Today's world of work looks very different from that of even a decade ago. Many businesses and employers offer workers more flexibility with regard to working offsite or remotely. Additionally, workers may have more say in and control over when and how they work. A growing number of workers today are also legally designated as independent contractors.
On November 13, 2014 Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, teamed up with another nationally recognized and Washington, DC based civil rights firm, (Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC), and filed a lawsuit against the California Institute of Technology ("Caltech") in Los Angeles Superior Court. The suit alleges that high-level Caltech administrators retaliated against senior Caltech Professor, Dr. Sandra M. Troian, and have made her working conditions intolerable because she reported violations of federal export laws to the FBI concerning the handling of sensitive information at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ("JPL") which is managed by Caltech. Along with attorneys at Bernabei & Wachtel, Dan Stormer and Cindy Pánuco represent Dr. Troian in the suit which has received worldwide publicity.
In the LA Times:
On April 16, 2014, HSRR filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of employees of the Daily Grill restaurant who were unfairly shorted thousands of dollars over the past three years. The main plaintiffs are two servers and a busser whose loss from the wage violations comes to nearly $1000 per year per person.
Wet Seal, a California based retailer, has settled a national class action suit that was filed in federal district court. The employment discrimination case was based on the company's alleged Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 violation. The act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on sex, race, national origin, color or religion.
Every person who wishes to work has the right to be considered equally for a job as the others who are applying. However, there are still instances of companies disregarding certain applications because of the individual's sexual orientation. In a recent case outside California, a civil rights group has alleged that Exxon Mobil used employment discrimination practices in handling two applications for a vacant position.
An increasingly powerful tool in the fight against wrongful terminations is the claim of retaliatory discharge. This claim is used in California in a wrongful termination claim to generally assert that the employer fired the employee in retaliation against proper activity being performed by the employee. In this case, a former San Rafael police officer and Marin County deputy district attorney has brought a lawsuit for wrongful termination against San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.
California readers may be aware of an employment lawsuit that clothing manufacturer Wet Seal Inc. has been facing since July 2012. Legal action against the company developed into a class-action employment discrimination suit filed on behalf of African-American employees working out of one of the company's stores on the east coast. At the heart of the lawsuit are claims that upper management actively discouraged the presence of African-American managers at the retail store level.
The California Supreme Court recently ruled that a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against filmmaking giant Lucasfilm Ltd. will be handed back down to Superior Court. The decision is the latest move in a long running case that centers on a claim of wrongful termination. A new trial date is expected, which will give the terminated employee another chance to make her case in front of a new jury.