17, 2012 trial.
January 11, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. HSRR attorneys Anne Richardson and Cindy Pánuco are part of a broad national coalition which is using that day to speak out against the erosion of civil liberties both there and domestically that is being justified in the name of fighting "terrorism."
With the start of a new year, many people who have been financially strapped and looking for work may have just been given a new advantage. Effective on January 1, employers have been banned by the State of California from using credit checks to decide who to hire, making the practice employment discrimination.