In the LA Times:
Fans of Oprah Winfrey may have heard the news of a recent lawsuit filed against the talk show diva's OWN network. The employment discrimination suit was filed in California by a former employee of OWN, and alleges gender and pregnancy discrimination. Initial reports suggest that at least one employee was punished for making the choice to have a child.
When an employee is subjected to mistreatment within a California workplace, it can be difficult to know how to react. Many fear that speaking out will lead to retaliatory action or even dismissal. In some cases, the offensive behavior may be so ingrained into the culture of the company that individuals can feel uncomfortable making a complaint. Many times, employees do not feel that they are able to effectively fight back until the situation ends in termination. Once fired, a wrongful termination suit allows for the opportunity to bring the questionable treatment before a court of law.
The right of individuals to practice their religion is a basic right afforded to all who reside in the United States. However, when it comes to exercising the same religious rights in the workplace, many employers have limited their employees ability to do so by setting forth certain appearance guidelines that can conflict with an individual's religious beliefs. Such restrictions are about to be outlawed under a new California statute aimed at protecting the rights of workers concerning their appearance when it is tied to their religious beliefs.
When someone becomes unable to continue their job because of a disability, they should have the opportunity to seek proper accommodations that would allow them to continue contributing to their work. Imagine being diagnosed with cancer and later finding out you were losing your job because your employer wouldn't make an accommodation to fit your needs. That's exactly what happened to a Los Angeles retail worker.
A library clerk in Huntington Beach, California, who is deaf and has cerebral palsy, is suing the city for lost wages and emotional distress in a wrongful termination suit.
Hadsell Stormer Richardson and Renick LLP recently helped Hotel workers achieve justice at an HEI Hotels & Resorts operated hotel - Embassy Suites Irvine. In eight hearings over the Summer of 2011 before the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (also known as the "Labor Commissioner"), the operators of the Embassy Suites Irvine were found to owe eight current and former HEI employees between $4907 and $6764 for violations of the California Labor Code.
That sexual assault and sexual harassment occurs at all at the work place is disconcerting. That it can sometimes be tolerated and even be the source of entertainment for others makes such behavior even more offensive.
On October 27, 2011, the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification in a case brought by approximately six hundred Operators and Lab Workers who work at three ConocoPhillips petroleum refineries located in California. The workers, represented by Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick and Gilbert & Sackman, were required to work twelve hour shifts without being allowed to leave their units and subject to interruptions at any time, violating California's law against "on-duty" meal periods. Read the order here.